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Ambrosia on Thursday unveiled its game Aquaria, an underwater two-dimensional adventure game that offers puzzles, exploration, and combative aspects. Players control Naija, a being living in the water who can use her singing power of "The Verse" in order to defend herself or shift forms. Ambrosia highlights that Aquaria offers high-resolution graphics, original music compositions, and a level editor that even allows for editing of music and animations.
Other World Computing (OWC) has expanded its lines of NewerTech miniStack and Mercury Elite-AL Pro drives to include 1.5TB capacity options. The 1.5TB drives run at 7200RPM and feature 32MB cache, while consuming 8 watts of power at idle. All of the drives come packaged with interface cables, 3 year warranties, and a software bundle that includes Prosoft Engineering Data Backup 3, NovaStor NovaBACKUP, and Intech SpeedTools Utilities.
AMD announced several new projects that will compete with Intel's Atom processor late next year, according to ExtremeTech. The company expects to add the Caspian and Conesus processors sometime next year. Both products are intended for use in mini-notebooks or netbooks, featuring the same 45-nm architecture of the new Shanghai processor announced earlier this week. Dual-cores will be featured in both, along with DDR-2 memory support.
Apple has launched its latest Get a Mac ad that highlights a customer satisfaction survey, as featured on sites such as CNET.com and NYTimes.com. John Hodgman, playing the role of PC, starts off by noticing the results of a customer satisfaction survey. He walks off the screen and tries to change the results, despite resistance from the Mac character played by Justin Long. After PC points out that customer service is now dropping, the final screen shows that Mac ranks number one in an American Customer Satisfaction Index survey.
Hercules has unveiled the XPS 2.150, the latest addition to its line of multimedia speakers. The system features two eight-watt compact satellite speakers and a 16-watt wooden subwoofer. The magnetically-shielded satellites feature a gloss black finish with orange driver cones and a back-lit control knob. Users can adjust the ported subwoofer separately, with bass controls and an on/off switch.
Smith Micro has released ExecutiveSync, a tool for synchronizing files between computers, servers, or mobile devices. The software compares checksums for over 35 aspects of each file to determine the most current version. The files are automatically updated, and notifications sent to the user if any errors or conflicts occur. The program works across Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms, including computers, servers, or storage devices.
Freeverse has released its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch, Burning Monkey Casino. A variety of gambling games are provided- video poker, slots, blackjack, money wheel, pachinko, 3-card monty, and scratch tickets. The game interface uses the touch-screen capabilities of the device, allowing users to spin the money wheel with a swipe, navigate panchinko with tilt, or scratch the lottery tickets with a finger.
Apple has released the latest update to its browser, Safari 3.2. Several security features have been added, including phishing protection and identification of online businesses. JPEG and TIFF image handling has been improved, preventing certain malicious files from closing the program or executing arbitrary code. XML document processing is also improved, correcting a heap buffer overflow vulnerability. For Windows users, bounds checking and zlib 1.2.2 issues have been addressed.
Ever since Apple switched to Intel processors, Macs have been able to run the most popular operating systems for the x86 architecture including Linux and Microsoft Windows. Apple offers Boot Camp for free, which lets you create a dual-boot partition, but forces you to choose between Mac OS X or Windows each time you turn on your computer. For a solution that lets you switch between Mac OS X and any other operating system without rebooting, you need a virtualization program such as Parallels 4.0.
Vers on Wednesday announced the release of its Vers 1.5R alarm clock radio with a built-in iPod dock. Sharing many of its features with the existing Vers 2X system, the new system packages them into a smaller product. Vers will offer the 1.5R in the same wood finishes as the 2X, including Natural Bamboo, Natural Cherry, Natural Walnut and Dark Walnut as part of the company's environmentally friendly-focus.
High-end home theater gear and car audio designer Bang & Olufsen recently announced the launch of its BeoSound 5 digital music system meant to let users enjoy their digital music on their traditional home theater gear. The centerpiece of the BeoSound 5 system is a tabletop and wall-mountable remote controller that sports a 10.4-inch LCD screen with 1024x768 resolution with an aluminium scroll wheel as the control interface. The remote oversees the Internet-connected BeoMaster 5 main unit that features all off the audio and video connections and contains the 500GB hard disk drive.
Agent 18 says it is now selling versions of several iPod cases for the second-generation Touch. The EcoShield is constructed of hard plastic made from recycled bottles, using silicon cushioning to provide an extra damage barrier. All buttons and connections are exposed, and a dock adapter is supplied to ensure compatibility. The case is being sold in black, pink and purple colors for $25.
European wireless provider 3 announced it will soon launch its INQ1 handset, integrating Facebook by delivering alerts and synchronizing contacts with their Facebook profiles. The handset will also pair existing contacts with their respective Skype and Windows Live Messenger accounts. The data network connected handset is thus able to replace a user's PC for chat and social interaction, and also complement it thanks to its ability to act as a plug and play modem for notebook PCs.
California-based Mojo Mobility Inc. has developed a technology that is capable of wirelessly charge the batteries of specially equipped portable consumer electronics devices simply by placing them on a piece of specialized metal plate. The system works based on an electromagnetic induction method, with the flat surface lined with thin coil areas that transmit electric power. Similar thin coils to receive electric power need to be installed in the mobile devices, adding the thickness of a mouse pad.
Apple may be closer to bringing the iPhone to China, a new job offer posting suggests. The company is looking for an iPhone Quality Assurance Engineer, to be located in Beijing. China represents an enormous market for mobile phones, but negotiations for the iPhone may have lasted longer than expected. Shortly before the iPhone 3G launch, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told CNBC that Chinese and Russian announcements would "happen later this year." The Russian launch occurred early in October, but the company has been quiet about any progress in China.
ASUS on Wednesday announced a new range of Xonar Essence STX PCI-express audio cards with an industry-leading 124dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) that delivers clean, clear sound. The cards also offer an uncommon feature with their built-in headphone amplifier that delivers less than 0.001 percent distortion. ASUS used its Hyper-ground technology and EMI Shield design in the construction of the cards to help it achieve the high SNR score and protect its analog outputs from external magnetic interference.
Crystals ($2) is a recreation of the classic game Mastermind for the iPhone. Players attempt to place crystals in the correct order to unlock the pirate code. After each guess they are given a few hints which help them narrow down the proper code. The speed in which a user is able to crack the code determines their pirate rank and users can customize the settings to create a difficulty they are comfortable with.
In tandem with its Snapdragon news, Qualcomm today said it was cancelling development on its Ultra-Mobile Broadband (UMB) technology as a path to 4G Internet access. The move is a reaction to news that Verizon, Bell, Telus and other predominantly CDMA carriers are instead switching to the rival Long Term Evolution (LTE) format that has already been labeled the choice for 4G on GSM networks.
Developer ProteMac has released v1.2 of ProteMac Meter, its networking utility. The tool is used to monitor and log network traffic, incorporating information such as host names, the volume of traffic through a particular port or application, and when activity through a particular vehicle has started or stopped. The v1.2 update adds several minor but useful features, such as a new Preferences dialog.
Apple has narrowed the shipping timetable for its new 24-inch Cinema Display, which should be on its way to customers in seven to 10 days. The new LCD display, announced last month with the new MacBooks, features resolution up to 1920 by 1200 pixels with a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The use of LED backlighting is claimed to offer more accurate color, energy savings, and quick transition to full brightness. The device also features an iSight camera, microphone and 2.1-channel speaker system.
The next version of Mac OS X, v10.5.6, should address problems in MobileMe, Time Machine and Mail, a note to developers suggests. Supplied with the latest seed of v10.5.6, build 9G35, the note asks for help in testing automatic syncing with MobileMe, particularly in regards to performance on notebooks, and on networks with high lag or limited bandwidth. The aim is to have changes propagated from me.com to other devices in a "reasonable amount of time," and improve syncing performance in general. Apple asks for special attention to the possibility of excessive or abnormal syncs.
Qualcomm today unveiled its first dual-core chip in the Snapdragon family and a potential breakthrough in cellphone performance. The plainly-titled QSD8672 both adds the second core and ups the clock speed to 1.5GHz, lifting the speed to where it can be used for netbooks rather than the cellphones of the past. The multitasking performance gives enough headroom to both encode and decode 1080p video as well as render 3D and output images up to 1440x900.
In Japan, BenQ announced the upcoming release of its MP624 DLP projector with 1024x768 resolution and 2500:1 contrast ratio along with a 3,000 lumens brightness level. BenQ foresees the MP624 will be used for business presentations or home entertainment use. It uses a 0.55-inch DLP chip and a 200W lamp with a life rating of 4,000 hours.
Alienware on Thursday veered away from its normal high-end audience to unveil the Area-51 750i. The system is the company's least expensive gaming tower but comes with the same lightable casing, wiring and stronger power supplies as more expensive Area-51 models; only the individual components dictate its price, and the system can be scaled upwards to include some of the better features from Alienware's catalog, such as liquid cooling and noise damping.
Electronic Arts today sought to build on the formula set out by the Wii Balance Board with a new peripheral and game combo of its own. EA Sports Active centers around a pair of leg straps that hold both the Wii remote and nunchuk in place as well as a single resistance band for the upper body. The set lets Nintendo's own controllers properly track exercise across the whole body and also introduce enough physical stress to provide strength-based exercise.
Expanding on official details from last month, the LG-built Prada II handset will launch November 18th, according to a Thursday report. The fashion phone expands significantly on the original with a 5-megapixel camera and a a QWERTY keyboard underneath the 3-inch, 400x240 touchscreen display preserved from the earlier phone. Unlike the original Prada, the handset will also have support for 3G data networks and video calling capabilities.
A newly-leaked document has elaborated on earlier reports that Verizon will be removing the choice of low-end data plans for smartphones. All new smartphones sold on or after November 14th should indeed require a $30 data plan, the principal exception being Verizon's government clients, who will be able to continue on as normal. The restriction is expected to expand in 2009, when "Mobile Web 2.0" phones with a full HTML browser will be expected to have either a Connect or Premium Plan, or else the $15 VCast add-on.
Intel's Core i7 architecture will translate to workstation- and server-class Xeon processors early next year, leaks from server builders and separate sources indicates. Though not in time for the holidays, the faster Xeon 5500 line will be dominated by quad-core chips and should be headlined by a 3.2GHz, 130-watt Xeon W5580. Its Level 2 cache will drop from 12MB to 8MB but should be offset by Core i7's QuickPath architecture, which reduces the lag in accessing memory and peripherals. It should cost about $1,600 in batches of 1,000 for computer suppliers.
Jumsoft has released the third edition of Keynote Photos, its image collection for Apple's presentation software. The update adds approximately 100 images for a total of over 300, all of which are sized to 1024x768, the maximum resolution supported by Keynote presentations. The photos are divided into "textured" and "solid-colored" themes, mainly for appropriate meshing with foreground text.
Alltel announced on Thursday that the LG Swift handset is now available for purchase at the wireless provider. The handset is the first from LG's line-up to use a next-generation keypad with what the company calls Fastap Press-to-Experience keys. Comprised of six raised one-touch access Quick Keys that act as shortcuts for Alltel Navigation, Alltel Shop, Email, Alarm Clock and Image Library features, the keys sit atop a traditional numeric keypad.
Milk Farm Software has released the first version of Chronograph, a time-tracking application meant for businesses and personal projects. The app attempts to differ itself through simplicity, only presenting more options as they become relevant. Users start by creating projects, which are then divided into tasks, at which point a timer can be started.
In an uncharacteristic move, Samsung today used Japan as the venue for five new desktop LCDs with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The 21.5-inch 2233SW and 23-inch 2333SW both output full, 1920x1080 HD despite their relatively small sizes and are braced by the 20-inch 2033SW's 1600x900 to play 720p or sharper movies as well as provide more screen space. The panels are also brighter than some rivals with a dynamic contrast boost that brings them to a 15,000:1 ratio, or 1,000:1 when static.
AT&T today added yet another 3G phone to its roster through the Nokia 6650. The flip phone is adapted from the European version and brings 3G over HSPA that supports the American carrier's one-way Video Share calls as well as its music and video streaming. Nokia's phone is also considered more upscale than most mid-range music phones and is built using a brushed-metal shell rather than plastic and uses touch-sensitive controls on the outside to control music and photography without swinging the phone open.
Apple is the process of developing a new Internet search technology, anonymous sources claim. It is uncertain what exactly this may imply, but it is believed that Apple may be unhappy with the way search is currently handled in Safari, whether for the desktop or iPod and iPhone versions. The browser currently defaults to a standard Google search, but Google CEO Eric Schmidt excuses himself from Apple board meetings involving mobiles, and is rumored to be considering leaving the board of directors permanently.
Universal Remote Control on Wednesday introduced its Digital R50 universal remote that, unlike similar products from competitors, does not require an Internet-connected PC to set it up for use with home theater systems. Sporting a two-inch color LCD screen and soft, backlit buttons, the Digital R50 can control the functions of 18 home theater system components by copying the codes of their associated infrared remotes.
Sony today said it has broken a new barrier in cellphone cameras through an update to its Exmor sensors. The company has shrunk the pixel size to 1.4µm and now says it can produce a 12.25-megapixel, 28mm equivalent CMOS camera small enough to fit in some cellphones. The unit gives a cellphone the image quality and detail of a modern point-and-shoot camera, according to the company.
Dell today officially launched the Inspiron Mini 12 for the US after its initial run in Japan. The 12-inch crossover between a netbook and ultraportable now starts at $549 and is partly slower than the smaller Mini 9. A lesser 1.33GHz Atom is compensated for by 1GB of memory, a 40GB hard drive and Windows Vista Home Basic versus the 512MB memory, 4GB flash and Ubuntu Linux necessary to drive the Mini 9's price down.
True Move, owned by True Corp. and the third-largest cellular carrier in Thailand, says it has signed a deal with Apple to begin selling the iPhone in its home market. The carrier is however in the earliest phases of arranging a Thai deployment, according to Reuters, with no prices for the phone, subscriptions or pre-paid plans. Even the timing of a launch is uncertain, as True Move will only say that the iPhone is due "in the coming months."
RED today formally uncovered the full remakes of its EPIC and Scarlet cameras. Now considered part of the Digital Stills and Motion Camera (DSMC) system, the two are designed both to serve as extremely high-resolution DSLRs as well as RED's staple greater-than-HD video cameras. The two use the REDCODE RAW format to produce both still shots and videos, and introduce a unique modular system to either category: users pick the EPIC or Scarlet as a core unit and then choose displays, eyepieces, grips, lenses, mounts and more depending on the exact need.
Verizon early on Thursday finally committed to a final release date and price for its version of the BlackBerry Storm. Initially announced over a month ago, the first touchscreen phone from RIM will be available on November 21st through the carrier and is conspicuously priced at the same $200 contract price as Apple's iPhone from rival AT&T after factoring in a $50 rebate. The cost difference is effectively a trade-off as the device drops the 8GB of storage and full multi-touch display in favor of a 3.2-megapixel camera with video capture, a dual-format CDMA and GSM radio, microSDHC storage and a touchscreen that "clicks" to produce physical feedback.
Recent filings in the Apple-IBM-Papermaster case reveal that IBM is potentially raising a flag due to an upcoming technology that the company fears could be compromised by Mark Papermaster's employ at Apple. The technology, noted in the Times Online (classified Exhibit 3 in the case), would allow portable consumer devices like the iPod to store exponentially more music, while also cutting battery drain to a fraction of what it is currently. The technology is dubbed "racetrack memory."
AMD has taken the wraps off it's 45nm quad-core 'Shanghai' Opteron processor line", promising improved performance and energy savings. The company says "Shanghai" will be widely available -- unlike its predecessor "Barcelona" which was delayed for months due to production glitches. Designed for the server and workstation market, Shanghai reportedly delivers up to 35 percent better performance while using 35 percent less power at idle -- all at a lower price than competing products from Intel. As it continues to duke it out with Intel, AMD appears to be aiming at the bottom line, hoping to lure recession-weary customers looking for value.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
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