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News Archive for 08/09/30

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Microsoft unwraps Gears of War 2 Zune 120GB

09/30, 11:35pm

Microsoft Zune GOW2

Microsoft tonight mirrored its approach last year with the Halo Zune by introducing a special, game-themed edition of the Zune 120GB tied into another of the company's Xbox 360 games. The Gears of War 2 edition takes the current, glossy black player and adds a Gears logo to the back while pre-loading the hardware with the game's soundtrack, special videos and an artwork collection that includes backgrounds for the Zune itself. The hardware is otherwise functionally equivalent to the reference Wi-Fi music player.

Netflix API to launch, iPhone app possible

09/30, 11:00pm

Netflix API set for launch

Movie rental site Netflix is set to release an Application Programming Interface (API) that will allow developers to integrate content into applications, according to ReadWriteWeb. The API will open up access to 100,000 movie titles and TV episodes on DVD and allow users to access their Netflix accounts. Developers will initially be able to access data through REST API, JavaScript API, and ATOM feeds.

Griffin expands case collection for new iPods

09/30, 10:25pm

Griffin cases for new iPod

Griffin Technology has announced the expansion of its case collection for the iPod touch 2G and iPod nano 4G. The new offerings include the Elan Form, FlexScreen, Reflect, and iClear. The Elan Form is available for both new devices and features a shell of leather bonded to polycarbonate. A screen protector is included, and EasyDock design elements allow the iPod to dock without removing the case.

Curio 5.1 task management app adds project encryption

09/30, 9:50pm

Curio 5 1 adds encryption

Zengobi has announced an updated version of its note taking, mind mapping, brainstorming, and task management software, Curio 5.1. The latest release includes support for project encryption, Apple Remote, and Multi-Touch. The Spread PDF speed is claimed to have been improved, and new print headers and footers have been added.

Kroll 3D fighter game released for iPhone, iPod touch

09/30, 8:30pm

Kroll 3D iPhone game

Digital Legends Entertainment today announced the availability of Kroll, a 3D fighting game for the iPhone or iPod touch. The game claims inspiration from 80's games combined with modern graphics. Gamers must overcome mythic enemies and creatures to find the secret of the Kroll legend. The battles occur in environments that include mountainsides, underground molten magma mines, and a floating prison above a volcano.

Vocalia for iPhone allows voice recognition

09/30, 8:00pm

Vocalia loads contacts

Creaceed has released its speech-recognition software, Vocalia, for the iPhone. It allows users to access contacts for calling or emailing, without having to navigate through the iPhone Contacts app. With Vocalia active, users speak the name they wish to call up, and the software selects a list of contacts that match or closely match the spoken name. The user can then select the name they need and call or email the contact. The software also supports vocal shortcuts like "my best friend" and can split last and first names, allowing a search for "Joe" or "Smith."

Apple laptops gaining ground on Windows

09/30, 7:30pm

Measured dollar helps Macs

Apple is making inroads in the portable laptop sector, so much so that even Microsoft-focused bloggers are noting that MacBooks are gaining ground on Windows laptops. eWeek Microsoft Watch blogger Joe Wilcox says that while 'Windows laptops are losing luster, Mac laptops are making surprising gains.' Mac laptops have moved to a 20-percent market share (for June/July brick-and-mortar sales), with a near 65-percent market share in measured dollars.

ProClip custom iPhone mount organizes cables, swivels

09/30, 6:30pm

ProClip mount for iPhone

ProClip on Tuesday unveiled the ProClip Vehicle Mount for the iPhone 3G that offers users a dockable mounting bracket for the device, with pass through connectors for stereo, charging, or dock connector cables. Secured onto a vehicle's console or dashboard through non-destructive means, the mount tilts and swivels, securing the iPhone in a custom holder designed and manufactured by Brodit AB, a Swedish firm. ProClip is selling the mount for $100.

Macally introduces new power devices for iPod, iPhone

09/30, 6:00pm

New Macally power devices

Macally has unveiled three new power products for iPods and iPhones: the PowerLink, PowerPal, and JBoxMini. PowerLink connects to the 30-pin dock connector and provides additional power, claimed to add an hour of talk time to an iPhone with a completely drained battery. The device also offers 2GB flash storage and can be charged while syncing the phone or player with a computer using an included USB extension cable.

Apple takes hard line on online music royalties

09/30, 5:10pm

Apple fights music fees

Apple is taking a hard stance on proposed increases to online music royalties, one which could threaten the very future of the iTunes Store, Fortune reports. The Copyright Royalty Board -- a panel of three judges which oversees licenses issued under federal copyright -- is scheduled to make a ruling on Thursday, on the subject of a proposal by the National Music Publishers' Association. Following last year's end of a 1997 agreement covering music royalties, the NMPA proposed an increase on the amount collected from each individual track sold online, from 9 to 15 cents.

Audi A4 Driving Challenge 2.0 adds cars, graphics

09/30, 4:50pm

Audi A4 Driving Challenge2

Audi of America has announced the latest version of its iPhone game, Audi A4 Driving Challenge 2.0. The new release adds unlockable cars including the A4 3.2L V6 and R8 sports car. The app also features improved graphics and game play. Users control the vehicle steering with the iPhone accelerometer, tilting the screen to turn left or right. The brake and accelerator are represented with buttons on the touch screen.

Sprint to drop PC-based music downloads

09/30, 4:45pm

Sprint Axes PC Music Sales

Sprint today quietly revealed plans to pull the PC component of its Music Store service. Members visiting the store's portal are now being told that they can no longer download protected Windows Media copies of songs to their computers after October 14th and that the music will only be available for cellphones after this point. Users can backup content from the phones to a computer but won't have the rights to play it, the company explains.

Nikon ad reveals new MX format DSLR?

09/30, 4:20pm

Nikon MX format image leak

An image of a print advertisement proof meant for the Japanese market has leaked on Tuesday, believed to offer an ambiguous first look at what many believe to be the upcoming Nikon format, thus far dubbed MX. The ad, while controversial and raising authenticity concerns, features a Japanese word that translates roughly to "big," which is also in line with what is known about Nikon's rumored MX mounts. The ad shows a larger-diameter lens mount with a different lock-ring and connections set up than current DSLRs from Nikon, or what some hypothesize to be a smaller body matched to the company's FX sensor.

TDK claims HDD recording density record

09/30, 4:15pm

TDK recording HDD density

At the CEATEC show kicking off today in Japan, TDK announced it has achieved a new milestone in surface recording density for hard disk drives thanks to its prototype TMR head. The company achieved the world's highest surface recording density at 803GB/inch2, which could result in a typical single 1.8-inch double-sided disk having the capacity of 260GB. The TMR head is the same one as introduced in 2007, although TDK engineers have increased its magnetoresistance ratio by more than 80 percent while keeping its bond resistance low.

Vodafone contest shows UK BlackBerry Storm

09/30, 4:15pm

Vodafone confirms Storm

The UK's biggest mobile phone provider, Vodafone, has confirmed it will carry the upcoming BlackBerry Storm smartphone from RIM by launching an online competition to win the handset. Those who wish to enter the contest are required to register and leave their contact information to get updates on the phone. The Storm will feature a large 3.5-inch, 480x360 touchscreen with a haptic interface, built-in GPS and a 3.2-megapixel camera, among other features.

Sirius XM channel sharing starting to take effect

09/30, 4:05pm

Sirius XM channels shared

As promised when the merger between Sirius and XM satellite radio was finalized at the end of July, Tuesday's reports have some Sirius satellite radio subscribers beginning to see XM programming on their existing radios, with at least one report of an XM subscriber already receiving Best of Sirius programming on his XM radio. Others, while seeing XM headings on their Sirius receivers, cannot yet listen to content.

iPhone user histories at risk due to security flaw?

09/30, 4:05pm

iPhone history security

A feature inherent to the iPhone's graphical interface may pose a threat to users' privacy, reports claim. A data forensics expert, Jonathan Zdziarski, notes that iPhones can automatically capture a screenshot of every recent action performed by a person, such as checking e-mail or visiting a website. The images are said to be necessary only on a cosmetic basis, used to create the illusion of a window shrinking and disappearing when the Home button is tapped.

DealNN: refurb wireless, bargain storage, MacMini

09/30, 3:50pm

DealNN: refurb wireless

Current deals at DealNN include a range of products from wireless routers to external hard drives. First off is the refurbished Netgear Wireless-G router priced at $16.97 at TigerDirect.com. OnSale.com has the AirPort Express base station with Air Tunes for $59, a price cut of $70 off the original price. The Cavalry 1TB external hard drive has been reduced to $139.99 from $239 at Buy.com, and today (9/30/08) is the last day to take advantage of a $50 mail in rebate offer that drops the price down to $89.99. The refurbished 2.0GHz Mac Mini is available at the Apple store for $679. The Sony speaker dock for iPod and clock radio is available at Electronics-Expo.com for $80.

JVC shows first SDHC-only Everio HD cameras

09/30, 3:45pm

JVC intros SDHC HD cams

At the CEATEC show in Japan which kicked off on Tuesday, JVC showed off its first Full HD video camcorder that relies solely on an SDHC memory card as its storage medium instead of a built-in hard disk drive and memory card slot, like previous Everio camcorders. While the cameras were officially concepts, they looked production-ready, although JVC did not reveal any specs and even the megapixel count was conspicuously absent from the body of the camcorders.

Samsung u430 clamshell comes to Verizon

09/30, 3:35pm

Samsung u430 at Verizon

Samsung Mobile on Tuesday announced it is now offering the Samsung u430 clamshell phone, which features a 1.9-inch, 128x160 main display. The dual-band CDMA phone has a VGA camera capable of capturing images at 640x480 resolution. The camera also includes a 5- or 10-second timer and a Night Shot function that lets it take photos in low-light environments.

Dell intros five new mid-range network printers

09/30, 3:20pm

Dell intros printers

Dell on Tuesday released no less than five new mid- to high-end printers to add to its range, including the nearly identical all-in-one V505 and V505w, the photo all-in-one P703w and the 5330dn and 2335dn laser printers. The main difference between the V505w and V505 is the former's inclusion of a Wi-Fi module that allows for wireless connections to a user's network. Apart from this distinction, the two share the same exterior look and are capable of printing, scanning, faxing and copying documents.

iPhone 3G to be sold in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

09/30, 3:05pm

iPhone in Puerto Rico/USVI

AT&T has announced that it is set to launch the iPhone 3G in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands on October 17th. Customers in the territories will have the benefit of pricing that matches stateside terms, specifically the $200 price for an 8GB model, and the $300 charge for 16GB. Apple and AT&T could face extra competition shortly after the launch, due to T-Mobile's acquisition of SunCom Wireless in both the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands markets. T-Mobile will begin offering Google's G1 phone on October 22, although it is unknown if the initial launch will include the Caribbean.

Adobe preps Flash for iPhone, waits on Apple

09/30, 2:55pm

Adobe iPhone Flash Enroute

Adobe today at the Flash on the Beach expo said the company is actively developing a port of its Flash animation plugin for the iPhone and iPod touch, potentially bringing the phone's web features up to par with certain rivals. Senior Director of Engineering Paul Betlem noted in a presentation at the event that the Flash group was developing a port but that Apple's mobile operating system is a "closed platform" and so is out of Adobe's control; it's at Apple's discretion if and when the port becomes available, Betlem says.

Studios to sue Real over 'illegal' RealDVD

09/30, 2:05pm

Studios to Sue Real

Several major studios plan to sue RealNetworks for what they believe is inherent copyright infringement in the company's RealDVD ripping software, according to a tip sent to the AP. Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner are all said to believe that the software is deliberately bypassing the CSS encryption on DVD movies and so violating their copyrights. They also plan a temporary injunction on just-begun sales of the app, the unnamed source indicates.

Boris FX to offer free plug-in updates for CS4

09/30, 1:25pm

Boris FX CS4 updates

With Adobe Creative Suite 4 launching next month, Boris FX says it will offer free updates to compatible plug-ins for Boris Continuum customers. The full list includes Boris Continuum Complete 5 AE, Final Effects Complete 5 AE, Boris RED 4.x, Boris FX 9.x, Boris Graffiti 5.x, Boris Blue 2.5, or any Boris Continuum Unit. The company specializes in 3D compositing and vector graphic products for broadcast, post-production, film and multimedia markets.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare available for download

09/30, 1:10pm

Call of Duty 4 download

­Aspyr Media has released a downloadable version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, found exclusively at GameAgent.com, the company's new online store. It will also ship to retail outlets this week. The first-person shooter follows new, fictional story lines with multiple plot twists, and the game's special effects stress photorealism, using new depth-of-field and shading effects.

Microsoft holds to Windows Mobile licensing fees

09/30, 12:55pm

Windows Mobile licensing

Microsoft intends to hold to its policy of charging royalties for Windows Mobile, says company CEO Steve Ballmer. The operating system is facing increasing competition, most notably from Nokia's newly royalty-free Symbian platform, and Google's open-source Android platform, used on phones like the upcoming T-Mobile G1. "We are doing well," Ballmer tells Reuters, "we believe in the value of what we are doing." Microsoft receives approximately $8 to $15 for each Windows Mobile-based phone sold.

Dell starts preloading movies on PCs

09/30, 12:45pm

Dell Preloading Movies

Dell today took a new approach to selling PCs on Tuesday by announcing a movie pre-load service for some of its PCs. Starting with Iron Man, the Inspiron 1525 notebook and XPS 420/630 can optionally carry a strictly digital copy of a movie along with special features, such as the bonus mini-feature included with the inaugural title. The company doesn't provide specific technical details but explains that the movie can be shared primarily through Windows Media Extender devices such as the Xbox 360 and can't be burned to DVD.

Adobe denies Flash Media Server vulnerability

09/30, 12:15pm

Flash Media Server flaw?

Adobe is denying reports of a security vulnerability in its Flash Media Server 3 software. The company cites a Reuters story from earlier in the month, which claimed that while commands sent to play media were encrypted, the actual media was left unprotected in order to improve download speeds. This was in fact said to enable piracy at video sites such as Amazon's, and Reuters cited its own recording tests as proof.

Broadcom GPS gets Wi-Fi assist from Skyhook

09/30, 12:05pm

Broadcom GPS with Wi-Fi

Broadcom on Tuesday said it would start integrating Wi-Fi support into its GPS navigation chips, letting cellphones and other devices equipped with the hardware use the local network for positioning. The technique draws on a license from Skyhook that uses known Wi-Fi points to triangulate a rough map location when GPS is unreliable or completely unavailable and should both generate a GPS lock faster in urban areas as well as fill in when indoors or in tunnels where the GPS signal is blocked.

Credit Suisse lowers AAPL target, 'stop loss' figure

09/30, 11:20am

Credit Suiise lowers AAPL

Analyst Steven Soranno of Credit Suisse has joined other firms in devaluing Apple stock, reports say. Soranno comments that while Apple has a solid base with good products, the company cannot help but be affected by the overall economy, which is plagued by failing banks and limited credit. In spite of Credit posting a $200 target last month, Soranno says he is now lowering this figure to $160, though the stock is still qualified as a "buy" for investors.

Nintendo developing DS pedometer add-on?

09/30, 11:15am

Nintendo Pedometer Leak

Nintendo is in the midst of developing a pedometer add-on for its consoles, if a European trade document translates to a finished product. The largely mysterious device is described only as a "pedometer" and has just a bare minimum of connections and controls, suggesting a role as an add-on to add data from walking and running to DS handhelds for use with exercise programs and games. One strip on the side also hints at a potential wireless link.

AOL announces AIM for Mac public beta

09/30, 10:15am

AIM for Mac public beta

AOL has released the first public beta of a new AIM for Mac client, the first major update since February of 2004. In the new software, users have access to AIM Expressions, allowing them to customize their AIM sounds, wallpaper, emoticon set and Buddy Icon. AOL is also looking to implement some of the more popular features from other versions of AIM, such as file transfers, tabbed conversations, AIM Groups, and AIM Blast.

Sony to keep Cell for PlayStation 4?

09/30, 10:15am

Sony PS4 May Keep Cell

Sony's eventual replacement for the PlayStation 3 may simply rely on a continuation of Cell technology rather than a whole new architecture, according to info obtained by Impress. Where the PS2 and PS3 both represented major changes in architecture, the PS4 will reportedly focus on driving down costs both for actual buyers and for Sony itself, which is said to consider yet another complete change in processor design too expensive when it has to compete against Nintendo's less expensive Wii and has alredy invested heavily into developing Cell with IBM and Toshiba.

IBM posts Lotus Domino eMail for iPhone

09/30, 10:00am

Lotus Domino eMail iPhone

After a long delay, IBM says it has released a new web application for the iPhone and iPod touch, Lotus Domino eMail. The function is tied to the Lotus iNotes software bundled with Lotus Domino Web Access 8.0.2, and provides access to Lotus e-mail, contacts and calendars. E-mail browsing allows the collapsing or expansion of details, and the viewing of attachment files, such as graphics.

LG’s 8MP phone confirmed as more photos leak

09/30, 9:45am

LG 8MP handset confirmed

Last week, a blurry photo and some specs on LG's second, more affordable camera phone, the KC780 were published, and more photos were unveiled today. LG claims the handset will be the thinnest on the market with an 8-megapixel camera, The included photos show the phone next to the flagship LG Renoir (KC910) handset, which also sports an 8-megapixel camera, and the two are nearly the same thickness. The KC780's back is scalloped, bulging out around the camera, suggesting that the phone will be thinner overall than the Renoir. Thus far, the thinnest 8MP pixel shooter is the Samsung M8800 Pixon, at just over half an inch thick.

Dell bows new-look S1909WX, S1709W LCDs

09/30, 9:25am

Dell S1909WX and S1709W

Dell brought the newer, rounded designs of its larger displays to the entry level on Tuesday by introducing the 19-inch S1909WX and the 17-inch S1709W. In contrast to the 16:9 ratio S2409W, the new LCDs use a more traditional 16:10, 1440x900 resolution but share design traits of their larger sibling, including a cleanly designed back and a detachable stand that lets owners use a VESA mount for display arms or walls.

Facebook 2.0 app debuts for iPhone/iPod touch

09/30, 9:10am

Facebook 2.0 iPhone app

Pushing the edge of a September deadline, Facebook has released v2.0 of its self-named iPhone/iPod touch application. The software makes a number of significant changes, most notably to the News Feed, which now displays everything from the desktop edition of the site. In previous versions of the app, only status updates and mobile photo updates were shown.

WD offers up 4TB home network storage

09/30, 8:50am

WD ShareSpace

Western Digital today leapt into more serious home and SoHo network-attached storage with the appearance of its ShareSpace line. The four-bay system is designed to be simple, with a built-in iTunes server for sharing content over the network and pre-supplied backup software, but is also more powerful than the company's normal home drives. All ShareSpace boxes can run in either a RAID stripe for sheer space or a mirror for simple redundancy; a top-end model with all four bays full can also run in RAID 5 for a combination of backup and striping that makes the most of the available storage.

Super Talent launches sub-$300 128GB SSD

09/30, 8:15am

Super Talent LX SSD

Super Talent on Tuesday gave notebook owners a potential break by launching the MasterDrive LX lineup, its lowest-cost solid-state drive lineup yet. The 2.5-inch SATA II disks use a relatively low-cost form of multi-level cell (MLC) storage to provide performance faster than many notebook drives without driving up the cost or affecting their longevity. All LX drives claim a peak reading speed of 100MB per second and write back at 40MB per second while lasting for a claimed average of one million hours (114 years) between failures.

AMD intros budget Radeon HD 4550, 4350

09/30, 7:40am

AMD Radeon HD 4550 4350

AMD early Tuesday took its Radeon HD 4000-series chipsets into ultra budget territory with two video cards that promise better performance than their prices would suggest. The Radeon HD 4550 and Radeon HD 4350 have just 80 stream (effects) processors versus as much as 800 for the Radeon 4800 series but are still capable of full DirectX 10.1 and current OpenGL 2.x effects, rendering them some of the least expensive cards capable of their more advanced visuals. The new chipsets are also some of the only ones of their type to have 7.1-channel audio pass-through over HDMI and the option of DisplayPort.

rubiTrack tracks activity data from GPS devices

09/30, 4:15am

rubiTrack software

Toolsfactory software has announced the release of a new GPS enabled activity tracking software for the Mac, rubiTrack. The software allows users to display and organize their runs, bike rides, walks, or other outdoor activities so that they may be analyzed. Version 1.0 reads tracks for GPS enabled fitness devices like the Garmin Forerunner, then stores the tracks as both GPX and TCX files. The activities are then accessible though different activity groups which are automatically categorized by activity type, location, route, date, distance and workout duration.

65nm Jasper-based XBOX 360 consoles ship

09/30, 1:05am

Jasper X360 console ships

Microsoft is reportedly shipping the Jasper-based XBOX 360 consoles, Jasper being a 65nm-process chip that the company hopes will reduce hardware failures indicated by the so-called "red ring of death." Microsoft went through a tough time in recent years with the XBOX 360, having to replace a vast amount of consoles due to an overheating issue likely related to the former 90nm-process chips. The recalls ended up costing Microsoft over $1 billion.

Google adds open source updater, JavaScript art apps

09/30, 12:30am

Java art app and updater

Google on Monday unveiled a new open source app called Update Engine to update its various Mac products, as well as Top Draw, a drawing application that constructs images based on JavaScript-based text files. Update Engine not only allows users to update their Google-designed Mac apps, preference panes, and screen savers, but also arbitrary files and root-level kernel extensions. Its open source nature also allows third party developers to adapt Update Engine for their own products.

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