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Porto Go iPod speakers
Scandinavian company Audio Pro has begun shipping the leather-wrapped Porto Go portable loudspeaker iPod dock, which is now offered at retailers such as Easyishop.co.uk. The Porto Go serves as an iPod dock, but a 3.5mm stereo jack is also provided for connecting computers or other devices. Two 1.5 inch tweeters provide the stereo sound, while a single 4.5 inch woofer drives the low end sound. The company claims a frequency response of 58Hz to 20,000KHz, and a sound pressure level of 100dB.
Agent 18 new Nano cases
Agent 18 has unveiled two cases for the iPod nano 4G, the ClearShield and FlowerVest. The ClearShield covers the Nano in a layer of transparent plastic that snaps on and off, with interior rubber pads to absorb shock. The lens is protected, while access is still available to the connectors and hold switch. A headphone cord wrap is also included with the basic package. The ClearShield is also available in a kit that includes a dock adapter and armband.
Lotus Symphony for Mac
IBM has expanded its free Lotus Symphony office application suite to include beta support for Mac platforms, according to Architosh. The company explained that a Mac offering was the top request from users of the Symphony beta introduction last year. The developers worked to push the software past basic compatibility by taking advantage of Apple's Aqua graphical user-interface. Other enhancements in the update include improved Data Pilot support and the transition of the Ubuntu platform from the initial beta into "generally available" status.
Live Mesh beta invitations
Microsoft has announced the opening of additional invitations to participate in the beta testing and preview of its Live Mesh client for Mac. The technology takes advantage of the company's cloud computing architecture, using it to push sync information to devices, but by storing and routing the data through a Microsoft cloud server. Users can upload files, folders, and even certain applications to the mesh, with controls over private or public access.
KeyRight has introduced a keyboard that is designed to improve typing skills, the Look & Learn. The keys on the QWERTY keyboard have been color-coded to differentiate eight different "finger zones." Each color represents the keys that are used by a particular finger. For example, the set of red keys to the far left are colored red, which gives the user a visual reference for the proper keys for the left-hand pinky finger.
TMobile goes direct to LTE
After remaining silent for quite some time, T-Mobile on Tuesday confirmed its plans for its 4G LTE network, as well as what it will do with its current 3G network. Unstrung reports that T-Mobile is excluding HSPA+ from its network expansion plans, instead opting to focus purely on LTE, mainly due to matters of efficiency. "If I need to invest into more hardware, I think it's better to start early [with LTE]," said Joachim Horn, Chief Technology Officer. "LTE is a more future-oriented technology."
MacBook Air shipping delay
Customers that have placed orders for the new entry-level MacBook Airs will now have to wait until after Thanksgiving to receive them, according to Apple Insider. The products were originally scheduled for shipment on November 5th, with delivery expected by the 10th. "Due to an unexpected delay, we are unable to ship your MacBook Air by the date originally quoted to you," explained an email sent to customers. Apple pushed the dates forward to November 24th for shipment, with customers receiving the notebooks by the 29th.
IP in menu bar, HoudahSpot
Mediata Survey 2.0.8 ($99) helps users create professional multipage surveys for websites. Surveys are created in PHP and results can be saved in either a MySQL or PostgreSQL database. The surveys can contain multiple question types, including open response, single and multiple response, as well as evaluation or matrix type questions. Version 2.0.8 is a maintenance release that has addressed a wide variety of bugs. [Download - 22.1MB]
Mac mini rumors response
Apple has responded via telephone to one customer that inquired about the Internet rumors suggesting that the Mac mini is set to be discontinued, according to Apple Insider. The concerned owner reportedly sent an email to the fresh hardware engineering chief, Bob Mansfield. He did not receive a response from the executive, however, but was contacted instead by an employee of the executive care division, affirming that the company is aware of the Mini's market value.
Seagate hybrid SSDs?
Memory device maker Seagate is investing as much as $100 million into developing a new type of solid-state drives (SSDs), according to a Wednesday report. According to company CEO Bill Watkins, Seagate is trying to resolve certain issues with the current technology, including SSDs' higher cost of production relative to hard disk drives and their limited read/write cycles. The company's solution would be to create a new technology that combines single-layer cell (SLC) and multi-layer cell (MLC) tech, marrying the former's superior reliability with the latter's low manufacturing cost.
Apple 'Indie' trademark
Apple has filed for a trademark on one of the long-standing features of the iTunes Store, documents show. The "Indie Spotlight" section of the store has been around in various forms since 2006, and highlights favored artists whose labels have not been subsumed by a major one such as EMI, Universal or Sony BMG. Apple's selling of independent music reaches back to 2004 however, when it began carrying labels such as Beggars and V2.
Sanyo intros three PNDs
Sanyo on Wednesday announced it will soon launch a trio of advanced in-car entertainment and portable GPS devices, including the 7-inch Gorilla NVA-GS1580FT that doubles as a car entertainment center and the portable 7-inch NV-SD750FT, as well as the 5.2-inch NV-SB510DT. The first two use 4GB solid-state drives as well as a dual 12Seg/1Seg TV tuner built-in to catch live broadcasts in the company's native Japan. Apart from the smaller touchscreen size, the NV-SB510DT supports only a 1Seg TV tuner.
Palm May be Low on Cash
Smartphone producer Palm is likely burning quickly through its cash reserves without the sales figures expected to come along with its upcoming Nova platform, a note from Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt says. Although the Treo creator had $248 million to draw from at the end of its August quarter, a new filing discovered by McCourt on Monday has revealed that Palm has registered for permission to either take on debt or to issue shares and other securities in order to raise funds.
Akvis Magnifier 2 update
Akvis Software has released Magnifier 2.0, the latest version of its utility for increasing image resolution. The company claims that its app produces better-quality images than bicubic interpolation, through the use of algorithms that also work to reduce noise and compression artifacts. The update adds support for lab-mode editing, and a print dialog is now offered in the standalone version of the software. New localizations include French, Spanish and Italian.
Quit it, Distance Meter
Cychosis ($5) is a cycling journal that allows users to quickly record rides, filter rides and view summary statistics over those rides and keep track of the total mileage. Users also are given the option to set goals and track their progress against them.
Sandvox 1.5.2 update
Karelia has posted an update for Sandvox, its website creation utility. The software attempts to simplify site creation through the use of drag-and-drop interface, and features such as templates, tagless editing, and built-in publishing tools; the Pro edition is required for direct coding of HTML. The v1.5.2 update mainly introduces faster file handling, and better stability; also present is a newer iMedia Browser, with better live updating of music, movie, photo and link content.
MSI Wind drops to $350
An online Best Buy listing has been spotted on Wednesday and is offering a version of the 10-inch MSI Wind netbook for just short of $350, which is the least expensive Wind ever by about $50. The specific model is U100-420US, which is powered by Intel's 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU coupled to 1GB of RAM, and includes an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi module to stay true to its Wind name, which, according to MSI, was taken from Wi-Fi Network Device.
Intel Exits UWB Work
Intel has dropped its internal development of ultra-wideband (UWB), the company has revealed. The semiconductor firm decided to end the five-year-old project a month ago in a low-key move that is only now coming to light. The call doesn't mark the end of UWB at Intel but was made as the company decided it would be less expensive to source components from outside when necessary than to develop its own.
Jobs' travel expenses rise
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is continuing to spend high amounts of money on private jet travel, figures from the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal. The company is required by regulations to show how much money Jobs was given in compensation for using his Gulfstream jet; for the most recent quarter, the figure is listed as $189,000. This represents a substantial escalation over the June quarter, when the figure was just $102,000, and even more compared to the quarter prior to that, when costs were $30,000. Jobs' peak expenditure period is said to have been the December 2007 quarter, with a total over $500,000.
MS Windows 3.x dead at 18
As of November 1st, 2008, Microsoft has stopped issuing licenses for its first operating system to put the company on the map with a wide range of users thanks to its graphical user interface, says a Wednesday report. The many versions of Windows 3.x, including 3.11, which launched in the US in May of 1990, were used worldwide and enjoyed great success, making Microsoft a viable alternative to Apple computers. Compared to the Mac alternative, the Windows OS could make use of improved graphics, had a wider color range and allowed for the addition of sound cards and CD-ROM drives.
Sprint Clearwire Approved
The FCC late yesterday approved Sprint's deal with Clearwire for a national WiMAX network. The deal will allow the two to spread an effectively unified 4G wireless Internet service across the US that should cover as many as 140 million users by the end of 2010. FCC Commissioners, including Chairman Kevin Martin, describe the approval in historic terms and suggest it will create a genuine new competitor for high-speed Internet access in the US.
Best Buy T-Mobile phones?
Based on a new report, Best Buy Mobile stores will soon offer a choice of three Nokia smartphones subsidized by contracts from wireless provider T-Mobile. Reportedly starting on November 16th, the offers will allow buyers to choose from the E71 in grey or white with a two-year T-Mobile contract for just shy of $200, instead of the unlocked, contract-free price of about $460. The N95 will cost $350 on a two-year term versus $760 retail, while the N96 will be priced at about $600, down from nearly $900 contract-free.
More Dell cutbacks coming
Dell is going to make even more drastic expense reductions than it originally planned a year ago, says spokesman David Frink. Although the company had previously set a goal of cutting $3 billion in annual expenses by 2011, which has so far resulted in the loss of nearly 8,900 jobs, Frink says the company intends to slash expenses further in order to cope with the global credit disaster. No new firings are expected, but a hiring freeze is being put into effect, and some workers are being pressured into taking buyouts or one to five payless vacation days.
Canon XH A1S and XH G1S
Canon today chose an unusual mid-day update to launch a pair of updates to its pro HDV tape camcorders. The XH A1S and XH G1S both have had their 20X zoom lenses upgraded to give better control over focus, irising and zoom as well as camera firmware that lets users adjust the zooming speed to deliver a more natural feel to pull-in or pull-out shots. Audio has also been given a boost with two XLR inputs at varying sensitivity, the ability to record with external and built-in mics at the same time, and overall better sound performance.
Livestrong iPhone app
Fitness site Livestrong.com has announced the release of a new calorie tracker application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The tracker allows people to record foods they eat during a day, as well various exercises they have engaged in. Calories are then automatically tallied ,and fat, carbohydrate and protein intake can be shown shown with the click of a button. The software includes a database of over 450,000 different food items and 2,000 fitness activities.
EasyCatalog InDesign CS4
65bit Software has released a new version of its EasyCatalog tool for Adobe InDesign, now adapted to support InDesign CS4. The app is used to import data from databases into InDesign layouts, saving effort on manual input. Data can come from a variety of sources, including XML files or ODBC databases, as well as CSV or tab-delimited files produced by Microsoft Excel.
Eizo 24-inch DisplayPort
Japanese company Eizo on Wednesday introduced a new 24-inch LCD monitor, the FlexScan S2432W-H, which is one of its first to rely on the newer DisplayPort video standard. sports both a 1920x1200 resolution and a contrast ratio of 1,000:1. Other specs include a brightness rating of 360cd/m2 and a true black-to-white pixel response time of 16ms, while the neutral (gray-to-gray) response time is 6ms.
MacBook trackpad fix soon
Problems with the buttonless trackpads on the latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros should be solvable via software update, Apple is said to have stated. A variety of users have been complaining that while they can feel and hear their trackpads click, the pads will occasionally fail to register the action through Mac OS X. This is not a fundamental hardware flaw, an exchange with Apple's CEO is said to have revealed.
Google and Yahoo Back Off
Google and Yahoo on Wednesday said they would end their controversial ad agreement and go their separate ways. The move is friendly but leaves Yahoo without a major third-party to show ads on certain search results, potentially cutting into Yahoo's overal results. Google describes the departure as being on amicable terms but also as the result of pressure from US government officials, which had forced revisions after concerns that it would create an unfair web monopoly.
UBS on iPhone production
Apple is indeed producing far fewer iPhones than it was earlier this year, writes UBS analyst Maynard Um. Echoing statements from Friedman Billings Ramsey, Um notes that checks with the supply chain indicate that iPhone levels are down by 1.7 million to 2.3 million. Total production for the December quarter could amount to just 4 million, which is below UBS estimates of 5 million and September-quarter production of 9 million. Um says his firm is keeping to estimates, however, and will monitor for any changes.
Hybrid LTE and WiMAX Chips
Next year will bring devices that have two competing 4G data formats at once, a note from ABI Research. Company principal analyst Philip Solis explains that multiple carriers have expressed interest in supporting both Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMAX on the same chipset, letting them support either standard depending on the provider and region. The move would let carriers such as KDDI and Vodafone serve both their own services, which will prefer LTE, without the cost of building a second device for a WiMAX network in another country or a related provider.
UK, Swiss iPhone sales
UK sales of the iPhone have diminished in recent weeks, sources claim. Regional carrier O2 is said to be selling between 18,000 and 20,000 phones per week, down from recently-quoted levels of about 27,000, and an early high of 50,000. The reason for the decline is uncertain, but is said to be attributable to the Android-based T-Mobile G1, and Research in Motion's BlackBerry Storm, both of which have been highly anticipated and are due to release soon in the UK.
SanDisk on Wednesday said it has developed a way to eliminate one of the few performance bottlenecks of solid-state drives. A new flash file system known as ExtremeFFS uses a page-based method that no longer ties the logical location of data on the drive to its physical space. Instead, it dynamically writes and alters the position of data based on where it would be most efficient as well as the user's own habits.
Sony Music Entertainment's Japanese branch today unveiled a new disc standard that aims to bring the company's lessons from Blu-ray to music CDs. Blu-spec uses the blue lasers that would normally master Blu-ray movies to cut CDs more accurately than would be possible with red lasers. In tandem with the use of polymer plastic for the discs themselves, the format should improve the quality of audio CDs while remaining compatible with existing CD players; the latter has been a weakness of Super Audio CD and other defunct sound formats.
Samsung T Omnia US Soon
Samsung has only just introduced the T*Omnia in its home country but may already be enroute to the US within a matter of weeks, a claim from BusinessWeek. The company is reportedly in talks to bring the Windows Mobile touchscreen phone with an unspecified US carrier by the end of November, though whether it represents the fully-upgraded T*Omnia or its lower-resolution, lower-capacity ancestor is unknown.
Digital Camera Raw 2.3
Apple on Tuesday released Digital Camera Raw Compatibility 2.3, which it says extends RAW file compatibility for Aperture 2 and iPhoto ’08 for the following cameras: Canon EOS 50D, Nikon D90, Sony DSLR-A900, and Nikon Coolpix P6000. Apple also noted that the update also addresses issues related to specific cameras and overall stability. The 4MB update is available via the Web as well via the Software Update in Mac OS X.
Meizu M8 Due Nov 30
Meizu's shadow to the iPhone, the M8, should be available in at least a limited form before the end of the month, according to a post by company head J. Wong. While already tentatively slated for November, the touchscreen phone should be launched in Meizu's native China no later than November 30th. The company is waiting for a government license for the phone but will release a test version to users even if the license isn't granted by the end of the month, Wong explains.
Eikon fingerprint readers
UPEK has unveiled two fingerprint reader privacy products, the Eikon and Eikon To Go, which are both now compatible with Mac platforms. The Eikon Digital Privacy Manager combines a USB peripheral fingerprint reader with the Protector Suite QL software. The software remembers complex passwords, allowing Mac users to unlock Keychain by swiping their finger on the reader. Logon, user switching and computer lock/unlock functions can also be performed with a finger swipe.
Firefox hits 20% usage
Firefox now boasts 20 percent global market share, according to a new document published by Net Applications, showing the spike during October. ReadWriteWeb reports that the Mozilla-developed web browser has seen a recent surge in possibility due to users seeking asylum from Internet Explorer's notoriously insecure nature. Firefox is facing increasing pressure in the web market, both from Apple and Microsoft, but also from newer competitors, such as Google's Chrome.
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