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MacUpdate has extended its application bundle Back-to-School promotion until tomorrow and unlocked the last app, Lightzone. The promotion offers 10 software titles, with a combined normal price over $600, to be purchased as a package for $50. The list of applications includes HookUp, Alarm Clock Pro, Periscope, DEVONagent, Mellel, Norrkross Movie, Bookends, MacJournal, Contactizer Pro, and Lightzone.
Just a day after Apple's official announcement of updated iPods, the team at iFixit has already taken apart the second generation iPod touch and fourth generation iPod Nano, providing pictures of the process as well. iFixit provides parts and disassembly pictures for many Apple products, including these new devices. Arguably the most interesting detail found under the hood was a Bluetooth chip in the iPod touch, a feature that Apple has so far kept quiet about.
FreedomVOICE has launched a beta program for Newber, a combination iPhone app and cellular service. The software allows users to have an additional number on their iPhone, enabling users to have a "business" line without revealing their personal iPhone. Users can also redirect calls meant for the iPhone to nearby cellular or landline phones to either help conserve battery life or in the case of landlines, offer improved reception; users key in a number at a particular location, and the iPhone then marks the place through GPS, allowing calls to be switched over whenever a user is in the vicinity. FreedomVOICE claims that the service is ideal for people experiencing bad reception, and that calls can be handed off without interruptions.
Tunewear today announced new protective cases and clear film for the iPod touch 2G. The new silicone case, ICEWEAR, features ribbed texture for solid grip. The LCD screen is not covered, but the silicone case edges extend slightly past the surface for protection when the iPod is placed face down. TUNEFILM is provided if added screen protection is desired. All ports remain unobstructed, allowing the USB cable to be used without removing the case. Small holes are found on the back for attaching lanyards or wrist straps.
Skooba Design has unveiled several new notebook bags, including the Midnight Luxe Satchel, Sidekick, and TSA compliant Checkthrough that will fit MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The Midnight Luxe Satchel features black microsuede construction with silver trim and hardware, similar to the Skooba Skin but with additional pockets. The Sidekick is a messenger style bag with over a dozen pockets and compartments. The complete bag only weights 35 oz, with "air-filled protection cells" to cushion the area below the notebook.
DB Solo has released the latest version of its SQL Query tool, DB Solo 3.5. DB Solo is a tool for cross-platform database query. Features include visual explain plan, database data comparison, schema comparison, import tools, J2EE code generator, and schema scripting. Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris are all supported, in addition to major DBMS products including Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase, H2 Postgres, MySQL, and Solid.
Sonnet Technologies today launched its Fusion F3 RAID storage system. Two 3.5 inch SATA RAID drives used, with offered capacities between 1TB and 3TB. The drives can be configured in a concatenated array for maximum space, RAID 0 for speed, or RAID 1 for data protection. Transfer speeds using are claimed to be as high as 165 MB/sec using RAID 0. Users can choose between eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400, or USB2.0 connections.
GETAC has launched its latest rugged notebook/tablet, the V100. An optional LED backlit display achieves a brightness of 1200 nits (candelas per square meter) and uses anti-reflective technology to reduce glare for easy viewing in direct sunlight, all without sacrificing battery life, according to GETAC. The V100 can be used as a notebook or tablet, with full 180 degree rotation of the screen. Following the tradition of other GETAC products, the V100 is MIL-STD810F and IP54 compliant for protection against water, dust, and shock.
Gefen has introduced a new rack mount product for systems integration, a 1:5 Splitter for HDMI over CAT-5. One HDMI source signal can be simultaneously sent to five different displays. Four displays can be placed up to 45 meters away on CAT-5 and still receive full 1080p resolution. The distance can be doubled if the resolution is reduced to 1080i. Video and audio signals are sent using two cables.
Proavia has unveiled its latest pro audio recording device, the S4UF FireWire disk array. The rack-mount solution uses a dual layer enclosure, claimed to reduce noise generated by disc cooling. Four hot-swappable 7200rpm serial ATA drives can used individually or connected as a RAID array for data protection. The S4UF is compatible with Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Cakewalk, Samplitude, Nuendo, Cubase, Final Cut Studio, and other software.
System and portable memory maker Kingston on Wednesday introduced the 8GB Multi-Kit and 4GB microSDHC card plus USB reader, meant to make transferring data between computers, mobile devices and cellphones quicker and easier. The 8GB Multi-Kit includes an 8GB microSDHC memory card along with a mini- and full-size adapter and a USB reader that allows the memory card to be used with the majority of computers, portable electronics and cellphones out on the market.
An ultra-low cost PC was unveiled by HiVision at the IFA show by Chinese manufacturer HiVision, prompting comparisons to and fresh criticism of the OLPC notebook, as the former offers many of the same features at the latter's originally intended price. The Linux-based notebook, called the HiVision miniNote Linux Laptop, reportedly features a MIPS-based processor and 128MB or RAM along with built-in Wi-Fi and just 1GB of flash memory. The paltry amount of memory will be offset with an SDHC card reader and three USB ports. An Ethernet jack will also be standard fare, along with audio inputs and outputs.
A lawsuit filed against NVIDIA on Tuesday alleges the graphics card maker not only knew about a serious flaw that caused some of its graphics chips products to overheat but also kept it hidden from the public for at least eight months, says a Wednesday report. When the company did acknowledge issues with its products back in July, its shares fell by nearly a third and the company pledged to put away $200 million to cover warranty costs. The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, claims NVIDIA violated US securities laws by making false and misleading statements to the investing public.
Yahoo on Wednesday announced it would offer oneConnect for the iPhone, with a preview version available for download from the iTunes App Store. Yahoo oneConnect allows users to integrate contacts, send SMS and Y!IM messages, connect to various social networking sites, and more. oneConnect supports Bebo, Dopplr, Facebook, Flickr, Friendster, Last.fm, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube. US and Canadian residents can download Yahoo oneConnect preview from iTunes for no charge.
The Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology that promises to offer wireless transfer speeds as fast as 100Mbps has begun testing with Motorola and a number of wireless provider companies that include Verizon Wireless, a Wednesday report suggests. According to the report, Motorola Vietnam and head of technology for the company’s Asia division Ray Owen said the company will begin introducing commercial products that take advantage of the technology in 2009.
Arten Science has released a new Mac application, ScreenAudit. The program takes screen captures from multiple monitors and webcams at timed intervals, and archives them for future reference. Users can select time intervals, destination folders, and the size of JPG files. For people that work on computers and bill for time, the image history can be used to help determine what tasks were being done and for how long.
Hewlett Packard and fashion designer Vivienne Tam unveiled the newest product they collaborated on this past Tuesday at the New York Fashion Week. Believed to be based on the 8.9-inch Mini-Note HP 2133, the HP Vivienne Tam Special Edition notebook sports a 10-inch screen, and while other specs are slim, they are likely shared with the more traditional Mini-Note. The peony flower design seen in the photos extends under the keyboard, while a storage sleeve protects the outside surface from scratches while the ‘digital accessory’ is carried like a clutch. The world-renowned designer also helped design the notebook’s accessories and packaging.
One chapter is coming to an end in ongoing legal battles Apple executives have been fighting over backdated stock options. Pending approval at a hearing in October, the defendants will settle 14 federal and 5 state cases for $14 million, plus attorneys' fees and other costs, creating a total settlement package worth nearly $23 million. The source of the trouble regards the misreporting of backdated options grants between 1997 and 2002, which has in various forms cost Apple at least $84 million.
Wisconsin Democratic Senator and Antitrust Committee head Herb Kohl today submitted an open letter to the heads of all four major carriers in the US challenging them to justify the reasons for what appear to be unnecessarily high fees for SMS text messaging. The representative notes that non-plan text rates have doubled on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon since 2005 but that the cost of transferring a message across the network should have remained the same or declined since that point, suggesting attempts to inflate profits per message.
Israelis and others can now use Mac OS X in Hebrew, says Apple's official distributor in the country, iDigital. Although versions of the operating system have been available elsewhere and in many languages since 2001, this is the first official translation of the software for Israel, developed over the course of two months. The company says it was assisted by a collection of third-party testers.
SecureMac has unveiled the latest version of its anti-spyware program, MacScan 2.6. This latest version features an improved user interface and supports FireFox 3, with new cookie scanning and browser cache cleaning. New spyware definitions and an updated malicious cookie list have also been included. This program finds spyware on computers, isolates it, and removes the files through real-time scanning and other detection methods. MacScan 2.6 is available as a free update for current users or $30 for a new license.
Apple has posted an online copy of the first TV ad for the second-generation iPod touch. The ad concentrates primarily on the gaming capabilities of the Touch, and highlights titles currently sold through the App Store, such as Super Monkey Ball and a variety of racing and puzzle titles. The spot concludes with a user going back to music, and Apple's new marketing slogan for the device, "The funnest iPod ever."
Sony has created a third-generation iPod/iPhone clock radio dock with a new look, the ICF-CD3iP, according to an apparent leak by Sony Insider. The unannounced dock would have a unique, circular side pod that both holds a clock, AM/FM radio and CD player and simplifies the controls with obvious front buttons to control playback. A side pod would hold the Apple device itself.
(Updated with carrier info) Sony Ericsson today countered rumors of software-related delays for the XPERIA X1 by announcing a launch date for the device in some countries. The company's first full touchscreen and first Windows Mobile phone will be available on September 30th in Germany, the UK, and the company's Swedish home. Phones will also be ready in most of Europe, South Africa, and some countries in Latin America and the Middle East later in the fall.
Sprint this afternoon slipped a seventh phone unveiling into its CTIA expo plans and launched the promised BlackBerry 8350i. The device is the first Curve to support the provider's Nextel iDEN network and sets up a push-to-talk call with as many 20 total users in the space of a second, making it ideal for outdoor travelers or workers who want a BlackBerry's "push" mail but with instant voice as well. It moreover stands as the most feature-laden Curve with both GPS and Wi-Fi, either of which is normally available only by itself on other carriers.
Virgin Mobile today bore the first fruits of its takeover of Helio by introducing the Personal Communication Devices (formerly UTStarCom) Shuttle. The device is Virgin's first 3G phone and uses the faster EVDO network for several features that are either borrowed from Helio or were previously inaccessible to Virgin's phones, including quick access to multiple social networks as well as Buddy Beacon for finding friends and YouTube for web video.
Microsoft today finished off a set of peripheral announcements with one final update to the SideWinder gaming series. The X8 wireless mouse is considered by the company to be one of the quickest and most precise mice yet through a combination of technologies. It uses the same BlueTrack blue LED sensing as the new Explorer mice to properly track over more surfaces but also boosts the sensitivity to as much as 4,000DPI, twice as much as the corded SideWinder X5 and enough to match faster gaming or those with very large displays.
Internet-based movie and TV show rental and store company VUDU may be planning on offering high-definition downloads that are equal in quality to Blu-ray movies, according to a Wednesday a report. While nothing is official, the Engadget claim suggests beta testing has commenced for a new content format, which VUDU calls HDX. If the company brings the option to market, it will need to address the lead time it would take for the higher-than-HD movie to download, as it is believed to be at least two hours before users can start watching.
A new iPhone application, named Sekai ("World") Camera, was demoed earlier this week. The software allows users to geotag any real-world location with helpful information for travelers, using the iPhone's camera to determine what a person is looking at. This then combines with previous geotags from others, providing a collective information resource. No release date or pricing information has been announced.
Amazon.com has posted pre-orders for two upcoming pieces of hardware, the SlingCatcher and the Slingbox PRO-HD. The former, priced at $300, is designed to bring media to a TV without a computer or extended cable, and sources from a USB drive, a monitor, or a Slingbox feed. No release date has been set, but the timing of the pre-order suggests a release later this fall.
Following the release of new iPod nano, touch and classic models yesterday, Belkin has announced a series of new accessories for each player. The Sports Armband and Sport Armband Plus were made to allow users to quickly attach an iPod to their arm. The Plus version features a FastFit system, which allows one-handed fastening. Both products are compatible with Nike+, and are available for the Nano 4G, Touch 2G and Classic 2G at a price of $30.
T-Mobile is finally set to introduce its G1 smartphone this month, according to separate sources allegedly slipping information to Reuters. The news outlet claims that Google and T-Mobile will team up for a special event in New York to announce the first phone based on Android and that September 23rd has been mentioned as the most likely date for the press gathering. Neither of the involved companies has been able or willing to comment.
Wrapping up its phone introductions, Sprint today launched one LG and one Motorola phone for different audiences. The LG Lotus appears targeted at the Verizon Blitz and has a short, squat design built for messaging. In place of the Blitz's slider, the Lotus uses a flip phone layout. LG's device is also pitched as a designer model with an ornate textured pattern and comes with more advanced features than the budget Verizon model, including a two-megapixel camera, full 3G data and stereo Bluetooth audio. External music controls are also part of the design.
Apple's newly-released iTunes 8 may be causing problems for owners of AirPort Express routers, complaints on Apple forums suggest. Accounts mention the software displaying error codes when trying to use the AirTunes option, used to stream music wirelessly to remote speakers. Once an Express is connected to distant speakers, iTunes normally allows users to pick a particular set of audio outputs.
Continuing its phone launches, Sprint today launched two Samsung phones geared alternately at music and text. The Highnote brings the concept of a dual-sliding phone down from high-end Nokia and Samsung smartphones to mid-range devices: while one direction offers the usual keypad, sliding the opposite direction exposes hidden speakers that put out more powerful sound than most phone speakers can manage. The device also touts an iPod-like control pad and microSDHC card support for up to 16GB of music or videos.
Although Apple is headed in the right direction, it still hasn't gone far enough in pricing for the iPod touch, claims analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. The new 8, 16 and 32GB models have dropped in cost compared to their predecessors, by as much as $100 in the case of the larger players, but Wu argues that this is still too high, mainly in relation to the terrible economic environment. The other major concern is the iPhone 3G, which is comparatively cheap next to the Touch, even if the former is tied to monthly carrier fees.
Finnish cell phone giant Nokia on Tuesday announced it now offers the world’s most popular business-grade email solution by making it available for free on about 80 million cellphones. Exactly 43 of the company’s cellphone models with the Symbian S60 3rd Edition operating system will either have the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync corporate e-mail software pre-installed or else let users download the upgrade free of charge. This, Nokia believes, makes it the most popular corporate email solution.
HTC is gearing up to launch yet another Touch phone that would outperform most of its touchscreen competitors, a MoDaCo leak suggests. So far known only as the Touch HD, the Windows Mobile 6.1 handset would revolve around an extremely high-resolution 800x480 widescreen while using new design elements to keep the design small. The directional pad of the Diamond and upcoming Opal disappears entirely and leaves just the normal calling, back and home buttons.
Sprint marked the opening of CTIA with a slew of new phones, headlined by two HTC Windows Mobile devices aimed at giving the provider a greater edge in touchscreen phones. The HTC Touch Pro is a surprise entry and brings the touchscreen-plus-QWERTY slider design to the carrier's CDMA phone network, likely with EVDO Revision A-based 3G Internet access. In Sprint form, the device keeps the TouchFLO interface and 3.2-megapixel camera of the reference model but adds a 1GB microSD card to give the phone built-in storage.
Despite its nominal focus on new iPods and iTunes 8, the two most important factors for investors in yesterday's Apple event were unrelated, writes Needham & Co. The research firm says that perhaps the most crucial moment was the appearance of a healthy Steve Jobs, defeating rumors that the Apple CEO might not speak, due to serious medical problems. Jobs' media prominence and involvement in the minute details of Apple has led analysts to think the company could suffer badly in his absence, whether as a result of death or having to resign.
Quickly following up on a Japanese launch, Sony today brought the VAIO AW to the US. The notebook is Sony's largest yet and is targeted at photo and video editors, both amateur and professional, through its special display: the 18.4-inch LCD outputs at a 16:9 aspect ratio, 1920x1080 resolution that both fits HD video natively and generates color accuracy not normally found on notebook displays. Like the Japanese version, the stock LCD is already video-friendly at 104 percent of the NTSC color range, while an optional panel covers 137 percent and accurately portrays the Adobe RGB color space used by some photographers.
In an unusual move, Sony this morning announced a pair of full-size HD video cameras that includes a model specifically built for home users truly serious about making videos. The Handycam HDR-FX1000 is built like a professional's camera with a separate microphone boom and manual controls normally left off of camcorders, including the iris opening, gain and white balance; it brings the price down chiefly by trimming features unlikely to be used at home, such as XLR mic inputs and DVCAM support.
AMD started off Wednesday by setting a new relative ground floor for performance and hoping to beat NVIDIA's GeForce 9500 cards. The Radeon HD 4600 series is claimed to outperform both the 9500 GT and AMD's own earlier Radeon HD 3650 by including all the hardware optimizations of the 4800 series and still keeping 320 stream (visual effects) processors. It's also one of the least expensive graphics chipsets to support DirectX 10.1 and newer OpenGL 2.x visual effects, such as more precise lighting.
RIM today kicked off the CTIA mobile expo with the BlackBerry Pearl Flip. First nicknamed the Kickstart, the smartphone is the Canadian company's first clamshell and takes advantage of that to preview calls and messages without having to switch on or open the phone. It also has a relatively large internal LCD among flip phones with a 240x320 tall display. The launch variant of the Pearl Flip, the 8220, also builds in Wi-Fi Internet access and supports Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) for bridging cell and VoIP calling on those carriers that support the feature.
Every Mac comes with iTunes, but Windows users can also download and install a free copy of iTunes as well. The new 8.0 version of iTunes coincides with Apple’s latest announcement of iPod models, although you don’t need an iPod to take advantage of its handful of new features that makes this version even more fun to use for playing music and video.
Apparent Software has announced the latest version of its image framing utility, ImageFramer 2.1. The update allows users to use beveled mats, add shadows under the frames or mats, and adjust the direction of the light source. New linen liner designs are now available as well. The software is used to add frames to images, drawings, or other artwork, with adjustments for hue, tone, saturation, and brightness.
Apple today released Front Row 2.1.6 and MobileMe Control Panel 1.1 for Windows. Both updates contain bug fixes and compatibility with iTunes 8.0, which was also released today along with a new version of QuickTime. Apple has had a busy day for updates coinciding with its "Let's Rock" event promoting improved iPods. The new iTunes contains HD content for purchase and uses a "Genius" function to group similar playlist items.
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.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir