Big Fish Games has launched Azada: Ancient Magic, the sequel to Azada. The puzzle-adventure game expands on the original's one-page puzzles, with 20 books in the sequel, along with a secret book for players who completed the original game. New villains, heroes and legends from classic literature have been added as well.
After an Intel representative blasted the iPhone's ARM processor as the cause of its problems, the company backpedaled on the statements, saying they were "inappropriate." Intel put forth the apology at the Intel Developer Forum in Taiwan, and instead lauded the device for being "extremely innovative," enabling "new and exciting market opportunities." Intel also said representatives should not be commenting on specific customer product designs.
The SEC has found the author of the false internet report suggesting that Steve Jobs had suffered a major heart attack, according to Bloomberg. The 18 year old, writing under the name "Johntw," posted the fabricated story on CNN's iReport website, a portal that posts entries from "citizen-journalists" that are not affiliates or staff writers of the news company. The report allegedly drove AAPL market value down $4.8 billion in the first hour of trading, even though it was quickly exposed as a fabrication and the stock recovered most of the lost value by the end of the day.
Mobis Technology has released the Just Mobile Xtand, a stand for the iPod touch first-generation or second-generation. The company uses solid aluminum construction, with a path milled through the back panel for cord pass-through when using the iPod with the USB cable connected. A knob adjustmend behind the device allows for adjustment of viewing angle and height, in addition to orientation of the device between horizontal and vertical.
The new aluminum MacBooks might lack a proper fit between the battery cover and the main housing, according to a number of owner reports, including MacRumors Forums. Several users have reported that the cover slides around or leaves gaps where it should be flush. Apple's Mac Geniuses are reportedly replacing any of the faulty systems, although this could be a temporary or hit-and-miss solution. The aluminum enclosure is a completely new system that faces the typical revision process of new designs.
Boinx software has released FotoMagico 2.6, the latest version of its photo presentation software. The update now supports Adobe Lightroom 2 libraries and includes a plug-in for Aperture. The new plug-in allows users to take pictures directly from Aperture and export them to FotoMagico for slideshow presentations. Alternatively, the Aperture libraries can also be accessed from the iMedia browser located within FotoMagico.
TuneUp Media is bringing its Windows-based iTunes plugin to the Mac, and MacNN users are invited to try the beta. TuneUp works within iTunes to find missing album art, clean-up mislabeled tracks and inconsistent metadata and more. TuneUP claims its plugin is the most popular iTunes add-on for Windows with more than 60-thousand downloads in the past three months
NEC has unveiled the first display in its MultiSync P Series of LCD monitors, the 22 inch P221W. The new LCD monitor offers 1680 by 1050 pixel native resolution, while presenting 96 percent of the AdobeRGB color gamut for image or video editing that requires color precision. The integrated 10-bit color look-up tables are programmable if corrections are needed. The P221W offers a slightly wider viewing angle of 178 degrees from the S-PVA LCD panel.
Microsoft has announced its financial report for the first fiscal quarter of 2009, which ended September 30th, showing a revenue of $15.06 billion, operating income of $6 billion, and net income of $4.37 billion. Although the revenue gained roughly nine percent from the same period last year, when expenses are taken into account the net income shows an unimpressive two percent increase. The company highlighted strong sales of its enterprise software and Xbox 360 consoles.
Speck has unveiled the SeeThru and Fitted cases for MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs. The Fitted case features a fabric covered hard shell for protection, and will be available in several style variations. The SeeThru case is built from polycarbonate plastic that can snap onto the notebook, covering it with a protective layer but still allowing access to all controls and ports. Rubber feet are attached to the bottom panel to give a solid hold on surfaces that would otherwise allow the MacBook to slide.
DTP Tools launched its first six plug-ins supporting InDesign CS4. The six new plug-ins are Page Control 2.1, History 2.3, Cross-Reference 1.0, Layer Comps 1.1, Layer Groups 1.2 and Tetris. Documents with multiple page sizes created with InDesign CS, CS2 and CS3 Page Control, documents containing History versions from InDesign CS through CS3, Documents utilizing Layer Comps and Layer Groups, and documents using Cross-References can now be fully utilized in InDesign CS4.
A J.D. Power study released on Thursday has revealed that the percentage of salespeople aid during a buyer's purchase of a wireless service or handset has been decreasing since 2006. At the same time, the survey measured overall customer satisfaction based on four factors, each with a different weight or importance associated with it. Sales staff was first with 51 percent of the weight, store display was at 17 percent with store facility and price/promotion close behind at 16 percent each. Based on these factors, Verizon was tops, scoring 715 out of 1,000 points, with Alltel not far behind, at 710. T-Mobile was third with 696 points, AT&T had 691 points and Sprint Nextel was last among the major carriers, at 669. The industry average was 698.
The Archos Internet tablet, introduced earlier this summer, is now available for the first time via a wireless provider, France's SFR. The device is the Archos 5 3G+ and includes a 5-inch touchscreen, built-in access to 3G wireless data networks and Wi-Fi. Included with the device is a 30GB hard drive, the smallest of the range that also offer 60GB, 120GB and 250GB capacity disks.
According to a Thursday report, the previously promised Flywire system from Belkin that would deliver HD signals wirelessly in home theater set-ups has been delayed. The news follows similar announcements from Monster Cable and other interconnects manufacturers, with the companies citing bugs as reasons. Belkin, which promised to beat Monster Cable to market with a CES debut this winter, said the perfected system will be released by the spring of 2009 instead.
The Samsung Propel handset, announced last week, is now available for purchase at wireless provider AT&T. The Propel features a sliding 2.2-inch screen and front panel that reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. The phone is meant to be a messaging device, with a dedicated shortcut button to make text, instant or e-mail messaging quick. The Propel can roam across the wireless voice and data networks in a large number of countries thanks to its dual-band 3G support and quad-band GSM radios.
Centrify Corporation has announced Centrify DirectControl 4.2 for Mac OS X, adding a smart-card-based login to Active Directory for a single sign-on to Windows-integrated services and applications. The smart cards utilize Apple's PKI (public key infrastructure), and work with common access cards, personal identity verification (PIV) and Apple's TokenD interface like the .NET smart card from Gemalto. The smart cards allow an Active Directory to control access for logins across an organization, not just a single computer.
Earlier this week in Korea, Samsung demonstrated a working e-paper display, or more accurately, a color active matrix electrophoretic display (EPD) and the world's first to use carbon nanotubes. At 14.3 inches, it is among the largest e-paper displays in existence. Developed in conjunction with Unidym, which created the carbon nanotubes for the prototype, the display is energy-efficient and doesn't require backlighting while remaining highly visible under direct sunlight. As with other e-paper displays, images are retained on the screen without requiring energy to constantly refresh it.
AVerMedia on Thursday introduced the AVerTV Hybrid TVBox 11, which offers users the ability to receive over-the-air HDTV signals, either analog or digital, as well as serving as a multimedia hub. It allows users to connect a host of high-definition source devices to their monitors or projectors, as well as their standard-definition TVs, and can turn their PC monitors into HDTVs thanks to its hybrid TV tuner. The TVBox 11 has an ATSC and Clear QAM digital cable tuner in addition to analog TV, enabling DVI and VGA monitors to display the content.
Cocoatech has released the latest version of its file management utility, Path Finder 5.0. The update features a new dual-pane browser that allows side-by-side folder display, with support for cut, copy, paste and drag-and-drop functions between the two panes. A sidebar has meanwhile been added, for handling devices, searches, favorite places and network shares. The program can run in tandem with the Mac OS X Finder or as a standalone application, and uses technologies such as Cover Flow and Quick Look.
Native Instruments has released the second volume in its series of Massive Expansion KORE Soundpacks. The library is based on the Massive engine, and features 200 synthesizer sounds that can be used in KORE 2, the free KORE Player, and the Massive synth. Each sound can be tweaked using eight different sound variations, with parameters also assigned to the KORE user interface.
Smith Micro says it is now shipping ExecutiveSync, a synchronization program for the Mac. Unlike iSync, which copies only basic information such as contacts, ExecutiveSync is used to keep files and folders consistent between multiple locations, including Macs, iPods, backup drives and remote servers. The program changes only altered files, attempting to keep them all as current as possible.
Plans to implement iPhone data tethering have been held back by AT&T's concerns for its network, an as yet unverified rumor floated by MacBlogz claims. The site refers to a purportedly reliable source at AT&T who appears to corroborate an earlier report that Apple is discussing using the iPhone as a pseudo-modem with the provider but is primarily encountering opposition over AT&T's fears for its network, which has reportedly remained unstable due to the sheer load of iPhones and other 3G devices saturating its service.
RainbowNote ($4) is a note application that looks to bulid upon Apple's default Notes app. It allows users to make notes on different papers and also features both portrait and landscape typing modes. The app also lets users sort their notes by color, date or title and also features a search option for finding a specific note among many.
People should not be too impressed by sales figures for the iPhone, argues a Microsoft executive. Robbie Bach, who operates the Entertainment & Devices Division which produces Windows Mobile, says that while Apple's quoted shipments of almost 6.9 million iPhones are certainly impressive, the true test of the product will be if it can maintain sales momentum over the long term. The fact that Apple outsold chief rival Research in Motion in the last quarter is not as important as it might initially appear, Bach notes.
Dell on Thursday announced it will partner with Universal Music Group to offer buyers of certain Dell computer systems pre-loaded music bundles to help them start their music collections. Each bundle will contain 50 or 100 DRM-free tracks that can be played on any digital media player or burned to a CD. The bundles start at $25 and so cost about half the price of current digital audio track. The content will be instantly accessible when buyers power up their Dell computers for the first time, saved in the widely used MP3 format and so not trapped to any one program or portable music player.
The UIQ variant of Symbian is on its way out, according to comments made by company executive Patrick Olson at the Symbian Smartphone show earlier this week and transcribed by AAS. The official says the mobile operating system "didn't make it" and characterizes it as an offshoot with a definite end, effectively pointing to the end of the platform as a whole.
Intel on Thursday demonstrated a new cooling process that could solve the increasing problem of hot outsides on notebooks. Similar to the process used for cooling the surface of a jet engine, the semiconductor giant has produced a laminar jet airflow system that actively pushes the hot air away from the bottom of the case, rendering it cool enough to sit on a lap without overheating the notebook owner's legs or having to rely on bulkier active cooling.
Looking past GAAP accounting measures, Apple's adjusted net income grew 124.6 percent in the past quarter, says Seeking Alpha. The publication has analyzed numbers from Apple's Q4 fiscal report this week, and comments that Wall Street analysts failed to highlight the strong growth numbers produced when adjusting for GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) subscription method procedures that are delaying much iPhone revenue by amortizing the full value of the phone over a two-year period. Apple is reporting 43 percent of its revenue and is earning 63 percent of its net income from the iPhone.
New processors designed by ARM will soon find their way into netbooks, says the company's director of mobile solutions, Rob Coombs. ARM is more commonly associated with the low-power processors used in many smartphones, including Apple's iPhone. ARM is working on a successor to its ARM11 architecture, dubbed Cortex-A8, which Coombs notes should be fast enough for both smartphones and netbooks. Some individuals are "playing around with gigahertz speeds," Coombs claims.
HP's Vivienne Tam netbook concept is turning into a production model, the company and Glam have confirmed through a teaser page for the mini PC. Now due to ship in December, the Vivienne Tam Edition is already known to be larger than the Mini-Note and will carry a 10-inch screen along with its designer outer cover; new in the teaser is word that the system will use an Intel Atom processor rather than the VIA C7-M which has been the Mini-Note's sole choice since it was introduced earlier in the year.
Apple may be seeking to implement a form of personal-area networking (PAN) technology as a boost to some of its devices, a patent application suggests. Newly published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the filing describes the concept of small RF modules which would bridge devices without long-range communications technology -- such as MacBooks, iPods and car stereos -- with those that do, namely the likes of the iPhone or a specially-designed transmitter.
Logitech on Thursday announced the release of its newest gaming peripheral, the Wireless Guitar Controller Premiere Edition for Guitar Hero for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 gaming consoles. The guitar is designed to replicate a real instrument and sports a wood neck, a rosewood fingerboard, metal frets and a gig bag. It also represents the frist device in an upcoming line-up of premium peripherals for the Guitar Hero game series that are targeted at frequent players or avid musicians who want a similar experience.
Phones using Samsung's full-screen TouchWiz interface will finally reach the US in an official capacity soon, the company acknowledged today. Where the interface was previously available on Asia- and Europe-only devices like the Omnia and F480, the company now plans to introduce "several" devices to the US between late 2008 and early 2009 that carry the touchscreen software. The platform centers around a widget tray that can be customized with shortcuts to complete apps like a browser or media player as well as small, quick features like clocks.
LANrev LP has launched the newest version of its systems management software, LANrev 5.0. The software allows IT administrators to monitor/adapt network architecture as well as manage systems and software installed on those computers. Version 5 offers advanced power management, a redesigned user interface, and others changes to software distribution, enhanced licensing monitoring, and vulnerability management through FDCC scanner support. The new system is rated to save as much as $75 per computer each year, a huge number when applied to an enterprise setting. It assigns multiple power-saving schedules to clients, with schedules created by power-usage numbers from the clients themselves.
Apple may be looking to thwart people who ask for warranty service on water-damaged computers, the Los Angeles Times suggests. The newspaper reports that Apple's new MacBooks and MacBook Pros contain Liquid Submersion Indicators, which detect whether fluids have made it past the surface of a system. A similar sensor can be found within the iPhone's headset port, as well as in other cellphones, but the MacBooks are said to be the first complete line of notebooks to utilize the technology.
A previously hinted-at Facebook music service could be true after all, a claim made by VentureBeat suggests. Previously discredited, a now supported rumor asserts that the social network is allegedly planning to team up with a partner such as iLike, imeem, Lala or RealNetworks' Rhapsody to offer a way of at least streaming full songs over artist pages or those friends who bring up songs in the regular Facebook news feed. The service would potentially let users buy downloads, though whether this would involve the partner or simply linking to a third party such as Amazon or iTunes is unknown.
At the PhotoPlus Expo on Wednesday, Sony Electronics introduced two new digital photo frames to its S-Frame range, including the 8-inch DPF-D80 and the company's first 10-inch frame, the DPF-D100. Both sport 800x600 LCD screens and are the first Sony frames with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Compared to a 16:9 ratio, photos appear larger thanks in part to the elimination of borders.
Apple's revised MacBook is polished, if still not perfect, writes tech columnist Walt Mossberg. Joining other reviewers, Mossberg comments that one of the most striking aspects is the aluminum casing, which is not only more attractive but 12 percent thinner and 10 percent lighter. The underlying CPU is actually said to be slower, but this fact is compensated for by an integrated GeForce 9400M chip, which substantially improves graphical performance. Neither this nor the newly LED-backlit display are said to affect battery life, which is actually longer than in an equivalent older model.
The new MacBook Pro could be enabled to take advantage of current and upcoming GeForce 9400M performance features through a simple update, NVIDIA tells Gizmodo. At present, Apple's implementation of dual graphics processors is limited versus Windows counterparts as it runs only one chip at a time and requires users to log out and back in to switch between the two. A driver or firmware update, however, is said to possibly enable the power side of Hybrid SLI in Mac OS X and would switch automatically between the GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT as users revert to battery power or plug back in.
Intel will release a significant update to its current Montevina-era Core 2 mobile processors in the spring as a final push before the switch to Core i7 technology, according to a leaked roadmap. The chipmaker is expected to launch a 3.06GHz, regular power Core 2 Duo known as the T9900 and give users an alternative to the same-speed but more power hungry Core 2 Extreme; a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo P8800 would give users a faster, low-power (25W) alternative to the 2.53GHz model available today.
Samsung on Thursday said it has struck a deal to offer Netflix movie streaming on its Internet-capable devices, starting with its more recent Blu-ray players. Both the BD-P2500 and BD-P2550 can apply a software update that lets them use their built-in Ethernet connections to access an existing Netflix instant viewing queue and play any selections directly from the player itself. Like a similar LG offering, Samsung's front-end will play standard-definition movies and also allows viewing synopses and rating movies from the remote.
DiscLabel 5.3 ($36) is an application made for designing CD/DVD labels. It works along with iTunes and iPhoto to automatically import media information that was just burned to a CD or photos. The update adds support for also importing photos from aperture along with the ability to select pictures from multiple iPhoto libraries. [Download - 12.7MB]
Apple allegedly has QuickTime 7.6 beta builds seeded to developers, which will allegedly offer Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, 10.5 Leopard, and Windows users 5.1 audio, as well as several optimizations, AppleInsider reports. Developers are asked by Apple to stress the current build (A26) with multi-channel audio, taking note that audio plays back correctly with each channel. GPU acceleration is not expected to arrive in this update, a feature heavily used by Adobe's new Creative Suite 4 applications.
AMD on Wednesday unveiled the ATI Radeon HD 4830 graphics card, offering users a lower-cost DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL platform, combined with several of ATI's high-definition video and audio technologies. AMD asserts that the card offers many upscale features at usable frame rates, such as full screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering; it cuts down on performance from the Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 by reducing the number of stream processors from 800 to 640 but without compromising on the 256-bit memory bus or other features.
A search engine company that chose not to reveal its name has claimed to have observed web visits from an unannounced Apple device with a display size in between an iPhone and MacBook, according to the New York Times. If true, the report suggests that the computer maker is closer to producing a mini-notebook computer than it has publicly claimed. The market for the small devices is just beginning to emerge, with most major companies set for product launches timed for holiday shopping.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl