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News Archive for 08/11/04

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Vertu unveils Ascent Ti Ferrari series mobile phones

11/04, 11:20pm

Vertu 1947 Ferrari phone

Luxury phone maker Vertu has unveiled three Ferrari-themed mobile phones that will expand its Ascent Ti Ferrari collection; the Nero, Rosso and Giallo. The series features high-grade titanium construction, with stitched leather taken from Ferrari's tanneries. The Italian car manufacturer's signature Cavallino prancing horse emblem adorns the front and back of the phone. Other vehicle-inspired design elements include a Ferrari-hood style battery door cover and louvers placed on each side.

FCC approves Verizon-Alltel buyout

11/04, 10:15pm

FCC approves Verizon deal

The FCC on Tuesday approved the Verizon-Alltel buyout, turning Verizon into the largest US wireless carrier with about 83.8 million subscribers, toppling AT&T's 74.8 million subscriber base. MobileCrunch reports that the $28.1 billion deal involves a buyout of $5.9 billion, accompanied with $22.2 billion in assumed debt. Details of the purchase state that Verizon must maintain a four-year roaming agreement with Alltel's existing partner carriers, a time period suggested by Verizon that doubled the FCC's requirement of two years.

OtterBox ships Impact Series iPhone 3G case

11/04, 9:45pm

Impact Series iPhone case

OtterBox has started shipping its Impact Series case for the iPhone 3G. The device is protected by a silicone skin, with thicker corner protection designed to spread the force of an impact. All buttons, ports, and functions can still be accessed directly through the case, while the camera, speaker, and microphone are left open. The company claims that the inside corners are engineered to dissipate energy away from the phone if it is dropped.

XChange International releases pdfToolbox Server 4

11/04, 9:05pm

pdfToolbox Server 4

Xchange International has released pdfToolbox Server 4, an update to its PDF preflighting automation software. The new version adds metadata support, compatibility with PDF 1.7/Acrobat 9 files, and "hot folder" connections to workflows for batch processing. The program includes configuration files that can correct and edit over 100 PDF attributes. Users can also use the tools to embed missing fonts, add imposition schemes, or compress images.

EZQuest unveils Phoenix internal 6x Blu-ray drive

11/04, 8:35pm

Internal Blu Ray drive

EZQuest has unveiled its latest Mac hardware product, the internal Phoenix Blu-ray Super Drive 6X Rewriter upgrade kit. Owners can used the drive to produce their own Blu-ray movies. Recording, rewriting, and playback is supported for Blu-ray, HD-DVD, DVD, and CD formats. The device features a 4MB buffer for writing, and uses integrated buffer under-run protection. Files, folders, movies, or other content can be dragged and dropped directly from the Mac desktop to be written on the 50GB capacity discs.

Unlicensed white space access approved by FCC

11/04, 8:15pm

FCC approves white space

A recent push for the FCC to approve unlicensed use of wireless spectrum white space was successful today, allowing Google and other companies to introduce a new implementation of wireless technologies. TechCrunch reports that the measure has met great resistance from telecom companies and sports leagues, with both claiming it would interfere with devices on licensed airwaves. Google and the FCC scoffed at the reasoning.

Amidio intros Noise.io synth app for iPhone, Touch

11/04, 8:10pm

Noise io synth for iPhone

Amidio has released Noise.io, a synthesizer instrument for the iPhone or iPod touch. Users can create "303-like" basslines and add other melodies using a sequencer function, or use the synth controls to play live. The app takes advantage of the unique iPhone interface, with different functions controlled by finger slide, multitouch, and accelerometer. The developers used Enhanced Subspace Frequency Modulation (ESFM) instead of traditional FM modulation to simplify the creation of unique sounds.

VPN Tracker adds SonicWALL NSA 240 support

11/04, 6:30pm

VPN Tracker 5 4 update

Equinux has released the latest version of its IPSec VPN client, VPN Tracker 5.4. The update now supports the newest release of SonicWALL's threat management platform, Network Security Appliance (NSA) 240. The software can be used to configure and administer secure access to virtual private networks. The company aimed to create a simple user interface that resembles iChat, allowing users to group connections in a similar way to the messenger program.

E-on ships Vue 7 xStream and Infinite 3D tools

11/04, 6:00pm

Vue 7 xStream and Infinite

E-on software has released the latest additions to its Vue 7 line of software for 3D environment creation, Vue 7 xStream and Vue 7 Infinite. Vue 7 xStream is now fully integrated as a plug-in within a host application, allowing users to create and edit 3D environments without switching between programs. The single license permits owners to use the program in all of the compatible applications installed on the system, including 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave, Cinema4D and XSI. Vue 7 Infinite offers 3D animation and rendering tools in a standalone product.

Forum roundup: Snow Leopard questions, more

11/04, 5:25pm

Forums: Snow Leopard

A recent topic of interest in the MacNN forums revolves around one user questioning the benefits of the rumored update to the Mac OS, Snow Leopard. One forum member expresses their interest in the Netbook segment that has been gaining in popularity, and hopes that Apple will be coming out with a model to compete. Complaints about the MacBook Air bogging down when viewing such websites as YouTube is the topic of conversation in this thread. Forum goers discuss Alsoft: DiskWarrior and its incompatibility with the new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models. Dedicated MacNNer, Robster1958, does not like the screen on the new MacBook and sparked a conversation comparing it to other competitors models.

Gefen HDMI 1.3 repeater extends by 100'

11/04, 5:00pm

Gefen HDMI 1 3 repeater

Gefen has released its latest product for A/V installations, the GefenTV HDMI v1.3 Repeater. The device can transmit a 1080p 60Hz HD signal across 100 feet of standard HDMI cable. The repeater overcomes the limitation of cable-only connections that are limited to 50 feet before signal loss is experienced. Both HDMI 1.2 and HDMI 1.3 features are supported, including 12-bit Deep Color, 225MHz, Lip-Sync, Color Space Conversion, and CEC. Users can connect 8-channel digital audio components as well.

DealNN: FREE SD memory card, refurb iPod, more

11/04, 5:00pm

DealNN: FREE SD memory

Today's DealNN deals include a variety of products from SD memory cards and flash drives to digital cameras. Get a FREE (after mail in rebate) 4GB OCZ SDHC memory card from eCost.com, pay only shipping. MacMall.com also has a mail in rebate offer on the I Rocks AC/USB power adapter for iPod and iPhone that makes it FREE with $5.99 shipping. Buy.com has the refurbished 3rd generation 8GB iPod nano in black for $99.99. The Canon Pixma MP970 all-in-one InkJet printer is priced at $165 at Amazon.com. Lastly is the Kodak EasyShare 7MP digital camera, originally priced at $499.99, now priced at $149.99 at J&R.com.

Study shows iTunes as dominant app in Japan

11/04, 5:00pm

iTunes dominates Japan

Japan is by far the world's most dense population of iTunes users, a new comScore study suggests. The group claims that some 13.6 million people -- or 23.7 percent of Japan's entire Internet audience -- accessed iTunes at some point during the month of August. The country ranks higher in terms of iTunes penetration than even the US, where only 19.6 percent used the software in August, and the second-place United Kingdom, which scored 23.4 percent. The worldwide percentage was just 11.2 percent.

Voodoo Envy 133, Blackbird 002 gaming PC price drop

11/04, 4:30pm

Voodoo, HP price drops

HP has recently dropped prices on two of its products, including the Envy 133 from its Voodoo PC line and the HP Blackbird 002 gaming desktop PC. As of Tuesday, both computers are now $200 less expensive, with the Envy 133 now priced at $1,899 and the Blackbird 002 at $1,799. In addition, those who order the Envy 133 will get a second battery for the notebook free of charge.

Apple deals: five refurb Macs under $1000

11/04, 4:30pm

Apple: Macs $1000, less

Apple's online store is currently offering five refurbished Mac models for under $1000. Starting at $799 is the 2.0GHz MacBook with 1GB of RAM and 80GB hard drive. Next up is the 2.1GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive priced at $849. The refurbished 20-inch iMac has a 2.0GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive for $949. Another 20-inch iMac with 2.4GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 250GB hard drive is $999. And lastly for $999 is the 2.2GHz MacBook with 1GB of RAM and 120GB hard drive.

First Look: ScanSnap S300, PDF sheet-fed scanner

11/04, 4:20pm

ScanSnap S300

Computers were supposed to give us the paperless office, but anyone who uses them knows that they create more paper than ever before. While paper can be convenient for storing information, it's not always as convenient to store or share with others in large quantities. To solve this problem, Fujitsu offers a unique portable device called the ScanSnap S300.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 slowed by parts shortage

11/04, 4:20pm

XPERIA X1 parts shortage

Sony Ericsson is shipping less units than expected of its top-of-the-range XPERIA X1 due to a parts shortage, according to Tuesday's news. While Sony Ericsson won't divulge which parts are causing the production delay, it is known that the areas where the X1 was first launched, namely Sweden, Germany and the UK, are experiencing the largest shortages.

British music sites back MP3 Compatible logo

11/04, 4:05pm

MP3 Compatible logo

A new logo meant to promote legal music download sites and emphasize the fact the files contained on the sites can be played on any digital audio player has been backed by seven of Britain's largest music download sites, according to a Tuesday BBC report. Designed by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), the logo will mean customers can play the purchased files on PCs, Macs and portable music players. The logo will appear on online music stores from HMV, Woolworths, 7digital, Digitalstores, Play.com, Tescodigital and Tunertribe. Also, BPI, the British record industry's trade association is backing the idea, adding that the logo means artists are being paid for their work.

Native Instruments ships Traktor Pro, Scratch Pro

11/04, 4:00pm

Traktor Pro ships

Native Instruments has begun shipping its latest digital DJ products, Traktor Pro and Traktor Scratch Pro. The Traktor Pro software features a redesigned user interface, with high-contrast presentation for low lighting conditions, and scalable fonts for distance viewing. A new effects suite has been added, based on Native's Reaktor technology. Beat grids are created automatically when a track is first added to the collection, and after tracks have been synced, a lock function is designed to prevent beat drift.

Production HTC Fuze for AT&T spotted

11/04, 3:55pm

HTC Fuze images leaked

A member of a forum board, DJ Justifier, has shared photos of a production HTC Fuze heading over to AT&T along with some information on the handset. The device, basically a renamed HTC Touch Pro meant for the AT&T wireless network, does appear to sport a customized TouchFLO 3D interface with the carrier's logo included in the software in addition to one on the exterior of the device. Other changes we've already known about include support of the faster HSPA 3G network, taking advantage of AT&T's service.

SoftMetal 4.0 adds MXF, QuickTime-native SD support

11/04, 3:40pm

SoftMetal 4.0 shipping

Ross Video has released its SoftMetal 4.0 software, adding native MXF recording and playback support for HD and SD video clips, and QuickTime-native SD playout. It also adds closed-captioning support, embedded audio, and stereoscopic recording and playback. Version 4.0 additionally introduces capacity for 16 channels per video input/output. The upgrade is free for previous customers.

NAD releases its first Blu-ray player with Profile 2

11/04, 3:40pm

NAD T 587 Blu-ray Player

High-end home theater maker NAD has made a late entry into Blu-ray players with the launch of the T 587. The dedicated player quickly catches NAD up to rivals with both Profile 2.0 support, which adds support for BD-Live and other Internet-related special features, as well as a quick startup time. Unlike even some high-end players, the T 587 is said to load movies in under a minute versus times from rivals that creep over this mark.

Korean iPhone date hangs on deregulation efforts

11/04, 3:35pm

Korean iPhone by Dec.?

The release date for a Korean iPhone is now dependent on government deregulation efforts, writes The Korea Times. The Korea Communications Commission is currently debating the future of WIPI, the wireless software standard which any phone in the country is obliged to follow. WIPI is said to effectively block the sale of foreign devices, however, and through negotiations the US government has pressured South Korea into opening up its market.

Fujitsu intros Atom-based U820 convertible tablet

11/04, 3:00pm

Fujitsu intros U820 tablet

Fujitsu has recently released a sequel to its U810 convertible netbook with the U820. The U820, available in two models, uses a 5.6-inch, 1366x768 resolution touchscreen display and a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU along with 1GB of RAM. Windows Vista Home Premium comes preloaded on the 60GB standard hard disk drive or an optional 120GB disk. A shock-mounted 64GB solid-state drive will also be a standalone option. Windows Vista Business is likewise a choice with a different software bundle.

SingTel posts lower profits due to iPhone subsidy

11/04, 2:45pm

SingTel positive on iPhone

SingTel, distributing the iPhone in Singapore, Australia, the Philippines and India, has been hit by reduced profits due to subsidizing the device, affecting Singapore figures by $18 million, and Australian figures by $30.8 million. The company believes that early reductions will pay off over the long term, as iPhone subscriptions expand and incorporate higher-value data plans. According to mocoNews, SingTel is reporting early signs that the average revenue per user (ARPU) for the iPhone is 1.5 times as high as that for the overall postpaid subscriber base, indicating a larger profit opportunity going forward.

Nokia makes rare job cuts

11/04, 2:40pm

Nokia Job Cuts

Nokia today quietly revealed that it will cut jobs, marking one of the few instances in recent years that the company has opted to scale back its business. The cellphone maker says it will shed about 450 general positions at Nokia as well as 130 researchers and 35 global processing workers. The company characterizes the move as reprioritizing its business and as a move to "de-layer" its operations.

Maxell releases iPod, iPhone cradle speaker

11/04, 1:45pm

Maxell iPod, iPhone cradle

Maxell has replaced its long-running MXSP-1000 cradle speaker for Apple's range of iPod music players with the MXSP-1100, which is compatible with the iPhone and refreshed iPod range. The cylindrical speaker system features two 1.8-inch, 4.2W speakers. Frequency response ranges from 80Hz to 20kHz. The speaker system has controls for the attached Apple music player's play, pause track control and volume adjustment.

NVIDIA, VIA break off netbook plans

11/04, 1:05pm

NVIDIA/VIA netbook plans

Graphics specialist NVIDIA and general chip builder VIA have broken off any plans to develop a netbook platform, say sources at the latter company. The corporations had signed a deal in April, which would have seen VIA's C7 and Nano CPUs coupled with NVIDIA's MCP79 processor, also known as the GeForce 9400M. The chipset debuted with Apple's newest MacBooks, and is expected to become prevalent in the notebook industry, displacing slower graphics accelerators built by Intel. Aside from netbooks, the platform would have applied to mobile Internet devices (MIDs).

RIM toying with prepaid BlackBerries

11/04, 12:35pm

RIM Prepaid BBerry Leak

A leak today stemming from BGR suggests Research in Motion is launching a major effort to offer prepaid BlackBerry phones and the relevant data service. Already in use by Indonesia, the company is pitching a prepaid BlackBerry server to carriers in North America and elsewhere to serve customers who would want the push e-mail and other smartphone level services but for customers who either only use service very occasionally, are cash-limited or simply don't want to supply the private information for a regular subscription.

Komodo IDE 5.0 updates interface, control systems

11/04, 12:15pm

Komodo IDE 5.0 ships

ActiveState has released Komodo IDE 5.0, adding more SCC systems and upgrading its codebase. The company has added support for Git, Mercurial (hg) and Bazaar control systems, allowing users to share code across all three plus Subversion, Perforce and CVS systems. It also adds code formatting, and an SCC checkout interface for working on shared repositories. Version 5.0 is now built on the Mozilla 1.9 codebase, the same underpinnings of Firefox 3, and Python 2.6, both of which are said to aid in speed, stability and a visual appearance more blended with Mac OS X.

iWebTemplate introduces Google Tool Set

11/04, 11:55am

Google Tool Set debuts

iWebTemplate has introduced the Google Tool Set, which includes a number of free, web-based utilities designed for Mac enterprise and web developers. The resources can be used for interpreting information from AdWords, Google Ads or Google Ranking. The Adsense Preview shows what ads are being targeted for a particular web site, while the Adsense Calculator can be used to extrapolate earnings from page impressions data. The Link Price Calculator assists with choosing how much a link might be worth.

Apple 'Dilemmas' iPhone ad pushes App Store

11/04, 11:45am

'Dilemmas' iPhone ad

Apple has posted a new TV ad online, simply referred to as "Dilemmas." The ad promotes use of the iPhone in "solving life's dilemmas," mainly through the help of the various apps sold on the App Store. The commercial specifically highlights Wanderspot's Urbanspoon app, which uses GPS tracking to locate nearby restaurants, and the iPhone's motion sensor to allow random selection through shaking. The app is a free download, but outside of the United States has a limited database of major cities.

ASUS to launch 12-inch ZX notebook before 2009?

11/04, 11:30am

ASUS to intro ZX notebook

Computer hardware manufacturer ASUS will release a new ultra-thin 12-inch notebook with styling cues from the company's recently unveiled Eee PC netbook model, the 10.2-inch S101, according to a Tuesday report. Citing notebook component makers as the source, the report goes on to indicate the new device will come to market before the year is out, and will make up a new ZX series that straddles the line between netbooks and small notebooks.

FCC delays vote on intercarrier rates

11/04, 11:10am

FCC Delays Voice Rate Vote

The FCC on Tuesday delayed (Word document) a crucial vote on the Intercarrier Compensation and Universal Service Fund that would potentially have had a significant impact on the costs of non-network phone calls and roaming in the US. The delay comes after all FCC Commissioners save for Chairman Kevin Martin demanded more time for public commentary and was supported by a group of activist groups and smaller carriers that objected to the proposed moves.

Apple abandons West 34th site, readies Miami store

11/04, 11:00am

Apple abandons West 34th

Apple has abandoned any plans for a store on West 34th street in Manhattan, claims the New York Post. Apple currently leases 21-25 on West 34th, which is located between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, and within a short distance of the Empire State Building. The real estate is capable of supporting up to 18,000 square feet, but Apple is said to have lost interest in establishing a store on the site, and is presently looking to sub-lease through Robert K. Futterman. RKF's website lists availability starting April 1st 2009, for a maximum period of 13 years.

IOGEAR intros 4-port DVI KVM Switch With 7.1 Audio

11/04, 10:15am

IOGEAR 4 port DVI KVM

IOGEAR has introduced its latest KVM, the GCS1784, featuring a four-port Dual Link DVI KVMP switch that supports 7.1 audio. The device is designed to support the high resolutions of large monitors, including 2560x1600 pixels and ultra-high resolution up to 3840x2400 pixels; it also offers "Display Emulation" technology that remembers each monitor's optimum resolution and refresh rate, enabling users to simultaneously boot all computers.

Apps: VectorDesigner, SerialMailer, RapidWeaver

11/04, 10:15am

Screen Shades, TaskMate

VectorDesigner 1.4.6 ($70) is a vector drawing application that is designed to be simple and intuitive. It contains all the basic tools for creating vector graphics for posters, brochures, shirts and more. The update has added support for the new multi-touch trackpads, allowing users to use familiar gestures for panning and zooming. [Download - 4.9MB]

Toshiba intros projector with voice guidance

11/04, 10:15am

Toshiba intros projector

Toshiba's Digital Products Division on Tuesday said the first voice-guided projector in the world is now available for purchase, with the release of its TLP-X200U wireless 3LCD projector. The voice guidance function will notify users of the projector's system status, including power status, lamp life, air filter checks and cooling fan status. The TLP-X200U has 1024x768 resolution along with a 600:1 contrast ratio, while its brightness is rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens.

Ex-IBM exec replaces iPod chief at Apple

11/04, 9:40am

Apple iPod exec leaves

One of Apple's most crucial executives is stepping away from the company, an announcement states. Confirming earlier reports, Tony Fadell, senior VP of Devices Hardware Engineering, is said to be "reducing" his role at Apple in order to spend more time with his family. For the same reason, Fadell's wife -- Human Resources VP Danielle Lambert -- is expected to leave the company before 2009, but only after a replacement is found. Fadell is expected to retain some work with the company, but only as an advisor to CEO Steve Jobs.

Intel to get handheld 1.83GHz Atom by March?

11/04, 9:40am

Intel Menlow Refresh

Intel is developing an update to its Atom variants for handhelds that should arrive in just a few months, says an apparent tip from companies building mobile Internet devices, or MIDs. Known as the Menlow refresh for the processor platform's codename, the update would boost most of the line a speed grade upwards; the Z550 would clock higher than 1.83GHz, while the Z534 would escape the 1.6GHz speeds used by nearly all Atom computers. A Z515 would also bring clock speeds faster than 800MHz to the very smallest handhelds.

Fujitsu intros notebook with live 2nd display

11/04, 9:00am

Fujitsu LifeBook N7010

Fujitsu today claimed a minor first for the notebook industry with an update to its LifeBook portables. The N7010 has a unique secondary, four-inch touchscreen that runs at the same time as the primary 16-inch screen. The second view gives users a way to control media playback or launch apps without intruding into the main display; built-in apps give users access to Windows' Quick Launch icons or to playing content in Windows Media Player, but users can also drag apps into view as though it were a standard secondary display.

Nokia rolls out 5130 XpressMusic, 6 budget phones

11/04, 8:30am

Nokia 5130 XMusic and More

Nokia on Tuesday shifted focus to the budget realm with seven new phones that include its lowest-cost music phone yet. The 5130 XpressMusic (shown at top) is the top-end phone among the introductions but the company's lowest-cost true media phone. At 90 Euros ($113) without discounts, the phone still carries a two-megapixel camera, a full-size headphone jack, FM radio and dedicated music controls. It supports microSD for storage and comes pre-supplied with a 1GB card of its own at its price. Black-and-blue as well as black-and-red versions should ship in early 2009.

Olympus joins mid-range with E-30 DSLR

11/04, 7:50am

Olympus E-30

Olympus today tackled the absence of a mid-range digital SLR in the E-system lineup with the E-30, a step between the entry-level E-520 and the more professional E-3. The 12.3-megapixel camera has the faster and more accurate 11-point autofocus performance of the higher-end E-3, an electronic level to ensure straight landscape shots and image stabilization built into the sensor rather than just the lens. Simultaneously, though, it also carries beginner-oriented features such as face detection and live visual effects dubbed Art Filters.

iPhone apps: FingerPiano, Bongo Bongo, Creation

11/04, 7:45am

Virtual Deck, Bloom

FingerPiano ($3) allows users to learn and play famous compositions with little to no musical knowledge required. Instead of reading a musical score the notes fall over the keys that should be played, at the time when they should be played. Not dissimilar from the way popular games like Guitar Hero are played. The application includes both two handed songs, and one handed songs for those with less dexterity.

Googe, Yahoo revise search ad deal to appease DOJ

11/04, 12:45am

Revised Google-Yahoo deal

Google and Yahoo have backed down off their previous alliance proposal in order to clear potential issues from the Dept of Justice Department and other companies such as Microsoft. Amidst growing executive uncertainty at Yahoo, the new report indicates that a revised version of the companies' original search agreement was submitted over the weekend to avoid a potential lawsuit by regulators. The Wall Street Journal report says that the revised agreement limits the amount of revenue Yahoo! can earn from the deal and also shortens the term of agreement substantially.

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