Dell on Tuesday broadsided Apple's famous manila envelope commercial with its own tongue-in-cheek version, removing the Latitude E4200 from the sleeve and comparing it to the MacBook Air. A shiny Dell logo crosses the screen as the notebook is removed from the envelope, set down, and opened in the same manner as the Air in Apple's commercial. Dell highlights the E4200's thinner width and length, but negates to compare the notebook's height, which is known to be taller than the MacBook Air.
HP on Tuesday announced it is shipping the Voodoo Envy 133 notebook, while Voodoo co-founder Rahul Sood alludes to a mystery product on the company's blog. CNET reveals that the MacBook Air and Lenovo X300 competitor saw an exclusive rollout event in Germany, easing concerns that HP would roll the Voodoo line into its consumer products. The Envy offers users a sleek computing experience, reminiscent of Dell's Alienware line of computers.
WorqSmart today announced its newest tool, QuoteSmart, that allows users to organize quotes, sayings, or other similar information. The program comes loaded with over 6000 quotes, but allows for personal additions. Notes can be added to content, which is organized or searched by author, title, or text. Selections can be printed, emailed, or researched further with buttons for Wikipedia, Google, Amazon, and Dictionary.com. QuoteSmart for Mac or Windows is available from WorqSmart for $30.
Apple has posted the Keynote recording from this morning's Let's Rock event, hosted at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The Keynote recording recaps the various launches: 4th generation iPod nanos, revised iPod classics, the sleek iPod touch, iTunes 8.0, and the inclusion of HDTV shows. The event also saw the return of NBC to the iTunes fold, after a feud over the iTunes pricing structure had NBC folding up its wares several months ago.
Piper Jaffray followed up the Let's Rock event today, suggesting it had a negative impact on short term investor expectations, but long term outlook is still promising. Many investors have been waiting for Steve Jobs health to improve, but he didn't show any improvement from his appearance at WWDC. Although the updated iPods were welcomed, there is still anticipation for the next Mac portables.
Cryptocybernetics has announced its first iPhone app, Crypto Word Scramble. Over 110,000 words are used in English, Spanish, and Russian. To play the game, the first character of a scrambled word is tapped and sent to the location it should be at, exchanging places with the letter in that spot. Pressing the "check" button shows if the word is correct and the time that was taken to complete the puzzle. Crypto Word Scramble is available for $2 from iTunes.
Although Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone and iPod touch 2.1 software update would be released on Friday, iPod users can already download the update from iTunes. He claimed the new version fixes a lot of bugs, improves app function, enhances security, and makes the sync function faster. A "Genius" function can be used to find similar songs in a library and play them together. Multiple calendars and push functions for Microsoft Exchange are now supported.
Griffin Technology has launched new iPhone 3G accessories, announcing immediate availability. Window Seat is a new car-mount, while Reflect, iClear, and Wave for iPhone 3g are new cases, as well as the Streamline armband. WindowSeat mounts an iPhone 3g (also an iPhone 2g or iPod touch) on a cars windshield or dashboard at eye-level, with an adjustable bracket for a secure hold. It includes an audio cable for playing the iPhone through a car stereo and works with other accessories to charge the phone or transmit music over FM. It costs $30.
Telestream has unveiled the Pipeline HD Dual, the latest addition to its series of video capture devices. Using two channels, HD video can be captured live or from recorded sources and encoded to Avid DNxHD, Apple ProRes 422 HD, and Panasonic DVCPRO HD. The device connects through a network, allowing access by multiple computers. HD sources can also be down-converted to SD formats, or SD sources can be encoded to SD formats including DV, IMX, MPEG-2, and ProRes 422(SQ).
Supplemental to the plethora of Apple software releases on Tuesday, Apple noted that iTunes 8.0, Quicktime 7.5.5, Bonjour for Windows 1.0.5, and the iPod touch 2.1 OS updates offer various security fixes as well. iTunes 8.0 resolves a vulnerability on the Mac side that results in an erroneous Firewall warning dialogue, while the Windows side saw a fix pertaining to system privileges. iTunes 8.0 is available for download from Apple's website.
NBC is returning its shows to iTunes, according to the Associated Press. This ends a year long bitter dispute between Apple and the TV network giant that began last year when NBC decided to stop selling its shows on iTunes, citing pricing inflexibility as the reason. Apple claimed it was asked to increase the pricing of the shows from $2 to $5, which NBC denied. In the time away from iTunes, NBC was playing the programs on its website for free (with advertising) and selling them on Amazon for the same price of $2.
Forum roundup: with the release of new iPods earlier today MacNN forum goers are quick to begin discussing their likes and dislikes about the new iPod nano. "What is the best iPhone screen protector?" is the question posed in this thread. One member is looking to purchase a used MacBook and looks for advice from other forum goers on what would be reasonable to expect for pricing. The new iTunes update is the topic of conversation in this thread. Mac Pro video card upgrades are discussed here.
Apple's fresh iPod-related announcements -- including iTunes 8, along with new Nanos, Touches and Classics -- were a "necessary and appropriate strategy," according to UBS analyst Maynard Um. Rather than pushing any special innovation, Um suggests that the changes were needed to maintain Apple's controlling position in the media player world, where it is faced with competition such as Microsoft's new Zunes.
A new leak today reveals the much-anticipated HTC Touch Diamond will support HSDPA and HSUPA 3G data networks in the US market. The news comes after the device was spotted on Best Buy's online store, listed as unlocked and sporting a near $700 price tag. Best Buy estimates customers will get their HTC Touch Diamonds sometime between September 29 and October 4, although that may be postponed closer to those dates.
PlayFirst has released its casual game Diner Dash for the iPhone. Gamers take the role of Flo, working to transform the diner into a five star restaurant. Customers with different levels of patience must be seated, served food, and managed to get the highest tips. Earnings can be spent to improve the diner or buy new properties. Playing in career mode allows 50 different levels with five separate restaurants. The endless mode will constantly push new customers through. Diner Dash is available from iTunes for $10.
The purchase of the Helio mobile network provider by Virgin Mobile, which concluded on August 22, has resulted in Helio by Virgin Mobile, and the new company announced some changes on Tuesday. Contrary to previous reports, however, the Helios brand will continue to operate. The integration of the two have resulted in Virgin launching the Shuttle, its first handset that will support Helio's data-intensive services, including the Buddy Beacon that uses the integrated GPS to locate other users via a chat-like program. At the same time, the company announced that existing and new Helio subscriptions to the $80 A La Carte program will be upgraded to include unlimited minutes instead of the current 1,500 minutes.
iPhone and iPod touch users have already downloaded over 100 million apps from the iTunes App Store, which has reached the milestone in its first two months of existence, according to Apple. The store is said to have amassed over 3,000 individual titles, with only 10 percent exceeding $10 in cost, and more than 600 being distributed for free.
Portable storage device maker Lexar on Tuesday announced it has doubled the storage capacity of its current 8GB UDMA CF card with the upcoming release of a higher capacity Compact Flash memory card, the 16GB Professional UDMA 300x. The 300x speed rating translates to sustained write speeds of 45MBps, which is quick enough to keep up with most modern digital SLR camerasí burst shooting modes. Meant for professional photographers, the Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) interface allows time savings in post-production time when used in conjunction with another UDMA-enabled device.
The Symbian Foundation announced on Tuesday that Sharp Electronics, Opera Software, KTF wireless provider and six other companies have on Tuesday joined the Foundation to help bring open source software and applications to mobile devices more quickly and efficiently. As members of the Symbian Foundation, companies will not have to pay for software developed by its members.
In an effort to more accurately and realistically advertise the battery life of its notebook comptuers, Sony will soon be switching to a different standard of measuring said battery life, a recent report reveals. Under the new standard, called Jeita A, Sony will only publish how long the notebook lasts while playing back a movie file, and not, as previously, the average of idle time and the movie playback test that made up the Jeita test.
On Tuesday, Toshiba announced it will soon start shipping seven new notebooks in its SS RX2 Series. All will feature a 12.1-inch LCD screen with 1280x800 resolution and house Intel's newer, ultra low-power SU9300 Core 2 Duo at 1.20GHz. Buyers will get 2GB of memory, with the option to bump it up to 3GB, while graphics are handled by the onboard GS45 Express Chipset. The range-topping SS RX2 T9GG and T9G will stand out from the remaining five notebooks thanks to their use of a 128GB solid-state drive instead of a 160GB hard disk drive. Compared to their predecessor, the RX1 (R500 in the US), the RX2 notebooks have come down slightly in price while offering slightly better value, although the specs are very close.
Both NBC and Apple have made concessions in the former's return to the US iTunes Store, observers note. The first of these may be variable pricing, such as a higher cost for HD versions of TV shows. Apple is charging $2.99 per HD episode, instead of the standard rate of $1.99; it is not known if this was the result of pressure from NBC however, as Apple has long charged $1 more for HD movie rentals on an Apple TV. What is known is that back-catalog shows -- such as Miami Vice and The A-Team -- are being priced at 99 cents, whereas Apple's original deal with NBC would have called for the regular rate.
Quickly following the launch of Apple's 120GB iPod classic and a matching Zune, Toshiba this afternoon announced the MK2431GAH, the first-ever 240GB 1.8-inch rotating hard drive. The disk holds the extra 80GB over the previous record-setting 160GB disks but also spins faster, rotating at 4,200RPM versus the 3,600RPM of most large drives in the class; this helps with video and other very disk-intensive apps on portable devices, the company says.
Hog Bay Software has released WriteRoom for the iPhone. The software, inspired by WriteRoom for OS X, creates a simple writing interface, and matches the feature-set of the iPhone's Notes program, while adding abilities. It provides a straightforward black and white display, with an enlarged keyboard in horizontal orientation. It also provides Wi-Fi access to the documents it creates allowing users to browse to and edit notes from a local computer using Safari.
AT&T has largely committed to its rumored October launch for the BlackBerry Bold, according to a leaked press release obtained at BGR. Although dated for release today, the template announcement specifically indicates plans by the carrier to launch the 3G BlackBerry sometime next month for $300 on contract but leaves the exact day blank, leaving open the possibility of a last-minute change.
Amidst its other high-profile announcements, Apple today quietly refreshed the iPod shuffle with new colors. The update swaps out the pale colors from before with five colors largely similar to the early 2007 models in bright blue, green, red, and pink; the red iPod remains a (PRODUCT) RED variant that delivers some of the purchase price to charity and is exclusive to Apple's own online and retail stores.
Apple has confirmed rumors by revealing the existence of a second-generation iPod touch, bringing with it several enhancements. Central is a revised casing, which uses a contoured profile similar in shape to the iPhone 3G, but with stainless steel replacing plastic. Other similarities with the iPhone include new volume buttons, allowing blind adjustment, and a speaker, from which owners can hear both music and system sounds.
Microsoft this morning confirmed some rumors with the launch of its first-ever BlueTrack mice. The Explorer and notebook-sized Explorer Mini both use a blue light and optical sensor that generates a larger, starker relief of the mousing surface than either red-light optical or laser, allowing the mice to not only improve their accuracy but to work on uneven or low-contrast surfaces that would confuse normal mice, such as carpet.
Hoping to push some of its peripherals' designer looks into the mainstream, Microsoft today update both the mid-range and low end of its mouse and keyboard combos with a new model each. The Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 has much of the same translucent-framed look of the 7000 but with a simpler design and a 2.4GHz RF-based mouse that goes without the Flip 3D or Magnifier controls but adds a mini USB receiver to let the 6000 leave home with a notebook. In exchange, the number of Favorites keys expands from three to five to help launch more custom apps or file views.
Microsoft tonight planned to inject some style into its wireless mice with a genuine one-off notebook mouse design. The now official Arc Mouse is thought to have the best advantages of both desktop and notebook mice courtesy of a fold-out hand support: the fully extended mouse has the surface area of a desktop mouse but folds shut to take up as much space as notebook mice. Microsoft has also taken a cue from Logitech's Nano receivers and has a micro transceiver under 1cm (0.4in) that can safely be left in a notebook's USB port without snapping off or adding too much bulk.
Apple today revealed full details of its iPhone and iPod touch 2.1 firmware upgrade. Unusually, the company is focusing on software issues and claims to have fixed "a lot of bugs," according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs: on iPhones, the software cuts down on dropped calls and is also said to provide "big" improvements to battery life. It also improves the reliability of apps and speeds up the backup time before a sync begins.
Apple has announced the release of iTunes 8, the latest version of its music software for Macs and PCs. Features in the new software include "Genius" playlists, which automatically match songs thought to go together. iTunes can also recommend tracks to buy via a sidebar, and recommendations will be based on anonymous uploads of user data, meant to gradually improve the accuracy of what shoppers are offered in the future.
Apple today introduced the anticipated fourth-generation iPod nano. The model is said to combine the best of the second-generation player's shape with the large screen and video playback of the third-generation model but is even thinner and adds an enhanced, accelerometer-driven interface that rotates the on-screen interface; this improves the use of Cover Flow and even photo browsing, Apple says. Users can even shake the player to shuffle tracks similar to SanDisk's Sansa Shaker.
VOX Mobile has announced that it will "soon" be providing the iPhone 3G to residents of Luxembourg. An information page now details the features of the iPhone 3G, as well as the current 3G network available in the country. As is common with most iPhone announcements, no launch date or official pricing plans have been released.
Epson on Tuesday announced the release of three new Stylus all-in-one printers, including the NX300, NX200 and NX100. The three slide in under the existing all-in-one NX400, and are designed to handle printing, scanning, copying and faxing duties in households, though only the NX300 is capable of faxing documents. It is also the only one of the three to include a 30-page Auto Document Feeder (ADF), and is rated to print at speeds up to 31ppm. The fax function has a 100-page memory, and it includes ABBYY FineReader OCR software that can turn printed documents into editable text.
Apple is opening itself up to the idea of allowing carrier-specific applications on iPhones, claims the global director of terminals for Vodafone. Jens Schulte-Bockum says that Vodafone Italy is collaborating with Apple on a tentative "portal experience," which would be delivered through iTunes' App Store. Apple has traditionally resisted any form of carrier-specific branding in its products, to the extent that carriers are scarcely mentioned on its websites or in phone interfaces.
Sony Ericsson may follow in the steps of Nokia's Comes With Music and run its own unlimited music service, the Financial Times claims. Without referring to sources, the newspaper asserts that Sony Ericsson is negotiating with multiple major labels to offer music downloads for its own phones. It's unknown whether the cellphone designer would follow a similar pattern of tying a subscription to the price of certain phones or if it would be strictly optional for phone owners.
Steve Jobs' Mercedes is believed to have been spotted outside the Yerba Buena Center, less than two hours before Apple's "Let's Rock" iPod event. In the photograph below, from iPhone Savior, a car thought to be Jobs' Mercedes SL55 AMG is seen just outside the center. Jobs has a special exemption that allows him to have a UPC barcode instead of a license plate, making it unlikely that the car belongs to someone else.
A new Apple retail store has been confirmed to be opening its doors on September 13th in Maine, alongside the openings of stores in Ohio and Australia. This will be the first official Apple Store to be opened in Maine, which will be located at the Maine Mall in South Portland. The shop should feature all of Apple's normal retail services, such as a Genius Bar, Business Services, Workshops, Personal Shoppers, One-to-One training and Youth Programs.
Sony Ericsson on Tuesday entered the digital photo frame market with its IDP-100 Digital Photo Frame. Featuring a 7-inch LED screen with 800x480 resolution and 128MB of built-in memory, the IDP-100 is meant to make it easier to transfer images from users' camera phones in addition to their conventional digital cameras. Images can be transferred to the frame via the wireless Bluetooth connection, a USB 2.0 port, or memory card slots for the M2, microSD, SD or MS Duo standards. Users can then control the way the images are displayed via the touch-sensitive interface.
The aging HTC Touch is soon to be replaced by a new . The Opal was revealed by what seems to be a leaked internal HTC document, and informs the new handset will feature HTC's latest TouchFLO 3D touch user interface for its Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. Taking obvious design cues from both the Touch and Diamond, the Opal will share the same TI OMAP 200MHz processor of the original Touch under its skin. Onboard memory will consist of 256MB and RAM will be fixed at 128MB. The same 2.8-inch, 240x320 pixel touchscreen of the Touch will do duty in the quad-band device.
Apple will revamp its click wheel iPod interface for a second time in as many years to accommodate at least the new tall iPod nano, according to a late leak from Gizmodo. While potentially inaccurate, the shots are unusually detailed and reveal an interface influenced by the iPhone, including icon-like menu items and a tall Now Playing screen with much larger cover art and translucent playback overlays.
A new web-based "Get a Mac" ad from Apple is being circulated online, through sites such as TIME.com. The ad relies on two separate banners, each with video; the focus is on the right one, where "PC" (John Hodgman) drags in an op-ed article, entitled "Stop Switching to Mac." PC claims that people are switching to Macs at an "alarming rate," and that the public needs to know about the crisis.
Sony today at last branched into full-frame digital SLRs with the Alpha A900. The camera aims to outsize both Canon and Nikon with a 24.6-megapixel full-frame sensor, the company's first, that Sony claims is also extra-flat and has on-chip DACs that minimize noise as early as possible in the shot. The electronics maker also outfits the A900 with a 100 percent optical viewfinder and dual BIONZ imaging processors that keep the frame rate up during shooting: it can manage up to five frames per second at full resolution. A new mirror box design for the SLR mechanism makes sure these features don't swell the camera's size.
The creator of CrushFTP has released v4.9 of the program, introducing a number of minor and major changes. The software operates as a file server, and supports a number of FTP, HTTP and WebDAV protocols. The update adds support for the WebDAV changes in Mac OS X 10.5.3, and a new file encryption option, which encrypts files as they are uploaded but decrypts them for authorized downloaders.
Currently Apple's online store has a wide selection of refurbished iPods from the previous generation 2GB iPod nano in silver ($79) to the current generation 1GB iPod shuffle ($39) in silver, blue, green and purple. Current generation 8GB iPod nanos ($149) are also available in silver, blue, green, black or pink. The iPod classic is available in two configurations 80GB ($179) or 160GB ($279) with two colors to chose from, black or silver. Three iPod touch configurations complete the collection: 8GB (199), 16GB ($299), and 32GB ($399).
Sony this morning gave a glimpse to Americans of future VAIO updates with the launch of a pair of new notebooks in Japan. The VAIO AW replaces the AR and has some of the same barrel-hinged design cues as the FW. Also like its smaller cousin, the AW switches from a smaller 16:10 ratio display to a larger 16:9 display, in this case moving to a new 18.4-inch, 1920x1080 panel suited to playing movies from the notebook's stock Blu-ray drive. Sony claims extreme color accuracy at 104 percent of the NTSC color gamut for the base LCD; an LED-backlit screen is even richer at 137 percent of the spectrum.
(Updated with more leaked info) Apple is very likely to match expectations when it announces new iPods at its "Let's Rock" event today, according to multiple last-minute reports. A new claim floated by MacRumors confirms MacNN's Friday scoop of 4G iPod nanos in new colors and suggests that both 8GB and 16GB models will be available with newer and more vibrant colors than the existing models; the example cites the already shown orange as well as purple and yellow as new candidates. As many as nine colors may be available, the alleged sources say.
Featured DealNN deals for today include a selection of iPods and iPod accessories. The Soldius1 universal solar charger is a portable solar panel designed for use with iPods, cell phones, GPS and other mobile devices. It is available at Buy.com for only $20.
Sony Ericsson used the opening of the second CTIA show of the year to launch the G705. The device is another of the cellphone maker's 3.2-megapixel slider cameraphones but is fairly unique among Sony Ericsson phones in supporting full HTML web browsing as well as an iPhone-like tilt sensor that auto-rotates to landscape view. The handset also combines its HSDPA-based 3G access with Wi-Fi to produce full-speed Internet access indoors and will be one of the first Sony Ericsson phones to gain native YouTube support for both uploads and downloads; more information will be available later, the company says.
Although pricing information was not mentioned, Russia-based Vimpelcom on Monday announced it would offer the iPhone with no subsidy, since Russian law dictates that locked phone are illegal. Reuters reveals that Vimpelcom CEO Alexander Izosimov confirmed the move at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit, continuing upon an official launch confirmation in late August. An estimated half-million unlocked iPhone handsets already see use by Russians.
The first line of defense to keep unauthorized people from messing with your Mac is your password. Choose a simple password and it will be easy for you to type and remember, but also just as easy for someone else to guess. Choose a more complicated password and thereís a good chance youíll forget or mistype it, and wind up locking yourself out of your own computer. Since passwords can be bothersome to use, consider using the Rohos Logon Key for the Mac.
AT&T on Tuesday launched its Total Home DVR service for U-verse customers, allowing recordings to be played back from any TV in the home. Using an IP network, the content is no longer restricted to playback just on the TV where it is recorded. Total Home DVR can play back four recorded standard definition shows at once or three in high definition. Up to 133 hours of SD programs can be recorded or 37 hours of HD. Series of shows are organized into a single tab from the first menu to improve the content management.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
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