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MS wants Yahoo and AOL
Despite meeting steadfast resistance from Yahoo executives, Microsoft is reportedly examining another purchase attempt should Yahoo acquire AOL, according to Macworld. The news comes as analysts estimate Yahoo's stock could drop from $19 to $14, should information regarding Google's advertising department getting cold feet about their ad deal prove true. Google is concerned about anti-trust allegations, considering Google and Yahoo's combined dominance of the online advertising market.
LG this evening planned to cement its hold on touchscreen phones with the KP500. Unlike LG's normally high-end full touch devices, the new handset is designed to be inexpensive enough for those who would opt for a conventional phone without sacrificing some of the core touch features: it has the same three-inch touch display as the Prada, Viewty, and similar phones but a simpler design that has multiple color choices, including brown and gold. LG implies a 5-megapixel camera and an accelerometer that auto-rotates the display.
RebelTouch case for 2G
SwitchEasy has announced the release of RebelTouch, a protective case for the second generation iPod touch. Adaptive Dynamic Soft Polymer (ADSP) is used, claimed to be stronger and offer more UV protection than silicone but gentle on the surfaces of the Touch. UltraFrame Lexan is used to offer structural rigidity and easier slide into pockets. RebelTouch covers 60 percent of the iPod surface.
SousChef launches for Mac
Acacia Tree Software has released SousChef for the Mac. The digital cooking assistant software supports an online cloud concept for finding recipes, ranks recipes based on available ingredients, and can suggest substitute ingredients when needed. The software offers a ten-foot mode that features a high-contrast, full screen display for working with messy, computer-unfriendly ingredients while tracking recipes. It also supports reading recipes and can be controlled via voice recognition or Apple Remote.
Eltima Software has released SyncMate 126.96.36.1995 for the Mac. It allows Mac users with Win Mobile pocket PCs and Smartphones to sync contact info, calendars and more. The new version adds First Name/Last Name order management, repairs some interface quirks and fixes duplication of contacts during an "all" category sync. The .365 upgrade also fixes AM/PM processing, Time zones problems, deletions of SMS in bulk and problems with contact note attachments. The software supports USB and WiFi, syncs iCal, iPhoto, iTunes, Notes, Time and bookmarks and manages SMS.
Kenbushi now multi lingual
Lava Software has the latest version of its media jukebox software, Kenbushi 7.5, which now supports multiple languages including Dutch, French, German, Spanish, and Chinese. The application allows users to organize large libraries and automatically chooses the bundled VLC player or Quicktime to play files. Kenbushi loads English or non-English file paths from the playlists onto MP3 players, phones, or other storage devices.
Corsair 64GB USB flash
Corsair today unveiled the 64GB USB Flash Voyager, now the highest capacity portable device offered by the company. The drive is encased in rubber, claimed to be water resistant and drop-tested. The Voyager works with USB 2.0 but is also backwards compatible with USB 1.1. Users can also boot from the device, even restoring full versions of operating systems and applications for recovery.
Prehistoric game to launch
Coladia has released the demo version of Secret of the Lost Cavern, a prehistoric and historically accurate Paleolithic era (15,000 B.C.) first-person game for the Mac. The game follows a young hunter, traveling with companions, and fighting for survival. The game features pristine photo-realistic graphics and environments including rivers, troglodyte caves, and green valleys, taking players through the dawn of human life.
Spreadsheet for iPhone
Softalk has released Spreadsheet, an app that allows for the creation of spreadsheets on the iPhone. The program uses a standard grid, where users can add text, numeric, or date data into the cells. Users can scroll through the grids or zoom in on particular areas. Supported functions are grouped into six categories including Date/time, General, Math, Statistical, String, and Trigonometry.
Puzzle Quest coming soon
TransGaming and D3Publisher have joined forces to bring Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords to the iPhone and iPod touch platforms. The game combines RPG strategy play and puzzle-solving elements across a story line. It features over 150 quests, and acquirable skills, weapons and spells throughout the game. The game was originally developed by Infinite Interactive Pty. Ltd. and published by D3Publisher. It is currently available on PSP and Wii, among others, and is being customized for the iPhone by TransGaming.
OmniWeb switches to WebKit
The Omni Group has released OmniWeb 5.8, switching the browser's base to the same version of WebKit in use by Safari 3.1. It includes the latest security patches and features of Safari 3.1, including downloadable fonts, CSS animation, HTML 5 media tags and client side database storage. The new version includes upgraded toolbar icons, a Google Chrome user agent option, a bugfix for Leopard's Spaces and support for Non-POSIX file URLs, providing improved compatibility with Dreamweaver and other Carbon and Classic applications.
Apple TV may be done
The Apple TV may be up for replacement, since Apple recently sent an email asking stores to destroy documentation and displays for the product, with a webcast to follow on Tuesday, an anonymous Apple reseller tells TUAW. An email supposedly sent to authorized resellers details that they must pull all Apple TV material, to send back to Apple with a September 30th deadline, at 5pm. The notice also mentions a "kick off," somehow related to the webcast.
New Fujifilm SD cards
Photography and digital imaging company Fujifilm today announced the expansion of its flash memory products with new SD card offerings. Two SD cards will be available, in capacities of 1GB and 2 GB. For applications requiring additional storage, three high capacity SDHC cards were announced including 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB variants. Micro SD cards will include 1GB and 2GB in the standard capacity models, or 4GB and 8GB in the high capacity SDHC line.
Rock n Roll iPhone game
Tag Games on Monday released Rock'n'Roll, an action and puzzle game for the iPhone or iPod touch. Gamers play as Roll, a character that navigates spinning mazes on Flint Island to recover musical notes to save his friend, Rock, from being imprisoned. The player rotates the entire maze using the phone's accelerometer or touch controls as Roll falls toward the bottom of the screen. After all music notes are collected, the next maze is opened, ultimately leading to the release of Rock from the Evil Sky Spirit.
Samsung H.264-able camera
Samsung unveiled the replacement for its SC-MX20 digital media camcorder, the VM-MX25E, which also uses the H.264 codec to encode videos, allowing them to be uploaded straight onto YouTube or Apple's portable devices, including the iPhone and video-capable iPods. The camera can record onto SD memory cards, with Samsung claiming 8 hours of 640x480-pixel, DVD quality video can fit on a 16GB memory card. The camera will support SDHC cards up to 32GB in size and does not have any built-in memory of its own.
New Incipio iPod cases
Incipio Technologies has introduced an expanded line of cases, including models for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation Touch. Available for both players, the dermaSHOT silicone case fits tight, and features a smooth anti-slip texture. The case is priced at $13 for the Nano version, with black, blue, pink, red, yellow and orange colors available. The Touch version costs $18, and is sold in black, white, blue, magenta and orange.
Dell ultra-small printer
A recent FCC filing indicates Dell will soon launch a tiny portable printer that does not rely on ink to produce images, instead utilizing ZINK media. A USB port and PictBridge software support allows users to hook up digital cameras directly to the printer, while Bluetooth-enabled devices such as cellphones and computers can send photos to the printer, allowing for the quick creation of prints.
Loopt iPhone updated
Loopt on Monday unveiled Loopt 1.1, adding the new Loopt Mix feature. This new opt-in feature uses location-based services to allow iPhone users to connect with people nearby. Loopt Mix is for users who want to meet new people near them whether it be at a conference, in a club, or in their neighborhood. Users can set up a customized public profile, browse nearby profiles or search by shared interest and community membership. Messages are sent via email and do not identify a user's full name, exact location, email address or phone number, which leaves the user in control of releasing personal information.
Dream Pinball 3D debut
Deliver2Mac today announced the addition of Dream Pinball 3D to its catalog of titles available for digital download. The game offers six different tables, along with various fixed or dynamic camera positions. Graphics feature HDRI textures, particle effects, and motion blur. Gamers can additionally choose several types of ball material, including steel, wood, marble, ivory and gold. Each material affects a ball's behavior when rolling across a table.
Fujitsu Stylistic ST6012
The Stylistic ST6012 tablet PC has appeared on Fujitsu's website over the weekend, revealing particularly high-end specs. The 12.1-inch, 1920x1200 touchscreen tablet has a 1.4GHz ultra-low voltage Intel processor working with at least 1GB of RAM, and support up to 4GB. Potential buyers will be able to choose between a 64GB SSD drive or a 320GB hard-disk drive, among others. For data access on the go, a 3G UMTS module is built in, while access to hot-spots is made via a dual-band, three-antenna Wi-Fi connection.
Apple is adding new accessibility functions to iTunes, including updates to allow it to work with software used by the blind for reading the Internet, according to the Associated Press. Tony Olivero, of the National Federation of the Blind, recently demonstrated the technology at the Perkins School for the Blind. Olivero showed how a voice would read out whatever the mouse pointer was slid over, including file commands and movie, music and TV titles in the iTunes Store.
iRiver set to ship SPINN
The wait for the iRiver SPINN personal audio player unveiled this summer is nearly over, as the Korean company announced the touchscreen device will start shipping to US customers from October 3 onward. The personal audio players are currently available for pre-order. The 4GB SPINN is priced at nearly $250, and the 8GB version at $290. In other markets, such as Korea, the player can also be had in a 16GB capacity, but all share a 3.2-inch, 480x372 active matrix OLED (AMOLED) touchscreen.
Pear Note 1.0
Nearly everyone has needed to take notes during a class or meeting. While typing notes on a laptop may seem simple enough, two problems remain. First, you may have missed hearing something important so your notes won't contain this information. Second, trying to find specific information buried in your notes can be tedious and time-consuming. To make note taking easy and complete, consider dumping your word processor and using Pear Note 1.0 instead.
BlackBerry Storm photos
Official promotional photos of the highly-anticipated Blackberry Storm smartphone have been leaked over the weekend, showing the home screen and confirming some of its specifications and that it will be available exclusively at Verizon Wireless. The RIM handset's large 3.25-inch, 480x360 touchscreen shows the menu will have eight shortcut buttons, with one dedicated to Verizon's VZ Navigator application.
PDAnet tethering app
A new option for tethering iPhones has become available through Cydia. PDAnet allows users to connect to the Internet on their notebook through the use of a jailbroken iPhone. Carriers generally charge an additional fee for this function, but in the iPhone's case, the option is not available; people are cautioned, therefore, that tethering may be against their carrier's terms of service, such as in the case of AT&T.
Bill Requires HD Radio
Democratic Congressman Edward Markey on Monday submitted a bill that would potentially require all satellite radios to also include a competing standard. The Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act (PDF) would require that Sirius XM and any other satellite radio provider also providing AM/FM tuning also support at least some form of land-based digital radio, effectively mandating the use of iBiquity Digital's HD Radio format. The move would attempt to reinsert a clause ruled out of the FCC's Sirius XM merger approval which would have asked for a similar provision before the merger could be approved.
Piper on investor panic
Today's sudden drop in Apple stock value is largely unwarranted, argue analysts from Piper Jaffray. The firm blames "market fears," which it says are distracting from "light at the end of the tunnel" as suggested by its own examinations. The company notes, for instance, that Street models are already accounting for wider economic problems, and may in fact be pessimistic. Piper puts FY08 Mac growth at 40 percent, and FY09 at 16 percent.
ARM Common Platform
ARM, Chartered Semiconductor, IBM and Samsung today helped establish plans for the Common Platform, an alliance between the four companies determined to advance ARM-based processors. The group plans to use a combination of design work from all four companies as well as manufacturing from Chartered, IBM and Samsung to develop new ARM chips built on 32 nanometer and 28 nanometer manufacturing processes by using a high-k metal gate process.
Xohm Data Throttling
Users of Sprint's just-launched Xohm service are likely to face certain services being throttled from the outset, according to the WiMAX network's Acceptable Use Policy page. The carrier claims the right to use "various tools and techniques" to limit the speed available to any particularly data-heavy apps or entire protocol types, including file sharing suites. The restriction would be put in place to create a consistent experience for the user base, Sprint argues.
App Store crackdown
Apple has made important changes to how iTunes users can use the App Store, investigation shows. Whereas visitors were previously able to browse in broad categories, covering free, iPhone- or iPod touch-only apps, users can now only filter by conventional criteria, such as genre. The change could significantly affect the App Store, as free software -- like Last.fm -- has proven to be extremely popular, but may now be more difficult to find.
LG to launch 3G netbook
LG is promising its customers a 10-inch netbook that includes built-in access to HSPA-based 3G data networks, calling it the X110 MOMO (for More Mobile) and listing it on its website. A variant of the regular X110 and its Korean equivalent the Xnote Mini, the MOMO includes the same 1.6GHz Atom chip, 512MB of memory upgradeable to 1GB, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and optional Bluetooth module. Hard drive capacity is more customizable and will include an 80GB, 120GB or 160GB hard disk drive.
BlackBerry Curve II?
One of Research in Motion's upcoming BlackBerry phones, previously known as the Javelin, is to become the Curve II, a report claims. The phone is now expected to premiere "soon" through T-Mobile, possibly as soon as November, although other sources indicate a launch in the first quarter of 2009. Specifications have also allegedly been obtained, and include BlackBerry OS 4.6.1 running on a 512MHz processor, with 256MB of built-in storage. Memory is expandable through a microSD slot found under the battery door.
Mac Pro toxic? [u]
(Updated with corrections) Mac Pros may be producing fumes that contain toxic chemicals, according to tests posted on a French site for Mac enthusiasts, MacBidouille. The testing laboratory, Analytika, used multiple sensors over a period of eight days to collect air circulated by the cooling fan. Using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, the report claims to have identified seven organic contaminants in the vapors.
Toshiba intros DynaBook NX
Toshiba on Monday announced it will soon launch the DynaBook NX notebook, which will be available either with a 128GB solid-state drive or conventional 160GB hard-disk. The 12.1-inch display is LED-backlit and combines with an onboard GMA 4500MHD graphics chipset to drive HD movie playback. Thanks in part to the use of Intel's newer 45nm, ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, Toshiba rates the SSD-equipped dynabook's battery life at 11.5 hours, with the HDD model rated at 10.5 hours. Standard memory is set at 2GB but expandable to 3GB.
Win Mobile 7 Delay Again
Microsoft's already reported Windows Mobile 7 delay will be longer than anticipated in practice, according to a tip obtained by VentureBeat. While not immediately pointing to a further delay past late 2009 in completing the mobile OS itself, the reputed source suggests that both carriers and manufacturers will need "months" to refine and produce their own versions. This would push any release until at least 2010 and leave a three-year window between Windows Mobile 6 and its sequel.
Spore Origins for Nano 4G
A new clickwheel edition of EA's Spore Origins has been released at the iTunes Store, updated to support the fourth-generation iPod nano. The game now takes advantage of the Nano 4G's accelerometer, allowing players to control their character through tilting, much like in the iPhone/iPod touch title. Owners of the unpatched game should receive an e-mail informing them that the update is now in their iTunes Store download queue.
Meizu M8 Due in December
Meizu's frequently delayed M8 touchscreen phone should finally have a release date, Taiwans' Geek IT Stores claims today. The device is now purportedly set to ship at the start of December and will initially be available only to China-area buyers with an Indian release later. It should also carry a single 8GB trim level and is described as selling between $384 and $469, though whether this involves contract changes or the distributor's planned pricing isn't known.
Apple stock drop
The worth of Apple stock has fallen significantly, over $20 as of press time, following warnings from two different analysts. Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital has downgraded Apple's rating from "Outperform" to "Sector Perform," with a new stock target of just $140, compared to an earlier value of $200. His FY08 EPS estimate has slid from $5.28 to $5.26, and in FY09, the prediction is now for $5.75 instead of $6.07. FY10 could slip from $8.03 to $7.38.
SimpleTech ups capacities
SimpleTech announced it has added to its line-up of Pro Drive and Duo Pro Drive external storage media on Monday by launching the 1.5TB Pro Drive and the 3TB two-drive RAID 0/1 Duo Pro Drive. Either new drive sports four built-in interfaces, including an eSATA connection, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. Thanks to eSATA, users can transfer files at up to 3Gb per second in peak conditions.
Moto Bets on Android
Motorola's investment in phones based on Google's Android will be a heavy one, says a reported source for TechCrunch. The American company has just 50 staffers refining Android for future phones but is said by a potential recruit to be swelling its ranks to include a full 350 team members and thus making a serious commitment to the open-source platform, which only just got its start this month with formal news of HTC's T-Mobile G1.
Norway vs. iTunes Store
Apple should soon face scrutiny from the Norwegian government over practices at the iTunes Store, writes the Associated Press. Bjoern Erik Thon, the consumer ombudsman for Norway, says he is planning to bring Apple in front of the government's Market Council, over allegations that the iTunes Store is closed off to non-Apple media players. The company has until November 3rd to respond; Thon has been pushing for a voluntary change for two years however, on the basis that Apple's practices break Norwegian law.
NETGEAR Green 802 11n
NETGEAR on Monday tuned its 802.11n Wi-Fi hardware to capitalize on eco-friendly trends with a new set of routers that make small but significant steps towards reducing power use. The WNR2000 router and its DSL modem-equipped DGN2000 both come with simple but uncommon additions including more efficient EnergyStar-rated power supplies and a dedicated on/off switch to power the routers down without having to remove the power cable. They also come in new packages made with 80 percent recycled content.
Ukrainian iPhone on Oct. 3
The Ukraine should finally receive the iPhone later this week, the Russian financial paper Kommersant is said to claim. Reports say that the phone will launch overnight between October 2nd and 3rd, and be carried by MTS, with the possibility of more sales through KievStar. This information has not been confirmed by Apple's distributor for the region, Pro Turbo Service, but the company does say it expects the phone to be released in the Ukraine before the end of the year.
Samsung Delve Leak
Relatively small national carrier US Cellular will have its own full touchscreen device by the end of the year, a leak stemming from BGR would suggest. The Samsung Delve would be cosmetically very similar to the Instinct at Sprint but would have physical call/answer buttons instead of touch-sensitive controls on the earlier phone; it would also carry Samsung's stock TouchWiz interface with widget support in place of Sprint's custom-designed software. A full HTML web browser is still part of the design.
Sprint Xohm Goes Live
Sprint today marked the official debut of Xohm, the first WiMAX service available from a major provider in the US and the first 4G-level service from a cellular carrier. The 2.5GHz service, launching first in Baltimore, is likened to a traditional Internet provider and provides roughly DSL-quality broadband wherever the network is available: Sprint estimates real-world downloads of between 2Mbps and 4Mbps depending on distance and signal strength. The speed allows full-quality streaming video and other services that are largely impractical over 3G.
Nero today introduced a new hardware and software combo that aims to bring full DVR features to those who don't have or prefer to avoid built-in tools such as Windows Media Center. LiquidTV includes TiVo's familiar remote, a USB digital TV tuner, and a customized version of the interface from TiVo's video recorders, all of which effectively mimic the features of the dedicated set-top box. Owners can auto-record suggested TV shows, subscribe to season passes and manually specify show recording from the programming guide.
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