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MySpace tonight kicked off the formal appearance of MySpace Music, its first commercial music service. The feature takes advantage of existing hooks for streaming music to offer on-demand, ad-subsidized playback of full tracks from the website but also lets members purchase unprotected MP3s of songs through an Amazon MP3-supported system with similar prices; the normal MySpace Flash player now includes links to buy songs or add them to a playlist.
Toshiba on Wednesday unveiled a new 250GB 1.8-inch format hard drive, something the company claims to be an industry first. Sitting off a Serial ATA connector, the MKxx29GSG series drives now offer the highest density of data storage currently available, at 378.8 Gb per square inch, with a 15ms seek time. The drives, which are also available in 120GB and 160GB capacities, run at 5400RPM, and offer a free fall sensor option to help prevent damage to the drive platter.
After a public outcry, T-Mobile is reconsidering its stance on the 1GB data cap for the upcoming Android-based G1, and will only focus on users who repeatedly abuse their data connections. Engadget reveals that the move comes in response to protests against the limitations which were published on Tuesday, which would limit users' download speeds to 50Kbps should they pass a 1GB data cap. T-Mobile hopes the decision will sate users' expectations for the new device.
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes has released Dupin 1.4, the latest version of its iTunes duplicate file manager. Genius playlists are now recognized, and a "Refresh Playlist Popup" toolbar button and menu option. Users can choose to limit the number of duplicates that are detecting during each session, or toggle between deleting files or moving them to trash. A date formatting issue has been fixed, certain alert sounds removed, and the user interface updated.
The connectivity problems surrounding the iPhone 3G are likely a result the device itself, not the carrier, according to a Dow Jones report. Since the phone's launch in July, many customers have complained about dropped calls or poor internet connections. AT&T was the first focus of attention, accused of running a network that was overloaded by iPhone users.
Apple today released Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 2. This latest version is claimed to offer improved reliability and compatibility with Java SE 6, J2SE 5.0, and J2SE 1.4.2 on Mac OS X 10.5.4 or later. New security enhancements are offered, including protection against malicious applets from launching file://URLs. URL handling was improved to prevent an attacker from launching local files.
Apple today released a Java update for Mac OS X 10.4. The short description claims improved reliability and compatibility with Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0 and Java 1.4 on OS X 10.4.11 and later. An error checking issue has been fixed, now preventing malicious websites from executing arbitrary code. Another security enhancement prevents untrusted Java applets from obtaining higher privileges, also preventing them from executing arbitrary code. Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 7 is available as a free download from Apple.
Skyfire today announced the release of its Skyfire mobile browser into public beta. The browser touts its support of Flash, Ajax, Quicktime, Windows Media, and other rich media content compatibility. The company intends to add capabilities to Skyfire that are currently exclusive to desktop systems. Based on feedback from the private beta, the browser now includes a "Super Bar" that combines the URL and search entry into one place.
Relevant Equity Systems has released the latest version of its private equity software, Relevant EquityWorks 6. The redesigned user interface offers improved data entry and listing screens, enhanced navigation and task panels, and real-time dashboards. Wizards are now available to assist users with learning the product functions and controls. The software is now compatible with Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007, and Mac OS X.
Forum roundup: Recently MacNN forum goers have reported more occurrences of Safari crashing since the new 2.1 software upgrade. One member is looking for a way to stream eyetv online so it can be watched, via a web based service, away from home. A question about the new version of VLC player is discussed in this thread. A debate about the best RAM configuration for a MacBook is the topic of this thread. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is having difficulty turning off FileVault and finds some suggestions from other forum goers.
Howling Moon Software has released SribBall, an arcade and puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch. This release is based on the Mac game that shares the same name. Users change the direction that the balls fall by tilting the iPhone. When four balls of the same color touch, they pop, allowing more to pour down from the top.
Apple's online store is currently offering a selection of refurbished Macs for under $1000. First off is the 20-inch iMac with 1GB of memory and 250GB hard drive. Two processor speeds are available; the 2.0GHz model is $949 while the 2.4GHz model is $999. Next up is the 2.1GHz MacBook in white for $899 with 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive. Last is the Mac mini for $679 with 1GB of memory, 120GB hard drive and 2.0GHz processor.
Information Appliance Associates has released its latest mobile sync product, PocketMac for iPhone. The app is capable of syncing Entourage, Meeting Maker, and Lotus Notes information. Users select which particular categories they would like synced, instead of being forced to transfer all information. If 411 is used to get phone numbers text messaged to the phone, that information can be added to the address book with one click.
At the currently ongoing Photokina show, three professional medium format digital SLR camera manufacturers revealed newly released products that utilize current and new Kodak CCD image sensors. The newly-unveiled Leica S2 uses Kodakís KAF-37500 image sensor, which is good for 37.5-megapixel resolution. The sensor introduces a new format that is 50 percent larger than conventional 35mm film thanks to its imaging area of 45mm x 30mm. The KAF-37500 uses micro lenses to increase its light sensitivity, while a built-it infrared filter is integrated into the sensor, allowing the camera to be physically thinner.
RingtoneFeeder has announced that it will now offer access to its iPhone ringtone archive. The new service requires an existing annual subscription, and carries an activation fee of $10, which grants full access to all ringtones released by the company. Subscribers receive four ringtones every week: one vocal and one instrumental, plus alternates for each that include an embedded ringing sound.
Movea on Wednesday announced the addition of the Air Mouse to its Gyration line of products. Thanks to its motion sensors, the Air Mouse will work in users' hands in free air, or in tight spaces thanks to dedicated media controls and presentation effects. The controls are also comatible with iTunes and Slingbox, allowing music tracks and TV channels to be changed at will.
At the opening of the CEATEC show in Japan, Panasonic held demonstrations of its 3D HD system built around its 103-inch plasma display. The setup also relied on a standard Blu-ray disc player and battery-powered 3D glasses to produce three-dimensional moving images. Panasonic claims this is the first system using a plasma display and producing true-to-life 3D images, which, the company says, are on par in terms of image quality with Hollywood-produced 3D movies.
LG is following up the high-end KC910 smartphone and its 8-megapixel camera with a more affordable handset with the same high-count shooter, the KC780. The new handset has recently been approved by the FCC for the 1900MHz GSM band and Bluetooth, but also promises to offer quad-band GSM and GPRS and EDGE data network support. The 8MP camera will include autofocus, red eye reduction and face recognition software, as well as 30fps video recording.
Freeverse today released Flick Bowling , its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Users can select from six different players, different balls, and tiered skill levels. The game uses the phone's touch screen for input. Finger flicks control the shot line up and velocity or direction of the ball. The lane, pins, characters, and balls feature 3D graphics and textures.
Quark, the developer of QuarkXPress 8, has announced the upcoming release of several programs meant to support its flagship publishing tool. The first of these is Quark Publishing System 8, designed to manage the workflow associated with Quark files, specifically within the context of a corporate office. The updated software is said to include changes like support for native Illustrator file formats, and enhanced asset management through QPS Connect Client, which boasts functions like multi-page previews and multi-asset check-in.
Microsoft this afternoon confirmed that it would have a functional version of Windows 7 for developers at the company's Professional Developers Conference on October 28th. The build, referred to as a pre-beta build, will be handed out to attendees of the event keynote by company Windows Senior VP Steven Sinofsky. Specific details of what will be revealed aren't mentioned, though Microsoft says its public presentation will talk about the kernel, or operating system core, as well as Windows 7's interactions with hardware and networks and the user interface itself.
Voodoo Dimention has released an iPhone and iPod touch port of it's hidden-object game, The Stone of Destiny. In the game, players must use only a map, a book and a list of objects to uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of their uncle. The Stone of Destiny takes players around the world searching for artifacts and magical runes that may reveal clues about their uncles whereabouts.
Sony Ericsson is considering the possibility of using Google's Android platform on its phones, company chief Dick Komiyama revealed today. The Walkman phone maker has stopped short of endorsing the open-source mobile software but adds that the company is interested in the option. Komiyama doesn't provide an exact reason for the company's indeterminate stance but implies that business rather than philosophy is defining the current official approach.
A Trojan attack in circulation is exploiting interest in the iPhone, say researchers with Panda Security. The company identifies the malware as Banker.LKCTrojan, an app which masquerades as a video of the iPhone. The associated file -- named "VideoPhone_exe" -- specifically operates through a technique called pharming, in which DNS information is sabotaged to redirect a person to a malicious website.
Nearly everyone has important data stored on their computer, but with cloud computing becoming popular, many people now store data on websites that allow access to their information from multiple devices. The biggest problem occurs when you want to store and edit your data on both your computer and a website like Google. Since keeping multiple copies of data organized can be nearly impossible, youíll be better off using a special synchronization program like Spanning Sync.
Dell on Wednesday introduced the M109S ultra-portable projector, meant for use with laptops during on-the-go presentations. The product weighs less than a pound and but can still produce a widescreen 858x600 resolution. Maximum projection distance is 8 feet. In exchange, the brightness and contrast are low compared to some larger, more mainstream projectors at 55 lumens and 800:1 respectively. The largest image the small projector can throw up is 60 inches.
Analysis and forecasting company ValuEngine has upgraded its status on Apple stock from Hold to Buy, according to its weekly bulletin. Company size, risk, and five-year annualized returns were cited as primary reasons for the change. Apple has been riding well on the success of its iPod and iPhone product lines, along with Macs, ValuEngine comments. The firm's models show a current fair market value of the stock to be $182, while the actual trading price this week has dropped into the $130 range.
Comcast on Wednesday told GigaOM that the company will adjust its Internet bandwidth caps if it becomes clear that overall use is increasing. Although not explaining any specific corporate policy, provider spokesman Charlie Douglas says the company's 250GB threshold isn't fixed and that the cap is liable to change over time either as the average use goes up. A large number of complaints is also likely to trigger changes.
Bell Canada may artificially attempt to drive customers to its own subscription GPS service, according to an alleged internal memo circulating online. The note would reportedly see the cellular provider deliberately slow down the GPS position lock and potentially reduce the accuracy of the position itself for built-in or otherwise non-Bell navigation apps, focusing first on BlackBerry Maps for the company's current BlackBerry roster.
Adobe's Photoshop CS4, announced earlier this week, includes some interface options that are unique to the Mac, investigation shows. Though not publicly emphasized by its developer, Photoshop now supports multi-touch commands when used on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Images can be zoomed in and out using pinch motions, and rotating gestures will twist content.
The European Commission on Tuesday announced a planned law that would limit how much network providers can charge for text messages and downloads when users are roaming outside of their home country in Europe, according to a WSJ report (registration required). Under the proposed law, a single text message sent within the European Union will cost the equivalent of 16 US cents, down from about 42. Charges for passing on text messages between mobile operators will be limited to just under 6 cents.
Eye-Fi today announced several enhancements to its products, including significantly faster upload speeds and more service options for users to choose from. The new system is claimed to be twice as fast, not only for new customers but free for current customers as well. Additional services can be added to a package, including web sharing, geotagging, and hotspot access.
A alleged AT&T sales guide, leaked to the public, suggests concern by the carrier over Research in Motion's latest BlackBerry phone. The guide is said to be a memo circulating inside of AT&T, trumpeting the benefits of the iPhone 3G over the BlackBerry Storm, which AT&T claims will ship through Verizon sometime in October or November. The guide states that the Storm will lack Apple's proprietary multi-touch technology, as well as Wi-Fi and tri-band HSDPA, the latter allowing 3G data in more areas outside of North America.
Automaker Nissan, wireless network provider NTT DoCoMo and electronics maker Sharp on Wednesday announced they have developed a prototype cellphone that doubles as an intelligent ignition key for automobiles. Like the system used in Nissanís Japanese cars since 2002, the intelligent key uses two-way wireless communications capable of triggering the doors or engine but without requiring a separate device.
Random Ideas has announced a new update to its food journaling application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Edibles allows users to track values important to observing a diet regimen, such as calories, carbohydrates and WeightWatchers points. Users are also capable of setting a "budget" for a value they are tracking, and then follow weekly and daily allowances based on this figure.
The rapid surge in popularity of netbooks is affecting the bottom line for Apple and its chipmaking partner Intel, ThinkEquity researcher Vijay Rakesh claims in a recent study of the market. The analyst's checks with both Amazon and physical retail show Apple as having to face increasing competition from Acer, ASUS, and MSI. Of the top ten portables at Amazon at the time of the report's creation, two Apple MacBooks were the only systems not to fit into the new category of mini-notebooks, according to Rakesh.
Comm-Unity Networking Systems says it has released an update to MMEmail, its extension for FileMaker Pro. The plug-in lets people send e-mail directly from within a FileMaker database, eliminating the need to pop up other applications such as Mail or Entourage. The option is present for both developers and end-users, and allows file attachments.
A new LG media phone has been spotted, and will be out on the market by the end of the year, according to a BGR report. The LG Xenon handset sports a 2.8-inch, 240x480 LCD screen, which slides over to unveil a full QWERTY keyboard. It is apparently going through testing at AT&T, which will be the exclusive provider of the handset. The quad-band phone features 3G UMTS and HSDPA data support as well as assisted GPS and Wi-Fi.
Wireless carrier Alltel has launched a new music service for its network based on iTunes, an announcement reveals. The service, called nuTsie, lets users listen to music from their iTunes playlists on a variety of phones sold by Alltel. Unlike existing intermediary sync programs, the service additionally gives people the option of listening to music based on recommendations, and viewing playlists created by other users and members of the nuTsie development team.
Dell is preparing to update its display line with a second model that hints at a wider revamp of its line, a Taiwan-area leak of a prototype shows. The S2209W would be unique among 22-inch displays in its use of a 16:9 ratio, 1920x1080 resolution. The image is both much sharper than the 16:10, 1680x1050 displays that dictate most 22-inch LCDs and also better-suited to HD movies, which would output at full resolution and without the black bars that come from a non-native aspect ratio.
Sony Ericsson on Wednesday announced it will supplement its menís line of MBW-150 Bluetooth watches with a womenís line called the MBW-200. Made in conjunction with watchmaker Fossil, the timepieces use Bluetooth to connect with compatible handsets and display caller ID and vibrate when the phone is ringing or a text message is received. Users can then mute or reject the call via the watch. Either of the three distinctly styled timepieces will also act as a remote control for the music playing from the handset.
Nokia's first true touchscreen phone has been spotted today in a leak of an official press image for the device. The image matches earlier but much less distinct images and shows a significantly different interface for the Symbian operating system's music player with onscreen music controls and larger album art. Other interface changes are known to be coming and include an iPhone-like photo browser with swipe and rotate features as well as as a new control panel.
Last Friday, Apple announced that it was recalling faulty electrical adapters that shipped with the iPhone 3G. Apple is now sending out SMS text messages to to AT&T subscribers, warning them of the problem, according to a report. The close connection between Apple and AT&T has allowed Apple to communicate directly with a vast number of its customers.
The UK's official broadcaster, the BBC, has announced expanded support for the iPhone/iPod touch version of its iPlayer service. As of today the software now supports radio, allowing users to listen to episodes from a variety of programs up to seven days after the original airdate. The BBC's Mark Friend says that the option comes from adapting the network's normal digital delivery to suit the unique restrictions of Apple handhelds.
Swedish telecom company TeliaSonera has yet more plans to expand iPhone sales, according to an announcement. With sales already in progress throughout Scandinavia, Telia says it will soon bring the iPhone 3G to two eastern European countries, Latvia and Lithuania. A release date is in fact scheduled for this Friday, September 26th. Prices are not currently available online.
Sony Ericsson this morning launched into more aggressive competition in mobile music with the advent of PlayNow plus. The feature is one of the few carrier-independent unlimited music services that works entirely from the device itself but is also tailored to overcome resistance to subscription services: in an improvement on Nokia's Comes With Music service, Sony Ericsson says it will not only let users keep their most frequently-played music at the end of their subscriptions but that permanent copies will come in MP3 format; listeners can offload the music to another phone, a PC, or a dedicated media player without copy restrictions.
Dell on Wednesday acted on its early tease and launched the Precision M6400, the company's new flagship notebook for professionals. The 17-inch notebook is Dell's fastest ever by using both the Centrino 2 platform and the size to its advantage: the system is Dell's first to use Intel's quad-core 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme processor and carries four DDR3 memory slots that can each support 4GB of memory, pushing the system up to a desktop-like 16GB in the most extreme configurations.
LG today said that it has sold one million Prada phones worldwide, making it one of the Korean company's best-selling individual touchscreen devices. The device was one of the earliest direct competitors to the iPhone and was developed at roughly the same time with a launch a few months earlier. Individually, the device has fared relatively poorly compared to its Apple rival's over six million but forms part of a larger touchscreen lineup that LG said slightly edged Apple in July.
Wonder Warp Software has released the latest version of its capture and organization tool, ShoveBox 1.5. One notable new capability is annotation of any entry, whether text, image, HTML, or PDF. Users can assign global hotkeys to information that is used often. The graphical user interface has been enhanced along with the searching and archiving functions.
Arten Science has announced macVCR, an application that allows users to make Quicktime movies out of screen activity. Recording length can be pre-set or recordings can be started and stopped manually. Compression quality can be adjusted, along with the frames per second settings. Arten claims low usage of disk and CPU resources.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.24 ( + 0.25 )
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
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 Herm√©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