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If you need an office suite for the Mac, your choices used to be limited to Microsoft Office 2008 or Apple’s iWork. Unfortunately, neither option offered a complete solution. Office 2008 can share the latest file formats with Office 2007 for Windows, but the Mac and Windows versions of Office neither look nor work exactly alike. If you’re already familiar with Office 2007 on Windows, Office 2008 for the Mac will seem different enough to frustrate and confuse you. Apple’s iWork is the only other office suite solution, but it lacks a Windows version. For a true cross-platform office suite, you can now rely on the open source OpenOffice 3.0.
Microsoft is enticing Xbox 360 Core and Arcade system owners to acquire a high-capacity 512MB memory module or 20GB hard drive, offering an upgrade path for interested users. The program is designed to prepare lower-end Xbox 360 owners for the upcoming user interface update, coming November 19th. Core systems can be eligible for either a free 512MB memory module, or a $20 20GB hard drive, while Arcade owners can pay $30 for the 20GB hard drive, with three months of Xbox Live Gold.
With Apple's new laptops expected at tomorrow's event, sources have delivered original photos of the MacBook Pro showing an iMac-like "metal and glass" design -- with FireWire connectivity -- as well as a plethora of other specs and information. After early photos of the casings appeared only this past weekend, MacNN sources say that all new MacBook Pro laptops will feature FireWire connectivity, NVIDIA graphics/chips, HD displays and drives up to 320GB running at the higher 7,200rpm speeds for maximum speed, while the high-end MacBook Pro will feature Hybrid SLI graphics -- both discrete and integrated graphics for maximum performance or maximum battery life (although our source called it "dual-GPUs"). The consumer line of MacBooks, however, will not feature FireWire to help differentiate the product lines. [updated: FireWire will be available on MBP models]
Other World Computing has announced a new rebate program for October that covers a wide range of storage devices. The largest rebates, of $120, cover the Mercury Rack Pro 1.5TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB products. Customers that purchase the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual Drive RAID devices with capacities from 750GB to 2TB will receive $60. The Mercury Elite-AL Pro Single Drive and NewerTech miniStack 750GB or 1TB products are eligible for $30 rebate, while a purchase of the Mercury On-The-Go Bus Powered storage will receive $20 back.
Storage device company ATTO has unveiled new products at the Storage Networking World trade show, a line of ExpressSAS 6-Gb SAS/SATA host adapters, and the FastStream SC 8500 8-Gb RAID storage controller. The ExpressSAS 6-Gb SAS/SATA host adapters combine the company's Advanced Data Streaming (ADS) technology with management software for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. Six models will be released in the line, which are in the process of being shipped to OEMs and partners for certification and qualification.
Yoggie has introduced two new security devices for Mac computers, the Gatekeeper Pico and Gatekeeper Card Pro. Both contain complete mini-computer systems including a processor, memory, and secured operating system. The Pico version is roughly the size of a USB-key and connects through the USB port, while the Card Pro slides into an ExpressCard slot. Each will boot with the computer and hijack the network connections using a low-level driver, which routes internet traffic through the device first so an attack doesn't reach the host computer.
NetGear on Monday announced it is now shipping the industry's first six-bay desktop network-attached storage (NAS) devices, with its ReadyNAS Pro range, meant for use in small- and medium-sized businesses with up to 200 users. Available in 1.5TB, 3TB and 6TB capacities, the products allow users connected in local or wireless networks to store, back up and share data whether operating on Windows, Mac or Linux platforms.
Microsoft on Monday officially dubbed the next version of its operating system Windows 7, the company reveals in its Windows Vista blog. Corporate VP of Windows Product Management Mike Nash notes that while Microsoft has used codenames during final product releases in the past, he believes this to be a first for Windows. Nash admits that, since this would be the seventh incarnation of the NT kernel, Windows 7 "just makes sense" as a product title.
Apple has filed for the dismissal of an August lawsuit regarding the iPhone 3G network performance, according to Computerworld. The company has asked a federal judge to support the motion because the customers did not ask for refunds or device repairs. Jessica Smith, an Alabama resident, filed the original suit after her iPhone only connected to the 3G networks 25 percent of the time, and dropped calls excessively. Shortly after the product launch, Apple released software updates for the device that were designed to alleviate some of the connectivity issues.
Bernstein Research has upgraded AAPL stock status and claims that a $900 MacBook could lead to substantial revenue and market share gains, as reported by AppleInsider. The firm placed the stock in the "Outperform" category, citing its current price as overly discounted and expects its near-term financials to remain strong even in the current economic maelstrom. This is undoubtedly good news for Apple, which has seen its stock battered in the recent market sell-off and downgraded by other firms amid fear of consumer spending declines.
Arten Science is shipping the second major version of macVCR, its screencapture utility. Footage of a Mac's activity is recorded in video, which can be formatted for a variety of standards including AVI, QuickTime and MPEG-4. The v2.0 software introduces several major features, including the ability to magnify at the cursor's location, and record from a video camera at the same time. Users now also have access to unlimited presets, and a date/time overlay.
US President George Bush on Monday signed the PRO-IP Act into law, increasing the federal government's attempts to crack down on copyright violations and other intellectual property infringement in the country. The Act will bring in a cabinet member dedicated to improving copyright protection and also increases punishments for both basic copyright violations as well as physical counterfeits.
Averatec today brought over a new addition to its All-in-One series that was previously available only in Europe. Once called the A1, the All-in-One 18.4-inch PC takes the uncommon approach of attaching a large 16:9 display to a nettop, giving it the stature of a desktop but a relatively low price. The system continues to run a 1.6GHz Atom processor and also carries 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive and Wi-Fi.
MildMannered Industries has posted a v1.4 update to Baseline, its Mac disk utility. The software is used to provide a detailed analysis of disk space, including not just drives but the amount consumed by individual files and folders. The software can also compare scans to detect changes in file structure, and similarly point out duplicate files for future deletion.
Video game consoles like the Xbox or PlayStation are easy to use because they offer special game controllers designed to play video games. Unfortunately, most computers are saddled with an ordinary keyboard designed for general use. If you prefer a specialized keyboard optimized for video game playing, consider Microsoft’s SideWinder X6 Keyboard.
Images of an upcoming Sirius Boombox, the SUB-X2, have leaked on Monday, thanks to Monday's Orbitcast report. Like the current SUB-X1 boombox, the photos reveal the new Boombox will sport a front-panel headphone jack and auxiliary input that will enable users to plug in their personal MP3 players and non universal docking Sirius radios.
LG Display intros privacy protection notebook LCDs LG Display on Monday announced it has developed a 14.1-inch LCD panel for notebook computers that can change its horizontal viewing angle from 175 degrees to 60 degrees with an adjustable control. Called Viewing-angle Image Control (VIC) display technology, the innovation gives users greater privacy without the need to use any plastic filters. According to an LG Display executive, reducing the viewing angle does not have a significant affect on screen brightness.
Trapster.com has announced that its speed trap notification app is now available on the iPhone. Trapster allows users to post places where they have previously encountered traps, alerting other drivers of where to slow down. Trap reports are also updated instantly as users enter them, keeping map information accurate.
Samsung on Monday issued an announcement that it has launched its D980 handset in Russia. The handset is one of the very few that combines a 2.6-inch, 240x320 touchscreen with dual SIM card support, enabling users to use one card for making phone calls and the other for browsing the Internet and downloading data. The supported networks include the 900/1800/1900MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE bands, and 3G networks are not supported. Users get a stylus for navigating Samsung's TouchWiz interface, though it is not required.
An alleged Best Buy inventory printout for new MacBook models shows pricing unchanged from current versions, according to a leak on Gizmodo. The list uses color codes to represent the different models, and mentions prices ranging from $1,100 for the 13-inch base model up to $2,800 for the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Information such as dimensions and stock dates are believed to be temporary placeholders.
Taiwan's Lian Li on Monday announced the release of its newest PC chassis, the PC-9 mid-tower. The tower features five 5.25-inch bays for optical drives and an HDD Cage that has four slots for 3.5-inch hard disk drives. The SATA connections allow for hot swaps of the drives, while a lockable front door keeps the cage secure. A dedicated 4.7-inch fan cools the HDDs, while another fan of the same size is mounted in the rear for all other ventilation needs. Other cooling aids include an ATX or micro ATX motherboard tray that has additional holes for better ventilation. The 7x PCI slots are covered by a grill that is, again, meant to improve airflow. Each 5.25-inch bay cover contains a removable nylon filter that can be cleaned easily and keeps the inside of the case clean of dust and other particles.
DataMind has produced an update for its digital processing application, Jade. Jade 1.3 is an image enhancement and batch processing tool, used to automatically alter digital images for better color, contrast and dynamic range. The v1.3 upgrade has added Keychain support for remembering Flickr and Picasa logins, and also supports uploading to Picasa web albums. The interface has meanwhile been updated for simplicity; some of the menus have been renamed more appropriately, and the help files have been expanded.
Egypt is under increasing pressure to lift GPS ban that effectively outlaws the use navigation devices for personal purposes. Passed in 2003, the restriction applies to all stand-alone GPS units as well as cellphones and other devices that don't explicitly receive government approval; companies that import hardware with GPS can lose their supplies if caught. The country is only one of three to still ban the technology and is joined by North Korea and Syria.
Blitwerkz says it has updated its photography calculator app, which is now at version 1.1. f/8 allows users to input the details of the camera and lens they are using, then adjust details of the picture they are working on for ideal depth-of-field effects, including hyperfocus. The update incorporates a new lens picker, which removes the need for tedious keyboard entry, as well as presets for over 30 cinema cameras.
LG on Monday attempted a different tack with HDTVs today by introducing the LG80 into its Scarlet series. The large-screen LCD aims to provide the built-in sound that often requires an external sound system and switches from the 2.0-channel audio only sound of most TVs to a 3.1-channel, 50W setup. Adding the center satellite and subwoofer not only improves dialog and low-end bass but enables a virtual surround sound mix that simulates a larger home theater without consuming extra space.
A New Zealand-based Apple reseller, MagnumMac, has recently purchased a new building for occupation. Construction has already begun on the new storefront, which will be located in the center of Auckland's Newmarket shopping district, on the corner of Broadway and Khyber Pass. The location will serve as a replacement to a previous site in Newton, for which the lease expires in December. Existing customers have raised some concerns about the area's bad parking, but are claimed to understand the appeal of such a high-profile location. MagnumMac says it hopes to model the Newmarket shop after Apple's successful US-based stores, where the customer experience is highest priority.
Late last week, the US Department of Justice officially told chipmaker AMD it has ended its antitrust investigation into the company's pricing and marketing practices and will not take any action, AMD announced on Monday. The subpoenas were issued at the end of 2006 for AMD and ATI Technologies, which was purchased by AMD earlier that year, as well as competitor NVIDIA. As the top two add-in graphics chipmakers were producing products similar in performance and pricing, industry analysts believed the two were involved in collusion and price fixing practices.
Gamers should not expect the price of the PlayStation 3 to fall any farther in time for Christmas, says the president of Sony Computer Entertainment. "The answer is yes, if you’re asking, ‘Are these the prices we’re going with this Christmas,’" according to Kazuo Hirai. The PS3 has long been the most expensive of the current-generation consoles, originally starting at minimum of $499, though an 80GB model now costs $399. By comparison, a Nintendo Wii costs $249, while a barebones version of Microsoft's Xbox 360 is $199.
Nokia already has a second touchscreen device in the works following the 5800 XpressMusic, the company's Indian marketing chief Devinder Kishore has reportedly told CellPassion at a New Delhi event. The phone would sit above the mid-range 5800 and instead join the Nseries, which so far has relied almost exclusively on traditional direction and number pads for controls but often has stronger cameras and other media features.
IOGEAR on Monday announced the release of its 3-port USB 2.0 Mobile Hub, which not only expands the available USB ports of a Windows or Mac laptop or PC, but also includes a mini USB cord for transferring data from or charging cellphones or other compatible portable electronics. Both the mini-USB and USB cords tuck away into the sides of the hub for a clean and organized package.
Egnyte's web-based file server service has been upgraded with iPhone support, the company says. Egnyte is adding other enhancements to the service, which provides small businesses with a web-based alternative to traditional file servers. Small to medium-sized companies store their files in Egnyte's "cloud," at the cost of a monthly fee. Users can access the data on any machine and collaborate on projects in a virtual office environment.
Automatic Duck says it has released v4.0 of Pro Export FCP, its plug-in for Final Cut Pro. The software is used to export Final Cut Pro projects to other editing platforms, such as Quantel's Q eQ or iQ systems. The v4.0 update introduces expanded support for Avid software, through the option of MXF export; this lets FCP users avoid redigitizing. Similarly, users should now be able to carry over Avid-supported effects such as PIP, 3DWarp and Superimpose.
Wireless provider AT&T and handset maker Sony Ericsson on Monday announced the availability of the Sony Ericsson W760a Walkman phone, unique as the first Walkman-branded handset to offer access to 3G data networks on AT&T and possessing a built-in accelerometer that allows users to switch tracks by shaking or tilting the device. The new interface method can also be used as a controller when playing video games.
The FCC has approved the technical details of frequencies for free long-range broadband, a new report (PDF) states. The government body's testing has concluded that there is a minimal risk at best of interference with the particular Advanced Wireless Spectrum frequencies used by the technology. Critics, including cell carrier T-Mobile, had previously tried to dissuade the FCC by asserting that compatible hardware would disrupt their own networks.
Following extensive beta testing, the developers of OpenOffice have released the completed version of its v3.0 productivity suite. The software covers a variety of tasks, including spreadsheets, word processing and presentation work; editions are also available for a variety of different operating systems. The v3.0 update is said to be particularly important for the Mac, as users can now install a native client that does not require X11.
Foxconn Electronics -- the Chinese company that does final assembly on iPhones -- has posted its highest September revenues ever, figures show. The company accumulated the equivalent of $4.86 billion, a 9.61 percent growth over August and a 36.65 increase year-over-year. Notably, the growth is being attributed to increased shipments of specific products, namely the iPhone, Sony's PlayStation 3 console and various PCs. This seems to have defied global economic problems, though the full impact of the credit crisis would not be felt until October.
Acer on Monday announced it will begin shipping the Aspire X3200 desktop PC optimized to work as a multimedia entertainment center along with a 24-inch Acer P244W widescreen LCD that is capable of displaying 1920x1080, 16:9 ratio images. To take advantage of the monitor's resolution, the X3200-U3630A PC includes a Blu-ray drive and NVIDIA's GeForce 8200 integrated graphics. The PC also sports a 2.1GHz AMD Phenom X3 CPU along with 4GB of RAM.
ASUS' first attempt at an all-in-one desktop will cost even less than expected and is already surfacing online, according to multiple sources. Previously known as the Eee Monitor, the Eee Top is now said by PC industry contacts to be scaling down in size and will include both a version with a 15.6-inch display as well as an originally planned 19-inch model. The reduction, combined with the use of Linux and Intel's 1.6GHz Atom processor, will reportedly lead to just a $450 US price when it goes on sale in the near future. Previous leaks had hinted a figure closer to $500.
Apple has earned an award for its chain of retail stores, a magazine has announced. TWICE (This Week in Consumer Electronics) has handed Apple an Excellence in Retailing Award, specifically within the category of Best Vendor Retailer. Apple Stores give visitors a way to test a variety of products, TWICE comments, and the products are segregated into different areas that encourage experimentation.
Apple is giving both its iPods and MacBooks wide-area wireless in South Korea, a statement reads. The American company has signed a memorandum of understanding with major telecoms provider KT Corp to bundle KT's WiBro (WiMAX in Korea) mobile broadband service with Apple's portable music players and notebooks. Neither firm is specific on details, though the iPod touch and similar devices would require built-in hardware to support the feature where MacBooks could use USB or ExpressCard adapters depending on the model.
T-Mobile will immediately launch into direct competition with iPhone-level sales numbers when the Android-based G1 goes on sale in just over a week, according to claims by the Motley Fool. The carrier has reportedly not only sold out its initial pre-order allotment but a three times larger second wave as well; the tally sets aside 1.5 million G1s just for existing customers willing to buy the device without a first hands-on.
LG Electronics, along with PRADA Group, have announced the second Prada phone with a new slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Confirming earlier reports, the upcoming update to the designer phone is -- due by the end of the year -- is nearly identical to the original, but features a slide-out full metallic silver QWERTY keyboard. The iPhone competitor also offers other new features such as additional on-screen, call and hang-up buttons and addresses other shortcoming in the first version by adding 3G compatibility with video calling, 7.2Mbps HSDPA for connectivity, and a new finer five megapixel camera with a Schneider-Kreuznach lens. The company said it also brings Wi-Fi support and a full HTML browser to surf the internet.
T-Mobile on Monday announced that the first BlackBerry flip phone – the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 -- is now available in the U.S., exclusively from T-Mobile. Originally announced in early September, the new BlackBerry Pearl Flip smartphone includes the same features as the BlackBerry Pearl, but adds a "spacious" keyboard for improved typing and dialing. The 3.6oz device is only 3.9" x 1.96" x 0.68" and will be available at launch in black (with a red variant planned for the "coming weeks"--as early as October 20, according to reports). The phone will cost $149.99 with a two-year contract.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
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