Microsoft's well known Internet Explorer web browser may have an open source sibling on its way based on WebKit, of Safari and Google Chrome fame, if statements made by CEO Steve Ballmer are indicative. TechWorld writes that Ballmer, speaking in front of developers in Sydney, answered a question posed by a student, on why Microsoft insisted on dumping money into the rendering platform, rather than adopting a faster open source model. Ballmer thought the question to be "cheeky," but provided a humble response.
Xtreme Technology has unveiled its XLink BT and XLink BTTN devices that serve as a Bluetooth gateway for integrating mobile phones into the landline system. The devices work by routing cell calls through regular telephones located throughout a home. Up to three mobile phones can be connected, and each plays a unique ring on all home phones to identify which mobile line the call is coming from. Users can also choose which line to use when dialing outgoing calls.
Cables Unlimited has released its latest connectivity product, a Wireless USB Adapter Set that allows users to connect USB peripherals remotely. The package consists of two USB dongles, one for a notebook or PC and the other that can be plugged into a device. Users can move the device-side dongle up to 30 feet away, according to the company. The system can be set up to wirelessly send data to and from an external hard drive, printer, digital camera, or optical media writer.
Cygnett has unveiled its latest iPod accessory, the GrooveNeo dock that works as a speaker system and alarm clock. The device features a large digital time display and touch-sensitive keys for the operation and programming controls. Users can set the clock to play iPod tracks, AM/FM radio, or a standard buzzer for the alarm. Two 2.75 inch speakers provide the sound output for the alarm and music playback.
Norway's Consumer Ombudsman has said that he will take Apple before the country's Market Council, as the computer manufacturer failed to provide a sufficient response to request that iTunes be made compatible with other media players than the iPod, according to CNNMoney. The Ombudsman, Bjoern Erik Thon, made a demand for action at the end of September but gave the company until November 3rd to submit comments before a case is heard. "iTunes has shown a lacking will to comply with our demand and we are now preparing to try this case in the Market Council," said Thon.
FlashVideo Converter 2.2 ($100) is a tool for converting Flash SWF and FLV files to video files such as MP4, MOV and MPEG. Version 2.2 has improved the overall video quality as well as the movie size optimization feature. An option for selecting background color is also now available along with other various bug fixes. [Download - 15.1MB]
Typing Genius ($2) gives users the ability to practice and improve their typing skills on the iPhone or iPod touch. Users can progress through practical exercises and then track their results. The app includes 17 categories of remedial and practical exercises with over 50 exercises in total. Results are then sorted into 10 different key statistics which can all be displayed in a graph format.
Research firm Canalys has reinforced the observations that the strong growth of iPhone and Blackberry sales has come at the expense of Nokia's market share in the smartphone segment, according to Reuters. The analysis showed a drop in Nokia's share from 51.4 percent in last year's quarter to 38.9 percent this year. In contrast, Apple grew to 17.3 percent while RIM also gained share to reach 15.2 percent in the quarter.
Security company Swann Communications has introduced the MovieStick, a camera and recorder in a small package that weighs under an ounce. The device records footage and still images on removable Micro SD cards, with listed recording time of 2.5 hours on 2GB of storage. Although specific dimensions have not yet been released, the company claims that the housing is slightly larger than a pack of gum. It also features a built-in lithium battery that can be charged using a USB cable.
In many places, itís now illegal to drive while holding and talking on a mobile phone. Since chatting while driving can be so convenient, you have two choices. First, you can pull over to the side of the road every time you want to chat with your iPhone. Since this essentially negates the advantages of driving while chatting, your only real option is to get a hands-free device for your phone. If you have an iPhone, consider the Car Windshield Mount with Handsfree and charger for iPhone 3G with USB charging Port from USBFever.com.
LaCie recently introduced a new connected hard drive called the Internet Space, available in 500GB and 1TB capacities. The multimedia drive can attach to home networks via its Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as share multimedia content on compatible UPnP or DLNA-certified players and adapters. This includes compatible game consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Sony's PlayStation 3.
Following up a spotting of the AT&T Fuze just a couple of days ago, Thursday's news sees the handset get a concrete ship date and pricing information courtesy of a few official leaked documents. Basically a rebadged HTC Touch Pro for the AT&T network, the handset will cost just about $500 contract-free or about $300 with a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate when it reaches AT&T showrooms and web store on November 11th. Those prices are significantly higher than other high-profile smartphones on the market, namely the T-Mobile G1 and iPhone 3G, both available for under $200.
Taiwan's MSI has recently introduced a new EX-series notebook with its 16-inch EX623. Meant as a multimedia portable PC, the notebook comes with an Intel Centrino 2 mainboard and choice of Core 2 Duo CPUs, though exact models and clock speeds are unknown. The 16:9 aspect ratio display sports a 1366x768 resolution and displays graphics driven by NVIDIA's GeForce 9500M GS graphics card. Users will be able to purchase up to 4GB of RAM, and opt for a Blu-ray optical drive.
Ivyskin has unveiled the Quattro T3 Glass Touch-Thru Armor case for the iPhone 3G. The case features Xylo Glass screen protection, which the company claims will not affect sensitivity. The rest of the phone is protected by silicone-treated polycarbonate that offers a hard shell with a soft feel. The phone can be docked without taking the whole case off, and a detachable port protector is included for use while disconnected.
Jumsoft is shipping Keynote Objects FX 3.0, its latest art collection for Mac apps. Objects FX is in particular aimed at both Keynote and Pages, and supplies a variety of pre-rendered 3D images for inclusion in presentations or documents. Version 3.0 doubles the collection size from 50 to 100, in categories including the likes of parties, plants, and soft or metallic objects.
A Thursday report warns Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system will not support hybrid dual-graphics systems currently on the market from NVIDIA and AMD. The news came after a review of Microsoft's Guidelines for Graphics in Windows 7 document released on Wednesday, which read Windows 7 will not offer native support for the systems, listing unstable and poor user experience as reasons for the exclusion. The software make added it would 'strongly discourage system manufacturers from shipping such systems' and noted these systems would require a reboot to switch between GPUs.
Sharp executives believe the SoftBank 930SH handset, which Sharp helped to develop, features the highest quality camera of any handset. Its integrated 8-megapixel camera sports a 1/2.5-inch CCD sensor usually found in actual digital cameras rather than the CMOS sensor in most other handsets. Another spec not usually found in camera phones includes the maximum ISO setting of 2500, making it suitable for taking legible photos in low-light environments. A mechanical shutter is used, and can be left open longer to help with capturing images in darker situations, while a neutral density filter helps in reducing glare when shooting outdoors on sunny days. In addition, there is a CMOS camera facing the user that will allow for making video calls.
Open Door Networks has announced the latest version of its web-image browser for the Mac, Envision 1.2. The update features integrated publishing of web shows to the iPhone using MobileMe. New shows have been added, including many from the iPhone version of the program, iEnvision. Envision itself is used to view pictures from websites in a single window, with the text removed. Users can display the images full-screen on a computer monitor, digital picture frame or HDTV.
A new statement made by AT&T Mobility president and CEO Ralph De La Vega at the Web 2.0 summit has the company showing support for iPhone tethering Ė a hot topic as of late, considering Apple's banning of a utility that provides that functionality from the App Store. Technologizer reports that the move gives users an official path to explore, rather than relying on the now non-existent NetShare, or the contract-compromising iModem, the latter of which requires a jailbroken iPhone.
A Thursday report confirms several Samsung handsets will soon be shipping to various wireless providers, including the long-awaited Omnia i910 smartphone coming to Verizon. Along with the Saga i770, it will use Windows Mobile 6.1 as its operating system, with a Renown U810 flip phone also joining the Verizon offerings. The Omnia should share the GSM original's five-megapixel camera, GPS and Wi-Fi but may not have the T*Omnia's higher-resolution display.
Vendor Other World Computing says it is shipping new 4GB and 6GB RAM upgrade options for Apple's new unibody notebooks, in spite of alleged upgrade issues. The kits cover the 13-inch MacBooks and 15- or 17-inch MacBook Pros, and in the case of the 6GB bundles, are said to push memory capacity beyond what normal upgrade options allow. Apple normally limits maximum RAM capacity to 2x2GB, but it is possible to double memory in the second slot.
T-Mobile today outlined its holiday phone lineup and in the process revealed three completely new devices. The Samsung Behold (pictured) is the company's American adaptation of the Europe-centric Tocco and gives the carrier its second 3G-capable touchscreen device after the G1 as well as its second phone with a Kodak-influenced, five-megapixel camera following the already-announced ZN5. Most other details aren't mentioned, though the device is known to use Samsung's TouchWiz widget interface and to use microSDHC for storage.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Thursday said at an annual Telstra investment meeting that the Google-designed Android operating system debuted in the T-Mobile G1 handset won't make the company money. According to a report originating from an event held by Australian cellular provider Telstra, Ballmer believes Google is essentially telling its investors the new product has no revenue model; he doesn't understand the strategy.
YouTube is on the verge of launching a streaming service for major full-length movies, unnamed entertainment executives are reportedly telling CNET. Similar to Hulu, the feature would let users watch ad-supported movies from "major" studios and is believed to use a widescreen player instead of the 4:3 ratio used for amateur videos. Both YouTube's parent Google and its movie partners are believed far enough into negotiations that a formal launch could be due in as little as 30 to 90 days.
One of Motorola's newest handsets, the MOTOZINE ZN5, has recently popped up on Sprint's accessories website, according to a Thursday report. As neither the carrier nor Motorola have yet announced a CDMA version of the GSM-only handset, the appearance tentatively supports the existence of a device with both the different calling standard and EVDO onboard. While no other information is available, the Sprint-branded handset is expected to share features with the GSM ZN5 already offered by T-Mobile.
Nisus has released a v1.2 update to Writer Pro, its flagship word processing software. Pro differentiates itself from Express with features such as comments, mail merges, and the ability to create indexes and tables of contents. New to v1.2 is an upgraded import component, said to improve the accuracy of file translations, particularly in terms of Microsoft Word documents.
The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption standard has been partially cracked by security researchers Erik Tews and Martin Beck, according to a Thursday report. The pair will demonstrate and discuss their accomplishment at the PacSec conference in Tokyo next week. The attack allows the hacker to read data sent from the router to a laptop computer and send inaccurate information to connected clients. Beck has reportedly found a way to break the crack the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) key used by the WPA standard in about less than 15 minutes, which is the shortest amount of time such an attack can be performed to date.
The German division of T-Mobile, owned by Deutsche Telekom, received a substantial boost from the iPhone in its third financial quarter, according to a results report. T-Mobile Deutschland is said to have gained 271,000 net subscribers in Q3, a full 82 percent better than in the same period of 2007. The company describes the iPhone 3G as a "significant driver" of new subscriptions, and notes that it was "in extremely high demand" during the July launch phase. 401,000 German subscribers were recorded in all, and Deutsche Telekom's total net income for the quarter was $1.52 billion versus last year's $1.37 billion.
Sanyo on Thursday introduced its newest projector, the LP-XTC50, which offers the industry's first lamp selection system, making it virtually maintenance-free for up to 6,000 hours of operation. The system can automatically or manually choose one of two lamps to project from, switching between them based on user preference or preprogrammed settings. Meant for commercial applications, the LP-XTC50 sports Sanyo's Active Maintenance Filter that automatically detects clogs and scrolls the filter reel to a clean filter panel, of which there are 10.
OCZ this morning has quietly launched the Solid Series, a newer low-cost alternative to normally expensive solid-state drives. The new 2.5-inch, SATA II drive uses a frugal black casing and comes in relatively small capacities but is still claimed to have performance well above that of equal-size notebook drives: reads peak at 155MB per second, while writes are quicker than Intel's mainstream drives at 90MB per second. The PC accessory maker also claims that the Solid line consumes half as much power as a rotating hard disk.
Apple and the iPhone have placed first in a customer satisfaction survey targeting business users of smartphones, according to J.D. Power and Associates. The survey evaluated phone makers using a thousand-point score, with devices ranked in categories of descending priority; these included "ease of operation," "operating system," "physical design," "handset features" and "battery aspects." Apple scored customer satisfaction of 778, mainly due to the ease-of-use, design and feature criteria.
AT&T on Thursday said it was buying Wi-Fi provider Wayport in a bid to significantly expand the footprint of AT&T-owned hotspots. The move gives the carrier a total of almost 20,000 access points within the US that include McDonald's restaurants as well as Four Seasons, Marriott Vacation Club and Wyndham hotels. It also boosts AT&T's presence outside of the US to over 80,000 total connections.
Microsoft today expanded on early details of its special-edition artwork by formally releasing its Zodiac Series Zunes through Zune Originals. The custom laser engravings will include all 12 signs of the Western zodiac drawn by better-known graphic designers as well as animals for each of the Chinese years designed by Microsoft's own resident artist Iosefatu Sua. Each player also has access to matching wallpaper on the Zune itself and playlists chosen by the artists on the Zune Marketplace.
Mobile podcast downloads are now functioning within the iPhone 2.2 beta firmware, reports claim. Although references to the feature were said to be present as far back as late last month, this was unconfirmed, and buttons for the new option were said to be inactive. Users of the firmware should now be able to browse podcasts much in the same as other material on the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, searching by category, with episode lists replacing track lists.
Etymotic today called out the official launch of the hf5, its fifth-generation of pure listening devices and the effective successor to its well-known ER-6i buds. The new models have a newer, metallic body style Etymotic claims is more comfortable. Audio fidelity has also purportedly been improved. Although the frequency range has dropped slightly to 20Hz - 15kHz, noise isolation has been improved to block outside sounds as loud as 42dB and to muffle louder noises. This in turn lets users play music at more reasonable volume levels.
The US Patent Office today published two Apple patent filings that reveal the company having researched a unique head-tracking display technology designed to replicate the theater experience. Noting that watching a fixed view on a screen may be tiring, the company says it has developed a system that would let users mimic an auditorium, a baseball park, a movie theater or other environment by giving them a virtual position in the theater and panning, skewing or stretching the picture to reflect the view.
Apple added approximately 10,400 more full-time workers during its 2008 financial year, a 48 percent rise over 2007, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show. The figure is found within the company's 10-K report, which also notes a total of 32,000 full-time workers as of September 27th, plus 3,100 contract or temporary workers. From these groups some 8,000 people were directed into the company's retail chain, which added 50 more locations around the world.
Intel's first Core i7 processors are now due to ship in less than two weeks, the company has revealed in an invitation sent to the press. The next-generation processor architecture should be unveiled on November 17th and is being billed as the fastest CPU "on the planet" based on SPEC's integer math tests; no mention is made of floating-point math or other benchmarks.
Samsung today set what should be a first for computer displays in releasing the 2342BWX. The 23-inch display shares the movie-friendly, extra-wide 16:9 aspect ratio becoming increasingly common with most displays but jumps from the usual 1920x1080 to 2048x1152; the extra space is said to be large enough for two letter-sized documents to fit side by side and makes room for sidebars and other vertical elements in the operating system. This reduces the need for a second LCD, Samsung says.
Sony Ericsson today held a characteristically low-key unveiling centered around one music phone and a universal Bluetooth home stereo. The W705 represents a relatively high-end Walkman phone for the company and centers on its addition of Wi-Fi. All versions can use the format for faster Internet access and for sharing media on the local network with DLNA-supporting devices like the PlayStation 3 and certain PC software; a special W705u variant also supports Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) for Internet calling that bridges to the phone network.
Marketcircle has released Billings 3.0.3, with 30 improvements in the update and a new price for the time billing and invoicing software. Major upgrades in v3.0.3 include a new auto-backup action when users quite the application, improved integration with sister productivity suite Daylight and improved address book integration. Version 3.0.3 adds rate, taxes and total columns to the Mileage Report, and rendering speed is significantly improved for invoice, estimate and statement templates.
Falkon Ware has launched an update to its bulk e-mail app, SerialMailer 5.9, adding advanced template support. The new templates will allow embedding messages into existing designs. The custom templates can be created and edited with most web site editors, and new Christmas templates are now included for holiday mailing lists.
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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