Motorola is expected to focus efforts on Google's Android operating system as a nearly exclusive platform for its phones, which could lead to even more layoffs and restructuring, according to sources that spoke to The Wall Street Journal. Recently appointed co-CEO Sanjay Jha will allegedly unveil a new set of plans, which could include a new round of layoffs, adding to the already staggering 10,000 jobs cut so far. The announcement could happen as early as Thursday, should this prove true.
Most people play video games for fun or to relieve stress or boredom in their life. While shooting radioactive mutants or driving a car through animated city streets at top speed may take your mind off your problems, the moment youíre done playing, reality smacks you in the face all over again. If you want to play a video game that can boost your self-esteem and improve your self-confidence both during and after you stop playing it, take a look at a unique stress relieving video game called Mind Habits.
Axiotron has announced a new program that will convert customers' MacBook computers into pen-based Modbook tablet devices. The company had previously only transformed brand new base systems into Modbooks. The tablets feature "digitizer" technology that allows drawing and writing on the device while controlling the Mac OS X operating system environment without a mouse or keyboard. Other features include handwriting recognition and an integrated GPS module.
Blip.tv has developed new ways to serve ads in video files that are downloaded from iTunes or other sources, according to TechCrunch. Many people watch videos that stream from websites, which may include real-time targeted ads that are tracked when the user navigates to the linked page. When the files are downloaded, however, they present a unique set of challenges for advertisers. Downloaded videos have lacked the refreshing and tracking capabilities that are available on Flash or Silverlight content.
SpiderOak has announced the latest version of its backup service suite for personal and business use, SpiderOak 2.0. The update is claimed to increase the application speed fourfold, while also quickening file retrieval and using less memory during backups or browsing. The system uses a "SuperCloud" structure to offer a centralized server location for storage of files. Users can access the information from any computer with an internet connection, including historical versions of deleted files.
SwitchEasy has launched Colors for iPod Nano 4G, featuring silicone skins combined with a Lexan polycarbonate screen guard. The majority of the case is thick silicone, with a shockproof design and smooth coating. The new cases arrive in 11 colors, including a Stealth UltraBlack with a tinted screen protector, white, clear and eight other colors. The case gives full protection to all sides and surfaces with the included clickwheel guard and connector protector.
Grantwood Technology has released the tuneband armband for the iPod nano 4G. The product is designed to securely hold the iPod while exercising, with a flexible band that is claimed to fit a wide range of arm sizes. A silicone skin holds the device without interfering with controls or ports. The screen can also be protected with an included cut-and-peel film. The tuneband is also compatible with the Nike+iPod Sport Kit.
Wal-Mart on Tuesday confirmed earlier rumors that it would undercut T-Mobile's price for the Android-powered G1 by $30, according to confirmation obtained by Reuters. The news arrives one day before the retail chain will sell the device at 550 stores throughout the country, priced at $149 with a two-year contract. The T-Mobile G1 was launched last week for $179 when purchased directly from the wireless carrier.
Currently the Apple store is offering a variety of refurbished iPods and peripherals. At the bottom of the iPod pricing scale is the 1GB iPod shuffle for $39 and the 2GB model for $59, both come in silver, blue, green and purple. Next up is the 8GB iPod nano for $99 in silver, blue, green, black or pink. The iPod classic is priced at $169 for the 80GB model and $249 for the 160GB model, both come in silver or black. Lastly is the iPod touch in three configurations 8GB for $179, 16GB for $219, and 32GB for $319.
ProteMac has launched ProteMac Meter 1.1, an upgrade to its network activity monitor for the Mac, with a new traffic chart, date/time localizations and bug fixes. The software tracks real-time network access for individual applications, and creates access histories. It also provides graphing, as well as information on host availability, remote host names, the amount of incoming and outgoing traffic through a connection or application, and timestamps of the first and last activity.
MvixUSA is bringing a versatile Network Attached Storage device to the market, the MvixBOX or WDN-2000, the company announced on Tuesday. The two-bay NAS doubles as a media server, as it is capable of torrent sharing in addition to dynamic website hosting and data back-up capabilities. While the product ships without any included hard-drives, it is capable of housing two 1.5TB SATA HDDs. The MvixBOX does ship pre-configured with Apache, MySQL, SQlife and PHP web servers as well as dynamic DNS functionality. For network access, a gigabit Ethernet connection is present.
Arten Science has released Pointer+, an application that enhances cursor functions. Users can assign hotkey operations or use a circular pointer overlay. The application be configured to show target cross-hairs when it is clicked, which could be used when demonstrating software. For photo viewing or editing, the area around the pointer can be magnified by using a hotkey, with control over the specific pixel size of the focused area. Users can also take a snapshot of the magnified area by activating a different hotkey.
Native Instruments says it is now offering its KONTAKT 3 sampling software in a crossgrade package for owners of GigaStudio. The software features 1,000 instruments across six collections, totaling over 33GB of data. Users can edit with simple or advanced tools, the latter including freely-drawable envelopes. A wave editor, meanwhile, allows samples to be looped, sliced, or tempo-synced. Integrated effects include the likes of convolution or amp and cab emulation.
Sanyo Canada on Monday announced the launch of its first Internet radio, the R227, which features an Ethernet jack and a built-in Wi-Fi module for no-cost, PC-free access to streaming radio stations and podcasts available on the Internet. Users can search for Internet radio stations by country of origin or genre, and save them on one of eight presets. An integrated FM radio tuner adds more flexibility to the system and includes its own eight presets.
Microsoft today backed up the unveiling of Windows 7 with Office Web, the company's first ground-up, web-based production suite. The online apps include simpler versions of Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Word that share a similar interface to Office 2007 and will let users both edit and view documents anywhere they have a broadband Internet connection. Microsoft explains that the feature will give users a consistent experience and access to Office even on mobile devices with advanced web browsers.
Today's DealNN deals include a selection of products for under $50. Starting at $7 is the Dane-Elec 2GB SD memory card from J&R.com. Next up is the Patriot Razzo 4GB USB flash drive for $9.99 after a $10 instant rebate from TigerDirect.com. Buy.com has the Genius G-pen 4500 graphics tablet priced at $34.99, a savings of $30 off the list price of $64.99. The refurbished second generation 1GB iPod shuffle (in green, blue and pink) is available for $39 at the Apple store. Lastly is the Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATA hard drive for $49 at Newegg.com.
ICS (Integrated Color Solutions) has announced an update of its color technology and collaborative proofing software, Remote Director 3.6.1. The cross-platform app has been given over a dozen new features in v3.6.1, with upgrades including comparisons of images for content, annotation reports, status reports, better e-mail notifications and better Pantone library access. Permissions and quality assurance have been improved with user- and group-approval settings for locking images, options for viewing participant sign-off status, and SWOP certification improvements.
LightScribe Direct Disk Labeling has launched the LightScribe Design Center, a web resource for accessing over 400 LightScribe label designs, including weddings, music, gifts, travel, photography and more. The designs are free and customizable, supporting adding photos and text. The Design Center also features a photo-labeling center, where users can combine photos and text for unique designs, a disc sleeve designer for creating disk cases and sleeves and a creative extras area that helps users create mailers and custom cards.
The US House of Representatives is not likely to adopt the iPhone in the near future, according to a press secretary. Recent reports had indicated that Congressional staff were testing iPhones for possible support; phones must not only meet technical needs but qualify for an allowance distributed to each representative's office. Jeff Ventura, speaking on behalf of Congressional chief administrative officer Dan Beard, now explains that while there has been "some interest from offices" for the iPhone, there is little chance of the device becoming standard.
Fanatec, a maker of high-end gaming controllers for gaming consoles and PCs, on Tuesday announced the release of its RennSport Cockpit for racing games. Made up of the aluminum roll cage that allows gamers to adjust the seat, pedal placement and steering wheel angle, the set-up includes a wide fiberglass seat that features an original design, similar to Fanatec's GTR-series products. The shifter attachment mounted on the right-hand side of the rig can be mounted on the left-hand side to suit drivers used to shifting with their left hand.
Relatively small GPS maker Nextar today launched a pair of larger GPS units for drivers. The 5-inch SNAP5 and 7-inch SNAP7 both pay unusual attention to ergonmics with thinner, 0.7 inch displays and a unique magnetic car mount that keeps the navigators in place while still making it easy to remove them and keep them safe when the car isn't in use. In software, their advantage revolves around a more detailed 3D mode that includes polygonal versions of major buildings and landmarks.
Microsoft at its Professional Developer Conference today provided a first look at Windows 7, the company's successor to Vista. The operating system is based heavily on the underlying framework of Vista but focuses heavily on redesigning the interface. The Windows taskbar and the general interface has been improved to speed up common tasks: running apps are simplified to icons and now include Jump Lists that provide shortcuts to common tasks for running apps, such as queuing up playlists in Windows Media Player. Pointing at each item on the taskbar also lets users "peek" at the contents of a running app without having to select the window.
Numark has recently announced the PT-01USB, which enables users to convert songs from vinyl records to digital WAV or MP3 files. The portable, battery-powered turntable uses a USB port to connect to Windows PCs or Macs and save the music playing on or through the device. Apart from tracks recorded on vinyl, an auxiliary input makes it possible to convert tracks from cassette decks or other sources into digital formats. The PT-01USB operates as a traditional record player as well, with an RCA line output letting users connect it to a DJ, PA or stereo system. A built-in speaker lets it function on its own.
Myvu has announced iPhone compatibility with its Myvu Crystal video glasses, by means of its new Myvu Connection Cable. The cable allows any iPhone or iPod with video support to feed into the company's visor-style video display. The Crystal presents images in VGA resolution, with built-in earbuds and what the company describes as a wide field of view. This gives the wearer a view similar to watching a large-screen TV.
A Monday report has HP exiting its MediaSmart LCD TV business by phasing out and stopping sales of its MediaSmart HDTV line-up. The company will instead focus on its MediaSmart Connect digital media receivers that connects to users' existing HDTVs and enables them to browse the net, view photos or movies or perform any other functions via their PCs.
On Monday, Memorex announced it will soon launch three new in-ear headphones, including the EB100, EB200 and EB300. All three feature patented Soundelity conforming foam earbuds designed by hearing protection specialist Howard Leight for superior comfort and sound delivery. The company claims its new earbuds are unique in offering the foam tips, which are usually found in headphones that cost as much as 10 times more. The foam tips ensure greater comfort and improve sound quality by conforming to users' ear canals to isolate them from ambient noise while enhancing bass.
On its PlayStation blog on Monday, Sony announced it will no longer offer the 4GB Memory PSP Entertainment Pack that includes the new PSP-3000 portable gaming console and a 4GB PSP Memory Stick PRO Duo. The decision was reportedly made due to the significant interest in the Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters PSP Entertainment Pack in North America, spurring the company to re-prioritize its PSP shipments. Instead, Sony will offer the 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo card as a stand-alone offering for about $45.
Sanyo on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of its 7-inch digital photo frame, the HNV-M70, featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio and LCD resolution of 800x480 pixels. The ALBO-series frame has the ability to display JPEG- or BMP-format photos sent to it via e-mail or text from cellphones or uploaded via more traditional methods. A built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi module and network support allows users to sync their photo collections from web-based albums such as Picasa Web Album and Photo Warehouse. The frame also supports RSS feeds, capable of receiving and displaying updates from up to 10 different websites.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Willcom announced the release of a few updated and new handsets as well as new technologies and services. The Willcom 03 slider phone, introduced earlier this year, will be available in a new black color starting November 7th and includes a new feature that translates roughly to "hand-painted chat" that allows users with compatible devices to chat live by drawing or writing on the devices' touchscreen. Another new service, dubbed Willcom meeting, will launch on November 4th and allow as many as seven users to talk at the same time, with invitations to the conference call that can be sent via e-mail.
Zengobi has posted the v5.2 update to Curio, its Mac organizational software. The app combines note and task management functions with components for brainstorming and mind-mapping. The upgrade makes several improvements, most notably the ability to insert links to external applications within a Curio project. When drawing, users can now also generate multi-point lines.
After a small delay, Mitsubishi says it has begun shipping the LaserVue, said to be the world's first commercial laser TV. The technology is claimed to reproduce up to two times the color of most current HDTVs, and at the same time consume significantly less power. Power use in the LaserVue is 135W, said to be a third of the amount used in an equivalent LCD, or a fourth of that used in a similar plasma set.
Sony on Tuesday gave the Rolly a significant upgrade in its home country. The dancing player now gets the same 2GB of storage as the American version reviewed earlier but also gets a completely new Bluetooth control feature. Most Bluetooth-equipped cellphones and PCs can now directly steer the dancing player forwards, backwards, and through rotations as well as trigger motion presets. Windows computers can also queue up their own music to play over the wireless link.
Developer LogMeIn says it has launched a beta program for Ignition, remote access software for iPhones and iPod touches. The app lets users connect to computers running one of LogMeIn's related programs, including Free, Pro or IT Reach, whether for Mac or Windows. On launching Ignition users are presented with a list of computers to connect with; once connected, users assume complete control of the desktop, with touchscreen controls substituting for a mouse and keyboard. Zoom and scroll controls are present to compensate for the small display of an Apple handheld.
Lenovo today revealed an upgraded version of its IdeaPad S10 netbook that caters to owners looking for quicker access to the Internet. Where most netbooks have to wait as they boot into either Windows XP or a full Linux distribution, the S10e adds a Linux-based SplashTop interface dubbed QuickStart that starts up almost instantly and gives immediate access to most common Internet functions, including web browsing with Flash support, messaging and audio or video chats.
Canto has announced updates to its Quark integration tools, used to support various Quark programs within Cumulus 7.6, its digital asset management suite. The software organizes and shares numerous kinds of content, such as photos and Office documents. The latest versions of QXP Companion, QXP Server Companion and QPS Companion add support for QuarkXPress 8, QuarkXPress Server 8 and Quark Publishing System 7.6 or 8.
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary ($25) gives users access to the complete Oxford Dictionary right from their iPhone or iPod touch. The app also features Word Histories allowing users to look into where a word originated from, as well as a large database of live voice pronunciations.
Dell today launched a whole new range of workhorse desktops that include some of its most significant redesigns yet. The OptiPlex 960 has a much more industrial, metal design that leaves much of the front to a grill that helps cool the components inside. Combined with newer Intel hardware, this makes some systems as much as 43 percent more power-efficient than their previous generation equivalents and comes with better remote management.
iCalScreenSaver ($10) turns iCal appointments into a screensaver that helps remind users of upcoming events. There are four different themes users can choose from for customizing their screensaver, along with options for selecting which calendars to take events from, and the ability to set events as private. [Download - Purchase Required]
As a result of a promise if gas prices fell to $2.79 in the Twin Cities, developer CodeWeavers says it is giving away free licenses of CrossOver, its Windows virtualization software for the Mac. The software places Windows apps into virtual containers called "bottles," which lets users run the apps without having to load Windows separately or as a complete virtual machine. Under the terms of the giveaway, people visiting the CodeWeavers site between 12AM on October 28th and 12AM on October 29th can pick up a special serial code entitling them to one free copy of CrossOver.
Rogers today reported a large leap in its results for the summer quarter that were highlighted by the Canadian launch of the iPhone 3G. The telecoms company sold and activated a total of 255,000 iPhones between the device's July 11th launch and the end of September, helping the carrier boost its net subscriber additions to 191,000 and increasing the company's average income per user "considerably above" the average thanks to many attaching a data plan to their services.
FileMaker has released a series of updates to its FileMaker 9 line of database programs. Pro 9, Pro 9 Advanced, Server 9 and Server 9 Advanced have all been patched to address an issue in which Pro is unable to see files hosted through Server, specifically when a secure SSL connection is toggled on. The error is unusual in that FileMaker apps installed before September 22nd should be unaffected.
Walmart today made an aggressive move against Amazon and Apple by lowering the prices of its MP3 Music Downloads store. The service now offers per-track downloads as low as 74 cents versus the 89-cent minimum of Amazon MP3 and iTunes' fixed 99-cent price. Normal tracks are 94 cents, Wal-Mart says. The retailer also plans to drive users to the store through a tie-in with CD sales: starting from mid-November, those who order physical copies of albums either online or in stores get a free MP3 song from any artist or album.
After months of beta testing, Ntractive has released Elements SBM 1.0, business management software for small- to medium-sized businesses. The hybrid web app integrates management tools for customer relationship management, projects, inventory control, documents and personal information. The company says Elements is designed to work seamlessly with iCal and other Apple software, as well as third-party applications like MYOB's AccountEdge.
Sonos today opened up its ZonePlayers with the launch of Sonos Controller for iPhone. The free app gives any iPhone or iPod touch owner an alternative to buying Sonos' own hardware controller and gives them full management of the music played by each ZonePlayer on a home network; any of the Apple handhelds can control subscription services such as Napster, Pandora, Rhapsody or Sirius, and also has access to local music collections either from a computer's iTunes collection or network-attached storage, including Time Capsule drives.
Toshiba has announced higher density, faster memory chips in a new lineup of 43nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory, featuring 2GB, 4GB and 8GB individual chips. The 43 nanometer process allows Toshiba to deliver double the density of its previous 56nm process, while also delivering SLC speeds, which are approximately 2.5x faster than the more common, denser but historically slower MLC (Multi-Level Cell) memory.
Primera Technology has announced its LX200 Label Printer, capable of 1200 dpi printing at high speeds. The label printer uses inkjet printing, differing from competitors' more common and slower thermal transfer technology. It can print labels, tickets, tags and coupons in linear and 2D bar codes like PDF417. The inkjet nature of the printer offers better security, leaving no records behind after printing as thermal printers do, making the LX200 a good choice for healthcare and government applications.
Virtual Programming has released A Vampyre Story, a comic-adventure game that is slated to arrive for the Mac in the coming weeks. The story line follows a vampire and opera singer who escapes the clutches of another vampire and flees into Draxsylvania, hoping to reach Paris. The game features 30 locations and 20 3D characters along the way.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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