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Games have always been part of every computer from the simple Solitaire and Minesweeper program that comes with Windows to the more sophisticated chess program that comes with the Macintosh. Curiously, the iPhone/iPod Touch lacks any such built-in programs so if you want to play games, you'll have to visit the AppStore and download them yourself. While there are plenty of games you can choose, one of the more interesting apps is PuzzleManiak.
Pro Fortran 10.2 ships
Absoft has released Pro Fortran 10.2, featuring increased speed, better debugging and new Fortran tools. Absoft has incorporated Intel's SSE4.1 vector instructions, which can increase speeds as much as 10 percent. Pro Fortran v10.2 also uses Absoft's Fx3 debugger with Apple's Xcode 3.1, improving debugging in both 32-and 64-bit executables. Fortran's new IDE (Integrated Development Environment) includes a new parallel make facility with Fortran awareness that simplifies code development.
Streaming service expands
StreamAudio has announced a new service, Multi-Format Streaming to its Premium Broadcaster package. StreamAudio's hosts a broadcasting system that allows radio stations to stream music in multiple formats (MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC Plus, OGG) to users on Macs, Windows, Linux and mobile users as well. Advertising and ad metrics are also supported. The service allows broadcasters to stream feeds from a single computer, via a single source stream, to StreamAudio, where the music and ads are converted to numerous filetypes and transmitted to listeners on differing platforms.
T RackS 3 mastering suite
IK Multimedia has announced the latest version of its audio mixing and mastering software suite, T-RackS 3. The update includes three analog and vintage emulations based on the Fairchild 670 and Pultec EQP-1A. Two new digital processors and four "classic" processors have also been added. The mixing and mastering chain can now be configured for 12 parallel or series processors. A built in metering section now allows users to view the peak, perceived loudness, phase, and RMS meters, along with a spectrum analyzer.
Mail Act On 2 update
Indev Software has released the latest version of its Apple Mail organization tool, Mail Act-On 2. The update offers a faster interface, with an option to lock the window open to allow multiple rules to be applied successively. Users can retrace their steps with a new undo function. Keystrokes can be used to perform actions on messages with the enhanced interface or by using control key combinations, which is claimed to allow the management functions without a mouse. The outbox now supports rules to organize sent messages.
Big Bang Board Games
Freeverse has released Big Bang Board Games 1.2, the latest version of its game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The update supports 2 player "hot seat" mode, allowing gamers to play against other humans. The game piece contrast has been increased, the localization improved, and other bugs fixed.
Xsan 2 1 1 updates
Apple has posted updates for its storage area network (SAN) storage management software, Xsan 2.1.1, including filesystem and administrator versions. The filesystem download is claimed to improve reliability for all systems running Mac OS X 10.5 or higher, or Mac OS X Server 10.5 or higher. All of the improvements from the 2.1 update are offered, along with better reliability and performance while accessing large quantities of files. The search function has also been enhanced for finding files in deeply-nested directories.
New iPod accessories ship
Marware is now shipping two new iPod accessories, the Eco Runner for iPod nano 4G and the Sport Grip for iPod touch 2G. The Eco Runner is billed as Marware's first environmentally friendly case for the Nano. The standard neoprene is replaced with and ecologically friendly material in the wrist/armband. It can hold an iPod nano and a Nike + Receiver, featuring clear vinyl covering of the Nano's screen. The Eco Runner carries a lifetime warranty, is available in gray with green accents and costs $35.
T-Mobile Pearl new colors
Wireless carrier T-Mobile on Wednesday announced it is now offering the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smartphone in three new colors, as reported last month. The newly available colors are called frost, emerald and indigo, and complement the existing Wi-Fi-capable handset that was available in titanium. Pricing for the three new colors and the existing handset in titanium is set at nearly $150 with a two-year contract.
Sharp PC keyboard handset
Sharp unveiled the Softbank 9225H handset at the CEATEC 2008 convention that ended last week in Japan, which most notably features a QWERTY keyboard behind the front panel that is hinged like a notebook. On the inside of the lid, the device has a 3.5-inch display that makes it well-equipped to display streaming video from the 1Seg TV tuner in supported markets. The handset can store videos and photos taken by its integrated 2-megapixel camera on a microSDHC card slot.
OWC memory for MacBooks
OWC has released a memory kit upgrade for the new Apple MacBooks announced this week. The company is offering a 4GB DDR3 kit, as a matched pair of 2GB modules, for the MacBook 13 inch and MacBook Pro 15 inch models. The components are RoHS compliant, and compatible with the the 1066MHz bus speed of the notebooks. The memory is available for $140, or for $125 if the customer trades in their 1GB Apple memory modules.
KDDI wireless e-paper
KDDI has shown a prototype of its Portable Viewing System that can display images wirelessly transferred from cellphones on a 13.1-inch electronic paper display in color. What KDDI claims is the first electronic paper display capable of showing images stored in cellphones, the system uses infrared waves to transfer the image from the phone to the display. The display uses Bridgestone's Electronic Liquid Powder technology capable of reproducing 4,096 colors. To redraw the near A4-paper size image, the display needs 12 seconds.
NEC show 12.1-inch 3D LCD
NEC Display on Wednesday announced it will demonstrate a stereoscopic display that produces high-definition 3D images without requiring viewers to wear special 3D glasses at the FPD International 2008 show due to kick off on October 23rd. The 12.1-inch display has a resolution of 800x600 pixels and is meant for commercial use. NEC has developed a Horizontally Double-Density Pixels LCD module to achieve the feat, which uses horizontally arranged RGB pixels in addition to the vertical arrangement of a typical LCD display.
Samsung adds DivX HDTVs
DivX and Samsung on Wednesday announced high-end Samsung HDTVs will support high-quality DivX video files under a multiyear agreement. The DivX Certified HDTVs should be available worldwide at the beginning of 2009, and will be able to playback DivX media files stored on USB devices or a DLNA-certified Ethernet connection. Samsung already offers DivX-certified products that range from cellphones to DVD players.
Samsung T459 at T-Mobile
A leaked document reveals a new Samsung handset, the Gravity T459 slider, will be made available via the T-Mobile provider on November 17th. Previously known as the Holic, the handset sports a design similar to the Samsung Messager horizontal slider that reveals a full QWERTY keyboard, and should appeal to users who text heavily. Apart from the design, the phone features video and picture messaging capabilities thanks to its 1.3-megapixel camera.
Office 2004/2008 updates
Microsoft has released updates for the two most recent editions of its Office for Mac suite, 2004 and 2008. Office 2008 12.1.3 makes a variety of changes, most notably several reliability fixes. Apps in the suite should no longer close spontaneously, and documents with PDF images should not lose or relocate the images when opened within Windows. Other changes include a fix to a malware threat, and a host of tweaks to each individual program. Entourage, for instance, should no longer duplicate calendar events within Outlook 2007 or Outlook Web Access. The patch is a 154.4MB download.
IDC Prelim Q3 2008
Apple has likely been softening the computer market share growth of its top rivals during the summer, according to early IDC estimates. The company's portion of the market is estimated to have shot up from 7.3 percent in summer 2007 to 9.1 percent just a year later, giving it the single largest growth by an individual computer builder of the top five with just over 1.65 million Macs shipped and a 32 percent total boost. By comparison, top-ranked Dell has moved just a tenth of a percent upwards to 29.2 percent (5.3 million PCs) while second place HP actually declined by a similar amount to 25.1 percent (4.55 million) in the summer.
Flash Player upgraded
Adobe has released Adobe Flash Player 10 for the Mac. Fast on the heels of Adobe shipping its Creative Suite 4, Flash Player 10 arrives with CS 4 integration and collaborative features. It supports custom filters and effects (created in Adobe Pixel Bender), and 3D transformations and animations.
Intel announces SSDs
Intel has begun shipping the first of its high-performance SATA solid state drives, claiming a 100 percent boost in read/write performance and substantial energy savings over conventional hard drives. Aimed at the server and workstation market, the 32GB X-25E drops into the hard drive bay in a notebook or some desktops and servers and is designed for both performance users and intense work tasks such as medical imaging and digital simulation. A 64GB model is expected to be available early next year.
Kodawarisan has posted disassembly photos of the new MacBook. The new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GPU can be seen on the logic board, along with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The battery door can be removed, without using a coin, by pressing the latch with a finger, which reduces the possibility of scratching the aluminum. The hard drive is also accessible beside the battery, but is retained by a T6-Torx screw. The logic board, SuperDrive, and memory are now covered by a second panel on the bottom of the device, eliminating the need to pull the keyboard panel.
UserMatic now shipping
EditGroove says it is now shipping its UserMatic plug-in for Final Cut Pro. The tool looks to solve Final Cut Pro preferences hassles, by letting users store and recall an unlimited number of Final Cut Pro preference sets, as well as delete unneeded preferences and make backups. UserMatic also has built-in networking capabilities, giving people direct access to the same library from multiple workstations.
PacketStream 2.4 update
Code by Kevin has released an update to its network monitoring program for the Mac, PacketStream. The application provides point-and-click activation of the Mac's built-in network monitoring program, which is generally available only through the command line. Version 2.4 has added a standard Mac "window" menu to better fit with the system interface, and preferences now update immediately when the window is closed; there is no need to hit a save button.
Griffin Wave for iPods
Griffin has announced that its Wave case has been updated and redesigned for the new iPod nano 4G, Touch 2G and Classic. The new version features the same wave-shaped contours of the original iPhone version, but has been modified with a double-helix design on the front and back. The iPod cases also feature Griffin's EasyDock design, which lets users simply slip off the case bottom in order to charge and sync.
G1 in UK by October 30th
While some US customers are expected to get their T-Mobile G1 handsets as soon as this Friday, the UK's population has now been told it will have to wait for the Android smartphone until the end of October, according to a T-Mobile UK announcement. The device us now due October 30th and will cost nothing if users sign up for a ú40 (nearly $70) per month Combi or Flext voice and data plan, though the length of the term hasn't been specified.
PSP Store Update Live
Sony today rolled out planned firmware updates for its PlayStation lineup that add a pair of essential features. The PSP 5.0 update adds PlayStation Store access and represents the first time that users can buy and download games and content directly from the handheld itself; the account is also unified with that of the PS3. The revision further adds support for TV output for PlayStation games, a QWERTY keyboard for entering text, and a sleep timer for those using the PSP as a makeshift bedside radio.
Apple ships new MacBooks
MacNN can confirm that Apple's newly announced MacBooks are now shipping, coming out of Shanghai, China. The Apple Store is listing waits of one to three business days, with free shipping on standard configurations (as well as next business day delivery for ony $16); custom orders extend waits to anywhere between two and four days. In practice however, some notebooks are being delivered on a next-day timeframe, regardless of the Apple Store's promise of five-day free shipping and two- to three-day expedited shipping. In addition, retails stores are also reporting shipments of the new laptops, including the San Francisco store, which received its first shipment of new laptops this morning at 11 am PT.
Sherwood intros BD player
Sherwood announced the introduction of its first Blu-ray Disc player, the BDP-5003, on Wednesday. The player supports BD Bonus View Profile 1.1 for picture-in-picture but not the newer 2.0 that brings with it BD-Live support by connecting to the Internet. It will play 1080p Blu-ray content at 24Hz or 60Hz, and its HDMI 1.3 outputs and onboard processing deliver lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio HD sound formats. As expected, the BDP-5003 will upscale standard DVDs and supports all popular disc formats.
ASUS Eee PC 701SDX Spotted
ASUS' promised $300 Eee PC may already have spotted in a leak to Eee PC News today. A system known as the 701SDX has tipped up that reveals a slightly modified version of the original 7-inch design and will trim prices mainly by reducing features as with earlier incarnations: the webcam will be absent, while just 4GB to 8GB of flash memory is anticipated for storage. Linux isn't known but is likely given ASUS' pricing system.
TextSoap 6 released
unmarked software has released the next major version of its TextSoap application. TextSoap 6 is a text processing utility, one which uses find and replace commands to not only change words, but also copy formatting throughout a document. Aside from being a text editor, TextSoap also integrates with software such as Mail, TextEdit, MS Word and Coda. Version 6 features a new user interface, designed to improve ease of access for the text-cleaning toolset.
T-Mobile G1 arrives Friday
A Wednesday report reveals T-Mobile customers who pre-ordered the T-Mobile G1 may get their Android-based smartphone as early as Friday, October 17th. The report cites two customers who have checked their UPS tracking number online and have been told T-Mobile is shipping the G1 on a 3-day service, pegging the arrival date at this Friday, ahead of the in-store release date of October 21st.
Nanosaur II on iPhone/iPod
Pangea Software has announced the release of its latest iPhone/iPod touch game, Nanosaur II: Hatchling. The game has the player piloting a pterodactyl from the future, whose mission is to locate stolen dinosaur eggs and return them to safety. Players also collect various power-ups and weapons, used to battle other dinosaurs and mechanized sentries along the way. Some items include bombs, blasters and heat-seeking missiles.
Samsung Omnia by mid-Nov.?
Samsung's Omnia smartphone, considered to be one of many rivals to the Apple iPhone, may arrive in the United States by mid-November, a leak suggests. A purported rebate document shows a $70 discount applying between October 14th and November 15th, even though no formal release date has been announced. Although the entry could be outdated or otherwise inaccurate, it does hint that the phone might be available next month at the latest.
HP Clearing Mini-Notes
HP is aggressively discounting its Mini-Note PCs in what may be an attempt to clear stock for upgrades, a new promo would suggest. The VIA-based netbook, which officially launched at $499, is now selling for as little as $399 in its basic configuration of a 1GHz C7-M, 512MB of memory, and a 4GB flash drive pre-loaded with SuSE Linux; other discounts are more dramatic and range up to a $779 model (normally $1,064) with a 1.6GHz chip, 2GB of memory, a 120GB hard drive and Windows Vista Business.
WaterField MacBook cases
WaterField Designs has announced cases, shipping next week, made for Apple's new line of MacBooks, MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros. The Suede Jacket Sleeve is a thin case that covers a MacBook, protecting it from scratches. The sleeve is made of washable microfiber with stretch memory, and features loops that simplify opening it and inserting a computer.
Iomega StorCenter ix2
Iomega on Wednesday announced the worldwide availability of its StorCenter ix2 network attached storage device, available in 1TB and 2TB capacities. Apart from being able to serve as a backup device for network in the home and small offices, the StorCenter ix2 can act as a media server thanks to its support of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and DLNA devices connected to the network. An iTunes server is integrated in the ix2 as well, which runs on EMC LifeLine software with a Linux-based kernel.
Ban on QComm 3G Overturned
A ban on Qualcomm chipsets has been partly overturned today by a US appeals court. A federal judge has ruled that the International Trade Commission's halt on imports of cellphones with certain Qualcomm 3G cellular chips overstepped the organization's authority by banning parts that weren't directly named in Broadcom's patent violation lawsuit against Qualcomm. Broadcom hasn't responded to the decision.
MacBook prices excessive?
Apple may have a difficult time selling its new MacBooks, say more research firms commenting on the issue. In contrast to UBS and Piper Jaffray, analysts from ThinkPanmure and Endpoint Technologies argue that the discounted $999 MacBook and $2,500 SSD-equipped MacBook Air will not be enough to sell more Macs within a dangerously crippled economy. "Out of all the [companies] who will be under pressure, it will be Apple because the price points are still significantly higher," says ThinkPanmure's Vijay Rakesh.
Pioneer today officially took the wraps from the XMp3, the company's first portable satellite radio since the long out-of-sale Inno. The new handheld is unique in its ability to record five separate XM stations at once, guaranteeing that listeners can preserve more than one show at the same time. It also takes a cue from Slacker in an automatic buffering mode that holds as much as 30 hours of programming at any given time to keep radio going when a subway tunnel or other interference cuts out the satellite signal.
MB Pro 17in Due 2009
The 17-inch model conspicuously absent from Apple's MacBook Pro redesign has only been delayed, AppleInsider claims. Referring to sources it says have now been proven accurate by Apple's announcements on Tuesday, the rumor site now believes a larger pro system virtually identical in style to the unibody 15-inch model is due in "several months." The report corroborates MacNN's own sources which have indicated an unexpected delay preventing a simultaneous launch and are believed to include display and DVD drive problems.
Flock 2.0 browser released
The developers of Flock have announced v2.0 of the browser, which is launching today across multiple platforms. Flock is oriented towards social networking sites, and thus has built-in functions for sites such as Digg, Flickr and Twitter. The second edition adds support for MySpace through the MySpace Data Availability platform, which lets users track contacts via the People Sidebar, and browse or share photos, links and videos.
NVIDIA GF 9400M Official
Following an introduction along with Apple's new MacBook range, NVIDIA this morning formally announced the GeForce 9400M for all notebook manufacturers. The chipset is one of the first to merge both a full mainboard chipset, including memory and bus controllers, with a truly modern graphics core: it includes 16 graphics processors, or twice that of the GeForce 9300M and other dedicated mobile GPUs that also consume double the space on size-sensitive notebook mainboards.
Firefox 3.1 beta 1 posted
MS Developing Instant On
Microsoft could be hoping to preempt the further spread of Linux into its territory by developing its own pre-boot interface, a survey sent by a reader to Engadget shows. Tentatively called just Instant On, the proposed feature would mimic the approach taken with Dell's Latitude Instant On or the Splashtop interface on some ASUS mainboards and notebooks by giving users basic web browsing, media playback, and messaging in a special interface that would start in less than eight seconds.
HP Said Bullying Suppliers
HP could be trying to cement its position in notebooks by shutting at least one competitor out of supply deals, according to a controversial claim by southeast Asian industry sources. The American PC maker is allegedly demanding that its contract manufacturers refuse orders from ASUS and is said to be punishing those that take the latter's orders by reducing its own orders at these companies, hurting their overall business. The threat is supposedly prompted by ASUS' goal of becoming the fourth-largest notebook builder worldwide, which may eat into HP's estimated lead in worldwide PC sales.
Sharp AQUOS DX w Blu-ray
Sharp on Wednesday claimed a first by launching the AQUOS DX series of HDTVs. The line is the only to date to carry a Blu-ray burner and uses the slot-loading, side-mounted drive along with a dual digital tuner to record HD broadcasts even while the viewer is watching another channel. By using H.264 encoding and optimizing the bitrate, Sharp estimates as much as 21 hours of TV can be stored on a dual-layer 50GB disc. An electronic programming guide helps for scheduling recording in advance.
Sansa slotMusic Player
SanDisk on Wednesday unveiled the Sansa slotMusic Player, its new MP3 player for listening to music on the go. According to the company, the plug & play, portable music player was specially designed for use with the new slotMusic cards available today in the United States. The company rolled out both a Sansa-branded player and new personalized, branded slotMusic players for popular artists such as Robin Thicke and ABBA -- both of which are shipping to U.S. stores today, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart and are expected to be available from retailers in Europe and other regions of the world in 2009.
ooVoo 1.5 video chat
ooVoo on Wednesday announced its high quality video chat software for Mac: ooVoo 1.5 for Mac allows multiparty video calls between Windows PC and Mac computers. The new version now brings new features that include video call recording, calls to landline and mobile phones, and more. Video call recording allows users to capture their video chats with other ooVoo users and share the file with friends via email, ooVoo file transfer, or by uploading to any of the social sharing sites that incorporate video including YouTube, Myspace and Facebook. Accordign to the company, the length of a recorded conversation is limited only by the storage capacity available on the hard drive of the user's computer. ooVoo Mac 1.5 also enables users to make calls to landline or mobile phones within U.S. and Canada.
Adobe ships CS4 collection
Adobe on Wednesday announced it is shipping Adobe Creative Suite 4, and all associated products. Creative Suite 4 is being offered in six different suites: Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, Web Standard, Production Premium, and Master Collection. The new version offers users a host of new and improved tools, including enhanced 3D functionality, 3D painting, live preflighting, animation, and access to several new community and help features, such as ConnectNow, and Photoshop.com.
MacVelope for MacBook Air
Grantwood Technology has introduced the MacVelope, a notebook sleeve designed for the MacBook Air, and the MacVelope Companion Bag. The sleeve is designed to look like a standard manila colored mail envelope, similar to what Steve Jobs used for demonstration at the 2008 Macworld Expo. A red string has even been added to replicate the look of a document envelope, and it opens in a similar way but with Velcro across the inside of the folding flap. The MacBook is protected by vinyl on the outside and ballistic nylon lining the interior.
Apple deals: reduced Macs
With the release of the new MacBook and MacBook Pro models Apple's online store has reduced the price on their previous generation portable Mac models. The 2.1GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive is now available for $849 in white, prices go up to $1099 for the black 2.4GHz model with 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive. The 15-inch MacBook Pros start at $1,349 for 2GB of RAM, 200GB hard drive and a 2.4GHz processor and go up to $1,799 for the 2.6GHz model with 2GB of memory and 200GB hard drive. The 17-inch MacBook Pro models have a starting price of $1999 for a 2.4GHz processor 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive and peak at $2,399 for a 2.6GHz processor 2GB of memory and 200GB hard drive. Refurbished MacBook Air models have also been reduced. They start at $1349 for the 1.6GHz model with 2GB of memory and 80GB PATA hard drive and go up to $1799 for the 1.8GHz model with 2GB of memory and 64GB solid state drive.
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