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Rhino CAD needs Leopard
A new Wenatchee build of Rhino has upped the system requirements to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and introduced several new features, while the new Electric Image Sonica 1.0 plug-in provides audio-visual synchronization for Maya users. Architosh reports that Rhino can now accommodate European ISO keyboards for some menu shortcuts, as well as two new mouse gestures, four trackpad gestures, and many new commands for tool palettes.
MacBooks work with locks
Kensington on Friday issued a correction notice regarding a story posted earlier on MacNN, clarifying that its laptop locks are "100% compatible" with the new MacBooks introduced in October. Kensington clarifies that Apple has constructed the new laptops' lock port to the former company's specifications, which are available to computer manufacturers. In addition to confirmation of compatibility, Kensington backs up the claim by saying it has thoroughly tested the two products in conjunction.
Iphone video bug posted
Piergiorgio Zambrini, or "Zibri" as he is known on the web, has posted a video on his blog that apparently causes the iPhone to crash. Zambrini -- known for his iPhone jailbreaking software -- tells MacNN he discussed the problem with Apple, and offered help fix it for a fee. The company turned him down. Zambrini says he decided to publish the video so "Apple will be free to work on a fix." The news comes as his claim to have been the one who discovered the bug is being disputed.
Apple deals: refurb iPods
Apple's online store currently has a variety of previous generation refurbished iPods. Starting at $39 is the 1GB iPod shuffle in green, purple, green, and silver or for $59 is the 2GB Shuffle in the same colors with one addition, blue. The iPod nano models start at $79 for 4GB in silver or $99 for the 8GB model in silver, blue, green, pink or black. The 30GB iPod with 2.5-inch color display is priced at $159 and is available in black or silver. 80GB iPod Classic models are $169 and 160GB Classics are $249, each comes in either black or silver. Lastly is the iPod touch in three capacities, 8GB for $179, 16GB for $219 and 32GB for $319.
Forum roundup: MBP woes
Today in the MacNN forums members discuss the practicality of the glass trackpad on the new MacBook and MacBook Pro in response to a picture that was posted of a MacBook Pro with a cracked trackpad. One member has invested in a new MacBook Pro only to discover that the aluminum body is uneven. A comparison of the MacBook Pro models from early 2008 versus late 2008 can be found in this thread started by one member who was trying to figure out what was more appealing about the new model. A thread was started by Mac Elite, selowitch, who is looking for a BitTorrent client for AppleTV. One member finds advice for Flash alternatives in this thread.
McMillen string interfaces
Keith McMillen Instruments has unveiled two computer interface products designed for string instrument musicians, the K-Bow for bowed instruments, and the StringPort for a wide range of bowed or picked string instruments. The Kevlar and carbon-fiber K-Bow uses Bluetooth communication to transfer live information to a computer for further sound processing. The information can be used as input for a synthesizer, audio processor, or exported to other applications.
Lotus Symphony 1.2 beta
For the longest time, the only real office suite for the Mac was Microsoft Office. While not a bad office suite, many people dislike the high retail price (although the home edition is far lower at $149 compared to $399 for the retail version). In addition, other Mac users simply object to using any product created by Microsoft. Apple's iWork is a less expensive option at $79 while the latest OpenOffice 3.0 is completely free. For yet another choice, take a look at IBM's Lotus Symphony 1.2 beta for the Mac.
Walmart drops prices
As part of a price drop campaign it is calling Operation Main Street, Walmart on Thursday announced it will cut back prices of many popular products over the next seven weeks, in time for the holidays. The more noteworthy items include a Magnavox Blu-ray player, the NB500MG9, priced at $198, down from its regular price of $229. It is capable of upconverting standard DVD movies and will support Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats. A 2GB Sony Walkman MP3 player will be priced at $49.
rubiTrack 1.1 ($39) allows users to track their physical activity and then display and organize the corresponding data. Information from runs, bike rides, walks or other outdoor activities can be placed on a map and then compared side by side. Information can then be sorted into graphs so users can analyze progress against personal goals. The update has added direct syncing with Nike+iPod and AMOD AGL3080 GPS Tracker. The update has also added several new filters in the activity group tree. [Download - 3.8MB]
Easy Connect IP Camera
Lorex Technology has introduced the LNE3003, a network IP surveillance camera that can be accessed from any Internet connection, including 3G mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPod touch. The camera transmits a 640 by 480 (VGA) resolution feed at 30 frames per second, compressed to MPEG4 format for viewing the stream from mobile devices. The camera can be plugged directly into a router, or connect via 802.11b/g WiFi, with wireless range claimed to extend 250 feet in open space.
Papermaster vs. IBM
Mark's Papermaster's new role at Apple in no way represents a threat to IBM, according to new filings. Papermaster is to replace Tony Fadell at the head of Apple's iPod group, but has been accused of violating a non-compete agreement signed when he was employed by IBM, where he helped oversee chip design. In his formal response to IBM, Papermaster claims that Apple and IBM do not compete with each other, and that his hiring was not primarily based on his work with the latter company.
Samsung Techwin spin-off
Korean manufacturer Samsung Techwin is planning on separating its camera business into a separate division but keep it under the same ownership, says a Friday report. The new company, due to be called Samsung Digital Imaging, will have a separate listing starting on February 1st of next year. The move is believed to differentiate the existing company from the Samsung Group's machinery and heavy industry division and allow the newly formed company's management to focus on the quickly growing consumer camera market.
Rambus files ITC complaint
In addition to filing a lawsuit against graphics hardware maker NVIDIA back in July, technology licensing company Rambus has filed a formal complaint against the company on Thursday with the US International Trade Commission. Rambus has requested an investigation of NVIDIA products that it hopes would lead to the barring of importation, sale for importation and sale after importation of the latter's products that Rambus believes infringe on nine of its patents.
Briefly: deals and reviews
- Nova Media has announced it has dropped the prices of its wireless modem products by about 16 percent, as part of preparations for the 2008 holiday season. The modems offer users up to 7.2 Mbit per second download speeds, and include a full version of Launch2net, a internet connection wizard for global wireless cell tower connectivity. Nova Media's lineup of modems require Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger or later to function.
Native Instruments has launched a variety of Holiday Values promotions, offering users a "substantial" discount or extras with many of its audio plugins. Among the offerings are a bundle with Guitar Rig 3 Kontrol Edition, a free copy of Absynth 4, FM8, Massive, or Pro-53 with the purchase of an Audio Kontrol 1 audio interface, or half-price on update versions of all NI software instruments, including the Komplete bundle.
MacNN has posted a review of the iLuv iMM173 Hi-Fi Dual Alarm Clock. Many different companies make iPod compatible alarm clocks, but few offer solutions for customers with multiple iPods. iLuv has taken that extra step and put a second dock on top of the iMM173: Hi-Fi Dual Alarm Clock that is iPhone 3G compatible as well. This means that you can charge multiple handhelds at the same time with one device. Unfortunately, because only one of the docks is iPhone compatible, customers with multiple iPhones in their household cannot charge both together.
Also posted in the reviews section is iFrogz iPhone 3G Luxe case is also available. With so many iPhone cases on the market, it can be difficult to find one that offers you just the right protection, look, and feel. The iFrogz Luxe case is a great choice for someone who wants one that feels as good as it looks.
Pioneer 5.1 BD system
Pioneer on Friday has announced the launch of its previously announced high-definition home theater system, the LX01BD. Comprised of a Profile 1.1 Blu-ray disc player and a 5.1-channel speaker and 400W amplifier combination, the set-up won't be able to connect to BD-Live and access movies' Bonus View content from the Internet. What the player does offer, however, is 1080p resolution via its pair of HDMI 1.3a Deep Color connections.
AccelaStudy, Say Who
Ocarina ($1) turns the iPhone into a full musical instrument. Users can operate the instrument by blowing into the microphone to start and stop sound and covering the virtual holes to change pitches. The application includes no pre-compiled riffs meaning users are encouraged to explore the instrument on their own and discover their own style.
Blu-ray prices dropping
Holiday prices for older Blu-ray players may fall in the $150-200 range over the holiday season, representing a price drop in spite of the industry's forecasts and expectations, according to ABI Research. The analyst group believes Blu-ray manufacturers need to drop their prices in order to fend off competitive pressure from high-definition movie download services and the need for strong sales during the holiday season after the recent market troubles.
Directed quits sat radio
Directed Electronics announced earlier this week that it will leave the satellite radio market, ending its agreement to act as Sirius satellite radio's exclusive retail distributor as of January 31st, 2009. The company says this is due to the softening market for the subscription-based service and, along with Sirius XM's more than $1 billion in debt, is calling the agreement an unfavorable "risk-reward tradeoff."
DealNN: $50 or less
A variety of products that are priced at $50 or less are featured at DealNN today. First up is the Kingston 2GB SD memory card priced at $3.99, a price cut of $5 off the original price at Newegg.com. Next is the Philips bendable gooseneck web cam for $13 at Buy.com. TigerDirect.com has the Logitech iPod audio station for $30 after mail in rebate. Priced at $37 is the Sony multimedia speakers from CymaxStores.com. Lastly is the Creative Xdock wireless music system priced at $45 at Buy.com.
Solo Mobile adds choices
Canadian wireless provider Solo Mobile on Thursday announced it is introducing four new voice plans and two new handsets to its line-up. The Bell sub-brand enhanced its Unbeatable and Solo in the City plans, giving users what it says is better value. It now waives the controversial System Access Fees and emergency 911 charges to new subscribers who sign up for a two-year contract. This represents a savings of about $8 CAD (about $6.75) per month.
ATT on No Android
AT&T is investigating Google's Android platform but ironically won't adopt it as it isn't sufficiently open, company wireless chief Ralph de la Vega tells the San Francisco Chronicle. He acknowledges that the carrier has considered adopting an Android-based phone but that the mobile operating system needs more third-party software to be open enough for it to be an option. Although open-source, too much of the current software feature set is limited to what Google offers, the executive says.
Majestic Forest ships
PiddlePup Games has released Majestic Forest for the Mac, a game featuring 60 levels of "family-friendly" play. The maze-based title follows players on a quest to discover what happened to the Forest Mother; en route, players solve puzzles and collect talismans and magic potions. The levels also change seasons as players make progress through them.
Ocarina for iPhone
Smule has unveiled its latest app for the iPhone, the Ocarina virtual instrument. As the user blows lightly on the device's microphone, the program analyzes the wind noise and tonguing to produce synthesized sounds. To further alter output, it tracks finger placement over four on-screen holes, as well as phone tilt. The combination of covered holes determines pitch, while tilting front and back adjusts vibrato depth, and tilting side-to-side changes the vibrato rate.
Star Walk for iPhone/iPod
VITO Technology has released Star Walk, an interactive astronomy map for the iPhone. The map is used to identify stars, constellations and moon phases. Users are also able to tap on different heavenly bodies, and pull up details like celestial coordinates, relationships to Earth, vital statistics and more. The app can use GPS positioning to determine the immediate night sky, or else find a different one through manual location selection.
ASUS N20A Notebook
ASUS in a low-profile release has outed the N20A, one of the company's newest full-feature ultraportables. The 12-inch system uses the latest Centrino 2-era processors and manages to fit up to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo into its small-profile chassis. It also incorporates an internal DVD burner and still finds room for more advanced expansion like an ExpressCard slot, external SATA and an HDMI video output.
Flick Fishing for iPhone
Freeverse has released its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch, Flick Fishing. Users first flick their wrist to cast, then use a virtual reel on the touch-screen to bring fish in. In order to avoid breaking the line, larger fish must first be brought to exhaustion. The game features six different locations to fish, from streams to oceans, and 12 tournaments for competition. Nine different combinations of bait and tackle can be used to catch dozens of fish species.
UIQ employees on dismissal
Cell phone makers Motorola's and Sony Ericsson's recent decision to drop the UIQ-developed platform from its future products has left the software-development company in an uncertain position. On Thursday, UIQ Technology's 270 employees were put on notice of dismissal, according to a Friday report. Sony Ericsson will continue to fund the company on a monthly basis to allow it to consider its future options during this transitional period. It is not known how long Sony Ericsson's funding will remain in place, and Motorola, UIQ's other shareholder, is not involved in the plan.
OpenMoko's recently mentioned Android phone is effectively the company's Neo FreeRunner with a different operating system, the company has confirmed. Instead of a custom-built but basic Linux distribution, the GTA02 uses Google's Android to both give it a native touchscreen interface and access to all the features of the phone, including its 3D-capable ARM processor, assisted GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and GPRS data.
ReaddleDocs 1.1.1 update
Readdle has released a v1.1.1 update to ReaddleDocs, its file management application for iPhones and iPod touches. The software enables users to copy files to Apple handhelds, view them while mobile, and engage in limited sharing with others; the app is particularly focused on the concept of e-books. The updated software lets users copy over documents from WebDAV-services, such as MobileMe iDisk, Box.Net, and FilesAnywhere. These in turn can be viewed offline or e-mailed to others.
NVIDIA Quadro FX 370 470
NVIDIA on Thursday announced the release of two new entry-level graphics processing solutions for workstations with its first Quadro FX 470 integrated mainboard GPU and the Quadro FX 370 Low Profile standalone PCIe card meant for use in small form factor desktop PCs. Either GPU is certified for CAD and digital media apps by software makers that include Autodesk and Adobe. Both new NVIDIA products feature 128-bit precision graphics processing and 32-bit floating point precision, filtering and blending, along with advanced color compression and early z-culling. They have full-scene antialiasing capabilities as well and support OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX 10 for 3D work.
O2 iPhones stolen in UK
European iPhone retailer O2 will be implementing new security measures after the theft of eight iPhones from its displays last week. Mobile is reporting that the thefts were all at one store on Oxford Street, a major retail center in London. The phones were stolen from a display table, where O2 prefers to keep live iPhones in an effort to have them sell themselves via features.
Windows Mobile 6.5 a go
Cellphone buyers and owners should expect to see another major update to Windows Mobile 6 before a complete overhaul, Microsoft's CEO has confirmed. Steve Ballmer disclosed the information recently during the 2008 investor briefing for Australian carrier Telstra, which supports a variety of Windows Mobile phones. "With releases we'll make this year," he began, "releases we'll make with 6.5 next year, Windows Mobile 7, I think we have a pretty interesting roadmap." Prior to this, Windows Mobile 6.5 had not been announced by Microsoft.
Ericsson on Cellphone Cams
Ericsson late yesterday outlined its plans for future cellphones that will make HD video a crucial part of the future. The Swedish company says its current projections will result in cellphones by 2012 with cameras as sharp as 12 to 20 megapixels that will also have the processing power behind them to record full HD video, or 1080p. This target phone should also have a roughly 1024x768 display resolution and could thus play its own footage much closer to its native resolution than would be possible today.
Toast 9.0.4 update ships
Roxio has updated Toast 9.0.4, fixing sync issues, errors and TiVo problems. The CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning software has resolved multiple audio and video sync issues with MPEG video files, and fixed video-related -39 errors, along with compatibility repairs. It features better detection of AVCHD volumes, and repairs an issue with cutting TiVo recordings. The Streamer component has also been upgraded to 1.0.4, resolving an issue where video lists would not update correctly.
Final CleanApp 3.0 ships
Drawing its public beta period to a close, Synium has released the final version of CleanApp 3.0, its combination uninstaller and system maintenance tool. The software attempts to purge a Mac of all the files associated with a given app, including the caches and .plists that are missed when simply trashing a program. Users can additionally archive apps that may be needed later.
Panasonic Buys Sanyo
Panasonic today said it would buy fellow Japanese electronics maker Sanyo. The deal, which is unofficially estimated at a worth of $8.8 billion, will make Panasonic the single largest company of its type in Japan and is described as a move to secure Sanyo's well-known battery business, which includes lithium-ion batteries for cellphones, notebooks, portable media players and other devices as well as its automotive, eneloop, and solar power technology.
Back-In-Time beta released
TRI-EDRE has released a beta version of Back-In-Time, a utility meant to act as a complement to Apple's Time Machine. Users are able to perform functions not directly supported within Time Machine, such as basic drag-and-drop copying of files from backup, and restoring to locations other than the original folders. It can also determine how many versions of a file are in storage, and when a file was deleted.
Honda walking assist gizmo
Honda Motor on Friday announced it will begin real-world testing of its second experimental walking assist device designed to reduce the strain on a user's leg muscles and joints such as hips, knees and ankles. The device will supporting a portion of user's body weight whether they're crouching, walking or climbing stairs and is meant to help both those physically weakened with age or injury as well as workers who would need to reduce the stress on their bodies from heavy work or unusual positions.
Samsung Tops in US Phones
Samsung today surprised the cellphone business by claiming the lead in US phone sales for the summer based on a Strategy Analytics report [membership required]. The company edged out Motorola, the long-time holder of the position, by earning 22.4 percent of the American market versus US-native Motorola's 21.1 percent. LG followed close behind and now threatens to overtake either of the two leaders with 20.5 percent of sales following steady increases in recent months.
FxFactory Pro 2.0.5 ships
Noise Industries has released FxFactory Pro 2.0.5, adding support for After Effects CS4 and four new plug-ins. The plug-ins include Random Close Up, Whoosh, Cube and Upscale. Concurrent to the new release is the new free plug-in, Pan and Zoom. FxFactory Pro offers a total of 140 plug-ins, with hardware acceleration and high-quality source compatibility. The plug-ins also allow for customization.
Flash Player 188.8.131.52
Adobe has quietly released an update for Flash Player 9, the last-generation version of its web animation technology. Despite the existence of Flash 10, the company has discovered six security vulnerabilities in the older software, which is still used by a number of people. Some issues addressed in the v184.108.40.206 patch include cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, and the possibility of DNS rebinding attacks.
MySpace Mulls Making PMP
MySpace is considering the possibility of producing its own portable media device to match its Music service, the social network's co-founder Chris DeWolfe has noted at the Web 2.0 conference. While non-committal, DeWolfe says hardware from MySpace is "possible" and that the company's focus "right now" is on its just-launched commercial music format, which is available either as a free, ad-subsidized stream through the web or through paid MP3 downloads.
Sprint Q3 2008 Results
Sprint on Friday reported a damaging summer quarter, revealing mounting struggles at the company. The American carrier swung from a $64 million net profit in summer of 2007 to a $322 million net loss for the same season this year and saw itself continue to lose cellphone customers, shedding a net 1.3 million subscribers and dropping to 50.5 million users from exactly 54 million a year ago.
MS Targets Win 7 for 2009
Microsoft late Thursday admitted that it was ultimately targeting the public release of Windows 7 for 2009, confirming suspicions of an early release. In a presentation for its Vista Velocity program, which speeds up and improves the user experience of upcoming PCs, the company largely confirmed that its attention for Velocity would be on Windows 7 for later in 2009. The focus is "definitely" on having 7 ready for holiday 2009, according to Microsoft director Doug Howe.
Judge to rule on Psystar
US District Judge William Alsup is preparing a ruling on the ongoing Apple-Psystar drama, wherein Apple is calling for a dismissal of Psystar's countersuit, regarding whether the former holds a monopoly on its own market. Macworld writes that the ruling is expected to occur within two weeks, detailing whether Psystar has a case against Apple, over their tight grip on the Mac ecosystem. A potential conflict of interests could also see a change in judge as well, should Psystar see fit to file a motion.
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