Samsung tonight pushed its DDR3 memory lineup forward with news of a new two-gigabit (256MB) module. Using a new 50 nanometer manufacturing process, the memory is twice as dense as before and enables RAM capacities that are still rare: a dual-die, error-corrected RAM stick can now hold as much as 16GB by stacking the chips. Notebooks should also see a boost with up to 4GB per stick in a thin package, while the regular unregistered memory used in most desktops should hold a similar amount.
Wal-Mart is following the actions of Microsoft, Yahoo and Virgin, shutting down its DRM (Digital Rights Management) servers on October 9. The move will render any Wal-Mart-purchased, copy protected WMA music files inert if not burned to CD prior to the server shutdown. Boing Boing is reporting that Wal-Mart has emailed customers warning them of the impending server shutdown and its effect on their collections.
Nintendo is developing its first real update to the DS since the Lite and may be prepared to launch it soon, according to claims from alleged sources for the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri. The new upgrade would have an integrated camera and would use at least photos in games. Nintendo would also focus on expanding the handheld's role as a wireless data device and would create a more "user-friendly" look for the system. Prices would be kept under $189 in the company's home country and could see Nintendo release the new DS before the end of the year, according to the report.
Mesa Dynamics has released a beta version of Stainless, a browser for Mac OS X inspired by Google Chrome. The application features multi-process browsing, allowing each tab to run tasks separately. When a site is visited that contains content that is typically slow to load, the other tabs can still run unhampered. In the event of a page crash, the browser itself remains responsive and other pages unaffected.
Last.fm Ltd. has updated Last.fm for iPhone to v2.0, streamlining the interface, adding tagging, personal tag radio, common artists (when viewing a profile) and a calendar-based events view. The new update also adds support for the iPhone 2.1 software update. The software allows users to design personal radio stations based on artists or genres, and offers artists bios, concert information, favorite track sharing and smart recommendations, based on user listening.
EazyDraw has released EazyDraw 2.7, an update to its drawing software that adds new text capabilities. The software now allows text to flow around graphics with live typesetting, and can add text flows inside graphics. It also adds text linking, text rotation and an enhanced spell check with grammar support. A tabs palette is new, supporting position, spacing and alignment, and CMYK color conversion has also been enhanced. Version 2.7 also features 17 documented bug fixes and adds a 300-page French language user manual.
Findley Designs has released iPod Access Photo 1.6 for the Mac, an update to the software that allows users to access and manage photo collections on iPods. The update adds support for the iPod nano 4G, improved photo cropping, photo statistic displays, faster load times and numerous bug fixes. The software works with all iPods that support photos, including the iPhone and iPod touch. It can disable iTunes photo sync, can copy photos both to and from multiple iPods and uses the highest resolutions possible for each photo.
Kupuk has released Zones 1.2 for the iPhone and iPod touch. The update to the Sonos remote control utility adds a browser list of favorite internet radio stations, adds support for playlists and displays album art while the music is playing. Sonos systems are whole-house music players, and Zones can control the playback over WiFi anywhere in a Sonos-equipped home. It uses UPnP over a local WiFi network, can browse music by artist, album and song, can conrol volume in each zone, plays internet radio stations and keeps track of upcoming songs.
Eric Cheng of Echeng.com says he has successfully installed and run a RAID 0 SSD array in a MacBook Pro, with strong performance results. Utilizing two 120GB OCZ SATA SSD notebook hard drives, and an MCE OptiBay hard drive adapter (placed in the MacBook Pro's SuperDrive bay), Cheng was able to configure the two drives and set them up in a striped RAID 0 array, and install a bootable copy of Mac OS X.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE