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HTC Touch Diamond Sprint
Official details have slipped tonight for Sprint's version of the HTC Touch Diamond. The carrier's edition of the Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone varies slightly from the Telus edition already available outside of the US and comes with a red-tinted back as well as a customized Sprint version of the TouchFLO interface with access to some more carrier-specific features. Other features remain the same and include a 3.2-megapixel camera, 4GB of internal storage and custom clients for media playback as well as YouTube videos. Opera Mobile also remains preloaded to offer a more complete browsing experience than Internet Explorer's mobile edition.
Thiel Zoet system
Thiel Audio has announced its new multi-channel plug-and-play distributed audio system, Zöet. Location determination and communication between the self powered Zöet speakers and the dB1 distribution processor can use Thiel's wireless network, claimed to be lossless, a home Ethernet network, or a combination of both as needed. Thiel claims the system can be set up and running in less than an hour using just its simple remote control.
Amazon VOD Live
Amazon tonight launched the finished version of Amazon Video on Demand, the streaming version of its online video service. The official launch moves beyond the beta stage and lets any Mac or Windows PC purchase, rent and watch movies and TV shows directly from the browser, bypassing the Windows-only nature of the company's Unbox software. It also delivers a beta version of a promised link to Sony's BRAVIA TVs equipped with the Internet Video Link add-on and gives the TVs the same purchasing and renting privileges as a computer.
Sony multi-room theater
Sony has introduced a multitude of products for multi-room home theater integration. Two new receivers, the STR-DA6400ES and STR-DA5400ES allow HD audio/video transmission to a second room. Products in the new HomeShare HD line can be used to distribute entertainment into 16 zones, with four zones of HD video. For custom installed home entertainment and automation, Sony has unveiled new rack systems, the NHS-70c and NHS-A30C, combining whole home HD capabilities with integrated controls for movies, music, lighting, temperature, and security systems.
Panasonic BluRay and TVs
Panasonic has announced the US launch of its DMP-BD35/DMP-BD55 Blu-Ray players and PZ850 series HD plasma TVs. The two new Blu-Ray players will be the upgrades of the BD30 and BD50. Both feature the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus, claimed by Panasonic to offer color compensation that presents vivid colors very close to the original. Full HD 1080p resolution at 24fps is supported, with upscaling for standard DVDs. Both audio and video are processed through UniPhier, a 45nm integrated chip.
VAIO all-in-ones, Blu-ray
Sony on Wednesday unveiled three new all-in-one VAIO PCs – the JS, LV, and RT – offering users a space-saving, albeit full-featured design, featuring options for an integrated Blu-ray reader. The entry-level JS does not come with Blu-ray by default, but can be added in as a configurable option. It offers a 20.1-inch LCD, an integrated mic and web cam with face tracking, and comes preloaded with Windows Vista. The VAIO JS is available in black, silver, or pink from $1,000.
BD300 price, ETA
LG on Wednesday announced more details regarding the launch of its BD300 Blu-Ray/Netflix player. The SRP will be $400, which falls in line with the original company claim of "under $500." Although an exact day was not given, the BD300 will be available from retailers in October. The price compares to the PS3 for a Blu-Ray multi-function player, offering streaming Netflix support instead of gaming capabilities.
Schlage web accessed locks
Schlage today announced its new line of deadbolts, LiNK, that allow users to remotely control their home locks using an internet connection, even from mobile phones. The keyless locks use four-digit access codes that can be changed from the keypad or from a web browser. Limited access can be given to certain guests; the temporary codes are deleted after a set period of time.
Boinx buys PhotoPresenter
Boinx Software has announced its acquisition of PhotoPresenter, the picture viewer developed by Arizona Software. The product will be an addition to its line of related products including FotoMagico Express and FotoMagico Pro. PhotoPresenter will allow customers to quickly put together slide shows "literally directly out of the camera" according to Boinx CEO Oliver Breidenbach, in contrast to the FotoMagico series that requires more time, but allows the creation of a whole story with the image presentation.
Xbox 360 Price Cut in US
Microsoft today confirmed heavily reported price cuts for the Xbox 360 in the US following recently official moves in Japan. The base Xbox 360 Arcade is now the least expensive current-generation console and keeps to its 512MB memory card and absence of other extras to reach $199; the upgraded Xbox 360 Pro with a 60GB hard drive drops by $50 to sell for $299, while the black Elite console with a 120GB hard drive has been reduced by a similar amount to $399.
MusicXML for Sibelius
Recordare has unveiled the newest version of its Sibelius plug-in, Dolet 4. The plug in now allows users to save notation in the open MusicXML 2.0 format for sharing with other programs including Finale and Cubase. Previously, users could import MusicXML to Sibelius but not save as that format. The XML music format allows levels of notation detail much closer to a written score compared to MIDI files, which do not support many of the intricacies.
"Cocoa Touch" trademark
Apple has filed a trademark application for "Cocoa Touch," the software toolset that allows developers to access the Multi-Touch and accelerometer features in the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch. Apple has filed under International Class 009 in the U-S, seeking a trademark in the programming, data recovery and data analysis category. The Cocoa Touch API framework is included in the iPhone SDK.
Sapphire Plug-ins for Open
Visual effects plug-in maker GenArts has released an OpenFX version of its Sapphire Plug-ins, making them available to users of The Foundry's Nuke, Autodesk Toxik, Eyeon Fusion, FilmLight Baselight, Digital Vision FIlm Master and Assimilate Scratch. Sapphire Plug-ins are well-known in the post-production community, providing visual effects for Apple, Adobe and Avid creative software. The addition of OFX expands the market considerably.
Homemanageables today announced its iPhone app that will allow its customers to monitor or control devices in their homes. Users can control lights, setting them to turn on or off randomly between set time periods. Thermostats can be managed, lowering the energy needs while the owner is gone for extended periods of time. The Homemanageables iPhone app is for existing customers only, and will be available free from the App Store.
Averatec today introduced its second all-in-one PC ever this afternoon with the A1. Rather than compete directly against the iMac and similar rivals as it does with its self-descriptive All In One PC, the A1 is an atypical cross between nettops and normal desktops with an 18.4-inch, 1680x945 16:9 ratio display and a DVD burner but a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive.
Panasonic AE3000 Projector
Panasonic this afternoon used the CEDIA home theater expo to update its AE series with a new high-end home theater projector. Replacing the AE2000U, the AE3000U nearly quadruples the contrast ratio from 16,000:1 to 60,000:1 courtesy of both new imaging hardware and new contrast plates that cut out unnecessary light from the image; a new polarizing filter also boosts the brightness slightly from 1,500 lumens to 1,600.
AtomicView 1.1 update
AntZero has released an update to AtomicView, a digital asset manager that allows users to organize and output images, video and sound. Version 1.1 incorporates support for more formats, such as EPS and SWF files, as well as iWork and InDesign documents. The program also sports a new interface for editing metadata, similar to the previous version, but cleaned up to make data entry more logical.
Silver Shield keyboard
Seal Shield has unveiled its latest antimicrobial keyboard, the Silver Seal Flex. The keyboard is constructed from flexible silicone, allowing it to be rolled up for transportation and making it waterproof enough for submersion and even dishwasher cleaning. The connecting cable is also designed to be safer with a six-inch section attached to the device while an eight-foot section stays attached to the computer's USB or PS/2 port.
Mac integration survey
Integrating Macs is now a priority for many businesses, but comes with its own set of problems, claims GroupLogic. The developer recently conducted a survey to look at the integration of Macs into predominantly Windows-based enterprises. Conducted with the help of eMedia USA, the study polled nearly 350 IT professionals in a range of public, private and non-profit organizations. Of those surveyed, 40 percent said that achieving balance between Macs and Windows in IT service delivery was a business goal; approximately 70 percent of the respondents reported having Macs in their organization, while another 6 percent said they plan to integrate Macs in the near future.
Ghostbusters on USB drive
Sony and portable flash drive maker PNY on Wednesday announced they are collaborating on the release of a 2GB flash drive that come preloaded with the 1984 blockbuster Ghostbusters. The two companies claim to be the first to release a full-length movie in such a method. Sony and PNY promises users will be able to watch the movie on their PCs or laptops, though whether it can be copied onto the computer and stored for uses in other devices or multiple devices is unknown but unlikely given copyright concerns.
Mitsubishi HD projectors
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics unveiled three high-end 1080p home theater projectors at the CEDIA Expo that opens on Thursday, including the HC8000, HC7000U and HC6500U. The HC8000 is the electronics giant's first ultra-bright 1080p HD projector, meant for use in brighter home environments thanks to its rated 5,000 ANSI lumens. It uses three 1.1-inch 3LCD inorganic panels to create 1920x1080 images. Its connections include a DVI connector with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter.
NEC intros four projectors
NEC on Wednesday introduced new entrly-level LCD projectors to add to its NP line, including the NP400, NP500, NP500W and NP600. The new products feature 1024x768 native resolution, with the NP500W upping it to 1280x800. All four are meant for use in classrooms, during meetings and training sessions thanks to their Ethernet network connections, closed captioning systems and a comparatively loud built-in 7-watt speaker.
LapTuk monitor stand
Macessity has released a new product meant to save desktop space, the LapTuk. The unit is a monitor stand, which allows a notebook to be neatly tucked underneath. The stand provides enough room to store a 15-inch system, and has openings for accessing all important ports and heat vents. Material-wise the stand is built out of steel, and finished with an aluminum color.
Dell on Smartphones
Dell isn't planning to again produce its own smartphones or similar handheld devices "in the near term," company chief Michael Dell said today at the Citi Technology Conference. The founder of the Texas PC maker shot down rumors of an upcoming return to the field and describes any possible move in the future as the eventual reality of the computing industry rather than a deliberate effort on the part of Dell to compete in the smartphone business.
Fairway 1.0 released
Fairway 1.0, a new virtual caddy application for the iPhone and iPod touch, has been released to the App Store. Fairway lets golfers manage everything relevant to their game including bags, clubs and swings. The interface has a golfer drag a golf ball distance meter to enter their distance from the pin, and then select their location on the course. The golfer will then be presented with ideal club and swing options, as well as notes they may have entered about a particular style of shot.
GroupWise beta posted
Novell has announced an open beta of the newest version of GroupWise, its collaboration tool. Available as a free download, the software combines traditional e-mail and calendar functionality into a dashboard with team collaboration workspaces, and various Web 2.0-style tools, such as wikis, blogs and RSS feeds.
iTunes 8 Further Leaks
iTunes 8 will be the first version of Apple's desktop software to allow HD purchases, if a further leak from Digg head Kevin Rose proves accurate. A purported excerpt from the upgrade notes to the software mentions users having the option of downloading TV episodes in "HD quality," suggesting the software will be the first from Apple to offer any kind of purchasable HD content outside of the Apple TV and that HD will extend beyond the movie-only options available today.
Cubase 4.5 released
Steinberg has released v4.5 of Cubase, its professional music production suite. Much of the focus in the new edition lies with hardware, as the software now directly supports the company's MR816 X and CSX decks, as well as the CC121 controller. Yamaha support has meanwhile been expanded to include the MOTIF-RACK XS, MOTIF XS6/7/8, and several KX-series USB keyboards.
MS Lifts XP Netbook Limits
Microsoft has backed off some of its restrictions on Windows XP to allow netbooks with larger hard drives to support the older operating system, according to claims from companies in the business. Although the Redmond, Washington-based software firm has so far insisted that systems with hard drives larger than 80GB carry Windows Vista in a bid to drive companies to the newer operating system, it has now allegedly doubled that limit to 160GB, expanding the types of PCs that qualify for the older software.
Sony intros Blu-ray DVRs
At its press conference in Japan recently, Sony showed off two new Blu-ray disc players and six Blu-ray players with built-in hard drives, which act as high-definition DVRs. The products make up four new lines in Sony's lineup, and all feature a new CREAS engine with new upscaling technology that promises to bring 14-bit HD processing and what Sony calls its Super Bit Mapping engine for video. The most expensive of the new products are found in the X-series, which is made up of the 500GB BDZ-X95 and 1TB BDZ-X100.
HP 'green' notebook bag
HP says it has found a way to reduce notebook packaging materials by 97 percent, and cut transportation costs by 31 percent. The computer giant has won Walmart's "green" Home Entertainment Design Challenge, by packaging a Pavillion dv6929 in a messenger bag capable of doubling as a shipping container. As a result, less styrofoam and cardboard are consumed, and a bulk shipment can occupy less space in ships and trucks, in theory resulting in less fuel expenses.
Nano 4G, Touch 2G specs?
Size specifications for two new iPods have been revealed, an alleged leak suggests. The first set is for the widely-rumored fourth-generation Nano, and appears to back the belief that the Nano will return to a tall and narrow shape, eschewing the shorter and "fatter" dimensions of the third-generation player. It is believed however to measure 90.75x38.75x6.08mm, slightly taller and thicker than the second-gen Nano, if smaller in terms of width. The second-gen player measured 90x40x6.5mm.
iPhone data outages
(Updated with new AT&T information) iPhone owners on the east coast of the US are experiencing severe problems with AT&T's network, according to scattered accounts. In some areas customers are complaining of a complete lack of cellular data functions, including e-mail and web browsing, over either EDGE or HSDPA (3G). The problems appear to be widespread, affecting areas like New York, Missouri, Massachusetts and North Carolina, and typified by phones misreporting excellent coverage.
iPhone to Overtake Symbian
The current rate of growth for estimated iPhone sales may lead to its operating system being more popular than Symbian in as little as two years, according to projections based on both official and estimated data. Although Symbian reports 19.6 million cellphones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson and others having sold with its operating system installed during its last quarter, the figure represents a growth of just five percent versus the same time span a year ago and is much slower than estimated growth for Apple, which is thought to be manufacturing as many as 800,000 devices per week and may ship up to 10 million iPhone 3Gs between July and September, or more than half Symbian's tally despite being a young competitor.
There.com adds Mac support
Virtual world site There.com has announced support for Mac OS X, a new report says. The service is similar in theme to Second Life, allowing users to wander a 3D environment with an avatar, talk with other people, and participate in an internal economy. Unlike its rival however, There is aimed primarily at teenagers, and requires any objects created to be sanctioned by its developer.
OmniOutliner 3.7 update
OmniOutliner, an application for creating, collecting and organizing information, has been updated to version 3.7. The new version contains QuickLook support, which dynamically generates previews and allows users to interact with outlines in the same way with collapsing and expanding sections. It also adds support for the OmniFocus protocol allowing links to be typed manually or scripted and new high-resolution versions of the applications icons. The update also resolves a long-standing issue that prevented usrs from creating backups, according to the company.
NAVIGON in the wake of IFA switched its attention back to North America with the launch of a budget GPS that has features that were once saved only for higher-end units. The 2200T makes good on a recent promise by the company to offer free traffic warnings for the lifetime of its devices and is currently the least expensive device of the type. Even entry-level customers can now reroute around traffic jams and accidents without having to pay for a subscription, the company explains.
Forum roundup: iPhone
Forum roundup: A recent topic of conversation in the MacNN forums has revolved around the differences between the iPhone and the Blackberry Bold when one forum member announced that they would rather purchase the latter over the former. One member finds help and advice from others when they report a Time Machine error. Google has announced the beta release of their new web browser, Chrome, and forum goers express their opinions here. A list of good websites to purchase Mac Pro memory from can be found in this thread in response to one members question. One Junior Member of the forums is looking for the best wireless printing solution to use with their Mac.
Video Gogh 3 released
RE:Vision Effects has published Video Gogh 3, the latest version of its video post-effects software. The software attempts to simulate the look of various kinds of paintings and illustrations, such as oil, chalk and watercolor. The third edition adds a variety of features, most notably the option for animated and custom brush sets, with user-selectable brush images and render styles.
iRobot Roomba Pet and Pro
iRobot today rolled out two extra Roomba vacuum robots targeted at specific subsets of its normal audience. The Pet Series adjusts the components inside the robot to focus more on catching pet hair as well as the dander that often triggers allergies. Each now has an extra set of brushes and holds much more in the sweeping bin than usual to catch the material that might quickly fill up a normal robot; the counter-rotating brushes are claimed to be good for picking up material either from carpet or hard floors.
Keynote Animations 2.0
iPresentee has released Keynote Animations 2.0, an expansion on to its existing line of animations; the set keeps 50 animations from the previous release and adds 30 new animations -- all of which support transparency allowing them to be used on any background. The animations can be resized, rotated, increased or decreased in opacity or overlapped to create new effects. Adding animations has been made as simple as possible, a user must only select the desired animation and then drag it into the appropriate location on a slide.
Second iPhone 3G lawsuit
A second lawsuit has been filed over the network performance of the iPhone 3G, documents show. Both Apple and AT&T have been sued by William Gillis, a customer who complains that the companies have recklessly oversold the iPhone 3G, knowing that neither the device nor AT&T's 3G network can support fast access for the current influx of users. Gillis notes that although the latter company has claimed that the iPhone is "performing great" on 3G, speeds are not up to advertised levels, and people are being kicked down to EDGE in areas that should support 3G.
Samsung Knack at Verizon
Verizon today quickly followed up on leaked data with a release on Monday of the Samsung Knack. The flip phone is there for users who want just a basic phone and makes its primary features those suited to inexperienced users or the elderly: the device has a built-in 911 button as well as an ICE (In Case of Emergency) button that provides a trio of essential contacts for just the user, such as a family member or a physician.
iSkin solo released
iSkin has introduced a new protective case for the iPhone 3G dubbed the iSkin solo. The iSkin solo fully encapsulates the iPhone 3G and delivers protection against impact, scratches, dirt and dust. The case features a screen protector that is said to not inhibit touch sensitivity, integrated volume and power button protection, unobstructed access to all ports and controls, and a non-slip grip surface. The solo is offered in four different color finishes: Puma (opaque black), Baron (translucent red), NightCrawler (translucent blue) and Angel (opaque white).
HD DirecTV TiVo in Works
Satellite TV provider DirecTV and TiVo today extended their cooperation with each other and said they would work together to build a version of TiVo's digital video recorder that can properly capture HDTV from DirecTV's current network. The two provide few details but explain that the set-top box should support features specific to either company, such as TiVo's Swivel Search that can suggest shows based on the presence of certain actors or other metadata from a TV show.
Rouge Roller released
STM has released a new bag that lets travelers store their laptop and other travel necessities conveniently in one bag. The Rouge Roller features an extendable handle and two in-line skate wheels; it has been made large enough to fit a laptop, documents, accessories and a few changes of clothes, but small enough to fit in the overhead compartment of most planes. The laptop compartment of the bag is large enough to fit a 17-inch MacBook Pro, and has been throughly padded to ensure a laptop will stay safe while kept inside.
Sanyo Xacti E2
Sanyo this morning upgraded its Xacti camcorders with the North American version of the E2. This second generation of the company's hardened camera improves the recording performance and will capture 640x480 H.264 video at up to 60 frames per second and snaps up to eight-megapixel still shots, including at up to five continuous frames per second. It also brings live face detection and a specialized underwater mode that adjusts the colors to avoid some of the tinting that occurs in pool or shallow dives.
Star Trigon released
A 2002 Namco arcade game has made its way into the iTunes store for Click Wheel iPods. Star Trigon has players jumping from planet to planet trying to rescue all of the Uchujin characters. Gamers take control of one of three different Star Trigon team members, each with their own specific abilities, and must jump between planets on screen. When a triangle, or "Trigon" is formed around one of the Uchujin characters they are rescued. In order to successfully complete a level the player must rescue all the Uchujin before their air supply runs out, or before they miss jump and float away into space.
Nokia N96 Ships
Nokia today finally began shipping the N96, its significantly delayed flagship smartphone. The two-way slider has the same specifications as when it was announced in February and improves on the N95 by holding 16GB of internal storage along with a microSDHC slot for at least 8GB more. Most versions also include a DVB-H tuner to pick up mobile digital TV broadcasts in Europe and other regions that support the new portable video standard. A five-megapixel camera with flash, true GPS and Wi-Fi are also onboard.
Sony Ericsson X1 Panel SDK
Sony Ericsson this morning introduced an software development kit just for the XPERIA X1, giving developers an opportunity to write apps for the phone's custom panel interface. The SDK will allow programmers to write Windows Mobile 6.1 apps that integrate directly with the panels at the top level and display live information without having the user enter the app itself. Sony Ericsson suggests this could be useful for at-a-glance looks at instant messaging or social networking as well as media catalogs.
Babelingo iPhone update
Alta Vida has announced the latest version of its language translation iPhone app, Babelingo 1.2. The new version adds phrases in the Czech and Hindi languages, and a software update. Over 300 phrases and words can be translated to and from English. Categorical organization assists quick use of the interface. Results are displayed prominently for easy viewing by both subjects. Supported languages include English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Czech, Hindi, Japanese, and Chinese. Babelingo 1.2 is available for the iPhone or iPod touch and can be purchased for $6 from iTunes.
Samsung mini DSLR coming
Following almost a month behind Olympus' and Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds camera system announcement, Samsung unveiled plans for a similar system with interchangeable lenses and its internally-manufactured 14MP APS-C sensor. Amateur Photographer reveals that Samsung's project is allegedly dissimilar from the Micro Four Thirds system, with the company claiming to have been working on this system for some time.
Canto Cumulus 7.6 update
Canto has announced the release of Cumulus 7.6, the latest update of its digital asset management software. This version features built-in rendering of PDF files- thumbnails and previews can be generated on any operating system or web browser without Acrobat. PowerPoint capabilities have also been improved, allowing presentations to be produced on a web browser, without PowerPoint installed, and stored on portable drives.
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