MacVide has released MacVide 3gp Converter 1.7, a maintenance release of the mobile-phone video converter that fixes some bugs and tweaks performance of the application. The converter supports MOV, 3GP, MPEG, AVI and other video standards. It allows users to crop into the video area and adjust the bit rate, frame rate, video resolution, converting the video file to .3gp or .3g2 for use with mobile devices.
Forum roundup: MacNN forum goers today discuss the release of the new iPhone firmware 2.1 upgrade. One forum member contemplates the usefulness of the iPod touch and iPhone in this thread. Paranoia expressed in one story about a perceived security flaw in the iPhone is debated in the thread titled "your iPhone is watching you". Members discuss the Genius feature in iTunes 8 in response to a question posed about blocking data sharing. One Dedicated MacNNer is having problems with OS X frequently freezing and finds some tips and advice in this thread.
CalDigit has announced a new line of RAID storage options entitled Quadra. The Quadra RAID offers two 3.5" swappable drive mounts, which allows for quick replacement and changing of drives. The Quadra features an intergace that supports USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 and eSATA, this allows drives to perform at up to 200MB per second. The Quadra RAID offers support for four different modes RAID 0, 1, JBOD and concatenated which can be set via a Graphic User Interface or with switch on the RAID itself. The casing also sports a orange backlit LCD screen that indicates RAID capacity, RAID information as well as an environmental monitor.
videoNEXT has announced the availability of SKM-Mobile, its physical security information management solution, for the iPhone. The software gives iPhone users access to the videoNEXT Security Knowledge Manager (SKM) video surveillance system, allowing mobile video monitoring. The app features user-name and password protection, and provides the ability to monitor and control cameras and receive alarms from the SKM system. It incorporates advanced video analytic technology to send alarms/alerts to the iPhone when user-defined events occur. iPhone users can also playback recorded and/or archived video on the phone.
Recordare has released a W3C XML Schema Definition (XSD) version of its MusicXML 2.0 format. A new version of its Finale plug-in, Dolet 4.5, has also been released. The new XSD format enhances precision definition beyond what Document Type Definition (DTD) was capable of in earlier versions. Recordare claims this adaptation will also make it easier for developers to use the latest XML tools, databases, and code generators.
RIM will be introducing three new color options for its Blackberry Pearl 8120 device, according to TmoNews. Customers will be able to choose from Black Emerald, Indigo, or Frost. With the bridging capabilities of the 8120, T-Mobile users can drift between cell networks and Wi-Fi connections (T-Mobile HotSpots or HotSpot@Home) without dropping the call. The trio of new colors is scheduled to launch on October 15.
A set of technical standards being developed behind closed doors by a United Nations agency that would potentially curb usersí ability to remain anonymous on the Internet has privacy advocates and technologists alarmed, according to a Friday report. The standards are proposed by the Chinese government and the US National Security Agency is also part of the IP Traceback drafting group, named Q6/17. Headed up the by the UNís International Telecommunication Union, the group is due to meet next week to work on the proposal, though the meeting will be closed to the media and public, the report suggests.
With the release of the new iPod models Apple's online store has reduced the price on their refurbished iPods from the previous generation 4GB iPod nano in silver ($99) to the 1GB iPod shuffle ($39) in silver, blue, green and purple. 8GB iPod nanos ($129) are also available in silver, blue, green, black or pink. The iPod classic is available in two configurations 80GB ($169) or 160GB ($249) with two colors to chose from, black or silver. Three iPod touch configurations complete the collection: 8GB (179), 16GB ($239), and 32GB ($319). Apple peripherals include the Apple wireless keyboard for $69, 20-inch Apple display for $499, and the 23-inch for $749.
ION on Friday announced the release of the Drum Rocker, a premium drum set for the Rock Band 2 video game. The drum set is fully adjustable and configurable, allowing users to change the set-up of each drum and cymbal in addition to offering accessories. A drum module from third parties will even turn the gaming controller into a professional standalone electronic drum set.
Stone Design has released version 1.3 of its Twittelator and Twittelator Pro iPhone clients. The update fixes many bugs with the iPhone/iPod touch 2.1 software update, which was negatively affecting previous versions. Twittelator Pro mainly differs from its sibling through four themes and support for unlimited accounts, with the ability to quickly switch between them.
The replacement for the HTC Touch, earlier reported to be named the HTC Touch Opal, will officially be called HTC Touch Viva instead, a Friday report suggests. The name is not set in stone, but at the same time, the report confirms specs gleaned earlier. What is new is an initial Asian release, though no guesses are made as to an exact date. Europe should get the new HTC Touch handset on September 30, with prices set at an equivalent of about $425.
CBS is on the verge of launching its first iPhone app, according to a report form this week's CTIA expo. The app, titled EyeMobile, is not yet on the App Store, but has allegedly already been approved by Apple, and should be released within the near future. It serves as an extension of CBS' EyeMobile website, which accepts photos and videos from the public as a supplement to normal press coverage; on an iPhone, submitting photos to the site is automated.
Kenwood on Friday announced it will soon launch two portable media players as part of its MG-E Media Keg series with either 2GB or 4GB of internal memory. Either will sport a microSDHC card slot, allowing that memory to be expanded by another 12GB. Both feature a 1.5-inch six-line OEL display and better audio quality than older Kenwood DAPs thanks to a new and improved DAC. Supported file formats include MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC, with content transferred from computers via a USB 2.0 connection.
Toshiba has jumped onto the netbook bandwagon with its surprise entry, the 8.9-inch Satellite NB105, according to a Friday report. Thus far, the netbook is only linked to Toshiba Mexico, and features Intelís 1.6GHz Atom CPU that is widely used in competing products. Backed by 1GB of RAM, the netbook will eschew costly flash drives in favor of a traditional HDD with a 120GB capacity. Other cost-cutting measures include the limited spec, giving users the basics such as Wi-Fi connectivity and an Ethernet LAN controller, but no Bluetooth or 3G connection options.
Apple's iPhone 2.1 update has been under early testing by MacNN and Electronista staff on iPhone 3G units, and at this stage appears to be a definite upgrade over the 2.0.x releases. The software's defining trait isn't a new feature but rather its speed. Where 2.0 was frequently choppy while entering text or even just in some transitions, 2.1 appears to be seamless and smooth -- that is, what Apple had originally promised and delivered with its 1.x software.
Almost everyone has had an idea for a computer program, but trying to convert those ideas into a working application has usually meant using confusing, complicated tools and learning cryptic programming languages such as C++. To make programming more accessible for novices and more productive for veteran programmers, Runtime Revolution offers a unique cross-platform development tool dubbed Revolution 3.0.
Centrix's NetworkLocation 3.0, a Mac OS X application that automatically adjusts user settings based on location, has launched with integrated Wi-Fi positioning from Skyhook Wireless. With Skyhook support the software can automatically recognize its location and act according to presets, launching programs as well as changing printers, wallpaper, and the locking status of Keychain. The app can also launch scripts or actions.
Freestyle Audio and Skullcandy have together introduced the first devices to use color mirasol displays. The still rare technology uses conductive plates to reflect light and change the wavelength to produce different colors in many small elements that make up each individual pixel. As the approach not only doesn't require a backlight but actively reflects ambient light, the displays are both very thin and power efficient but also near-perfectly visible outdoors, making them ideal fits for technology used outside. The small size also creates very sharp output compared to large LCD or even OLED pixels.
Celmaro has released a v1.1 update to its visual management system for bookmarks, Webbla. The software creates webpage thumbnails for each bookmark, and allows personalized organization. The patch focuses on adding support for more web browsers, along with a feature that searches and filters website content. Bookmarks can now be added or modified directly within Camino, Firefox, Omniweb, Opera and Safari, all with user-definable shortcuts. Webbla 1.1 can be downloaded as a 15-day trial, or purchased with a single-user license for $15.
Real Arcade's The Game of Life - Path to Success for the Mac is now available at the Macgamestore. The game is based on the classic board game, featuring 3D graphics, new gameplay and 50 levels of play. It also offers mini-games for quick play. The digital download costs $20 and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher.
Bare Bones Software has released BBEdit 9.0.1, adding two new features and a large number of bugfixes to the Mac-based code and text editor. The update adds the command "Open in additional window" to browser windows, in addition to the original View menu, and adds toolbar visibility tracking to project documents. Version 9.0.1 also features 49 documented bugfixes.
Virgin Mobile plans to carry Helio's planned Ocean sequel but doesn't have plans for it until next year, says company spokesperson Jayne Wallace. Although confirming that the device has been built and that Virgin will take over releasing the device to market, Wallace says the new Ocean isn't yet ready and that it should be launched in early 2009, when it will perform as "best" as possible. Little is known about the Pantech-made device other than that it should continue to use a dual slider and that it will have a cosmetic makeover.
Computer bag and case maker WaterField Designs has announced iPod Suede Jackets for the new iPod Nano and iPod touch models released Tuesday. The new cases, offered in black only, are custom-fitted to the dimensions of the new iPods, can double as a screen cleaner and are available with or without a rear mesh pocket. They are available for pre-order now and will ship September 16.
BenQ has decided to join the netbook market, according to reports. The company is said to be working on two such systems, both under the Joybook Lite moniker, with an 8.9-inch model due in October and a widescreen, 10.2-inch edition shipping in November. The systems should be equipped with Windows XP and Intel Atom processors, as well as built-in 3G connectivity. Pricing should be equivalent to $468 US, though this is based off of a domestic Taiwanese figure.
A French Canon DSLR news site claims to have the newest updates on the specifications of the upcoming Canon 5D Mark II. The new report has the camera using a 24MP, 24x36mm CMOS sensor and a new grip making up the magnesium alloy case. Like the recently unveiled D90 from competitor Nikon, the 5D Mark II allegedly offers a similar movie recording mode, previously reported as being capable of recording HD content. The same DIGIC IV sensor that debuted on the 50D, which was unveiled in late August, will also be used on the 5D MkII.
The severe economic situation may finally affect Apple as it heads into 2009, says Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. The analyst comments that while the number of Macs sold during the September quarter should prove to be healthy, thanks to the school season and Apple's free iPod deal, "low visibility" is predicted during the upcoming December and March quarters, which may affect Apple's manufacturing plans. This might not be as much of an issue, Wu suggests, if global and domestic economies were not in poor shape.
A blog entry by Mary-Jo Foley posted on Thursday suggests Microsoft will not make the Beta version of its Windows 7 operating system available to testers at either its October Professional Developers Conference or Novemberís Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, as expected by many in the industry. While the software giant is likely to unveil new information about the new operating system that is to be Vistaís successor, the actual Beta 1 versions arenít likely to be released until the middle of December, Foley claims, citing industry sources familiar with the schedule who do not want to be named.
Creative is readying itself for a new X-Fi product launch next week, the copmany has revealed through an invite sent out to an Engadget reader. The invite for the September 17th event provides only a brief glimpse of a device with the X-Fi logo and states that the brand is "heard everywhere," hinting that the launch is for one or more portable devices. No other details have been revealed through the message.
On its corporate blog on Friday, Dell announced the details of the enhancements to its warranty on the 15 notebook models equipped with the problematic NVIDIA GPUs. Specifically, the company will extend the limited warranty by 12 months for notebooks that are suffering from the overheating problems by the NVIDIA GPU cards only by up to a maximum of 60 months. If buyers purchased an extended 60-month warranty, they will not be eligible for the extension.
HD versions of TV episodes downloaded from the iTunes Store are being overwritten for some users, Apple support discussion shows. Whenever users buy an HD version of a program, iTunes downloads the HD copy first, followed by an SD version. While the software is meant to keep both side-by-side, the SD version appears to be overwriting the earlier one, leaving shoppers without the video they originally paid for. The problem also appears to be inconsistent, affecting some episodes in a download queue but not others.
HP is exploring development of its own Linux variant designed just for the home, according to insiders speaking with BusinessWeek. The software would be simpler than most Linux distributions and would be specifically designed to avoid a dependence on Microsoft's Windows operating systems on consumer systems, which have been forced to move to Vista despite a poor reaction to the platform. Details of the operating system are otherwise unknown.
Today's deals at DealNN include a selection of Mac computers at low prices. First off for $999 is the refurbished 2.4GHz 20-inch iMac with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive from the Apple store. Also for $999 (after mail in rebate) is the 2.1GHz MacBook in white with 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive from MacConnection.
Dockland Software has released Fantasktik 1.1, an update to its taskbar application that allows one-click window switching. The update adds an auto-hide option with a user-set time delay, support for Spaces, and Cocoa-based application awareness to prevent Cocoa programs from appearing under the Fantasktik taskbar. Also added in the update is auto-hiding when applications go fullscreen and mouse-support for scrolling through windows. Version 1.1 also fixes a multiple monitor bug.
Apple has used iTunes to release its promised iPhone 2.1 update to the public. Although it adds the Genius playlist feature also seen in the iPod touch 2.1 firmware, the primary focus is stated to be improving long-standing connection issues, by reducing call drops and "set-up failures." Other iPhone-specific changes include improved accuracy in the 3G signal meter, and better performance in terms of text messaging, with the option for repeating an alert up to two more times for incoming texts.
Western Digital on Friday began shipping the 500GB Scorpio Blue, the company's largest-capacity notebook drive. Claiming a record in the process, Western Digital says the disk is the only one to make no sacrifices in size or speed to reach its storage goal. The Serial ATA drive is as tall as normal notebook hard drives at 9.5mm (0.37in) and spins at the same 5,400RPM as most other 2.5-inch disks. Quietness is also considered paramount with an optimized seeking process cutting down on the noise generated by the drive head.
iTunes 8 may be causing "blue screen of death" crashes within Windows Vista, according to various users. Some visitors to Apple's support forums complain that when they attempt to plug an iPod or iPhone into a PC, their systems crash immediately, forcing a reboot. iTunes is believed to be responsible mainly due to the timing of the crashes, and a Vista error message, referencing an Apple-supplied USB driver. "I think it's safe to say then that either Apple's USB driver shipped with iTunes 8 is broken on Vista, or it's causing a problem with some other common Vista driver," claims one user.
Sony today continued a spate of notebook introductions by introducing a pair of the least expensive Blu-ray capable notebooks available. The 15.4-inch VAIO NS replaces the NR and upgrades the budget notebook with options that Sony has normally reserved for its mid-range or higher systems; helped in part by newer Intel 4500 integrated graphics that help offload video decoding, the NS can be equipped with a Blu-ray combo drive while still sitting at the $1,000 mark. It also introduces a new AV menu that not only supports media playback but also shortcuts to favorite apps and websites.
British online retailer Tesco today unintentionally slipped details of the Dell Inspiron Z530. The portable appears to be the final version of the E Slim netbook leaked earlier in the year and would sit considerably above the Inspiron Mini 9 in terms of performance. Beyond the larger display, which outputs at at a much sharper 1366x768 resolution, the system would switch to a 40GB hard drive instead of the 16GB flash-based maximum of the Mini and would carry 1GB of RAM as a minimum.
Panasonic chose Friday to break new ground with the launch of the Lumix G1, the first known production camera based on the Micro Four Thirds pseudo-SLR system. The absence of the traditional mirror and a smaller lens mount produce a 12.1-megapixel camera which is both the smallest and lightest to carry swappable lenses but which still has the sensor size and focusing abilities of a more typical DSLR. The lenses themselves are often half the size and weight of a regular SLR parallel.
ATTO has unveiled the Celerity FC-84EN, a quad channel 8-Gb fibre channel PCIe 2.0 host adapter. The Celerity boasts FC speeds up to 1600MB per second per channel. Combining the capabilities of a x8 PCI Express 2.0 bus with four fibre channel connections allows for a combined speed of 6400MB per second (aggregate 3200 read or write). The card is also back-compatible with PCIe 1.1 and 4-Gb or 2-Gb FC connections, depending on the needs of the system.
EastWest has unveiled Xsample Chamber Ensemble, a library of virtual solo instruments for chamber music and chamber orchestra. Thousands of different combinations can be created, representing a wide variety of styles, according to EastWest. The instruments can be used live or sequenced for recordings. Violins, piccolo, flute, clarinet, concert harp, Steinway piano, celesta, xylophone, glockenspiel, cymbals, watergong, diatonic steeldrum, friction drums and Jew's harps are just a few of the many available options.
Kayo games as released its latest Mac game, PlayDetective: Heartbreakers. Gamers take the role of a PI that investigates infidelity cases. The subjects in question are monitored using different surveillance techniques and tools. Phone conversations can be monitored with wiretaps, text messages can be recovered, and lie detector tests can be used to interrogate individuals.
Sonnet Technologies has announced the Tempo SATA Pro ExpressCard/34 two-port SATA host controller. The company claims sustained throughput speeds up to 200MB/Sec, designed for video capture/editing or other tasks requiring fast transfer. As an example, using Sonnet's F2 portable RAID drives configured as RAID 0 set connected to the Tempo, the company claims sustained speeds of 131MB per second for write and 133MB per second read.
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a new ad featuring founder Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, cozying up to an allegedly typical American family in an attempt to discover what the average user wants. The ad follows in the same vein as the first, comprised mostly of Seinfeld's well-known comedy style "about nothing." Both Seinfeld and Gates portray a character who act like opposites of their commonly perceived personality, with a food delivery driver being told by Gates that he has "got nothing" when it comes time to pay the tab, Seinfeld handing the teen an old Greek coin.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for ‚ā¨30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives