A somewhat predicted conclusion to Yahoo's recent rough ride sees company co-founder Jerry Yang leaving his post as CEO after a suitable replacement is found to take Yahoo to "the next level." CNN Money reveals that chairman Roy Bostock is conducting interviews internally and externally, which will then place Yang back in his former position of "Chief Yahoo," remaining on the company's board of directors.
Memory chip maker Spansion has taken legal action that could result in import bans that would block shipments of iPods and Blackberry handsets, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company filed a lawsuit in a Delaware federal court and submitted a complaint to the US International Trade Commission. Although the memory company is not directly attacking Apple or RIM, it has accused Samsung of violating its flash chip patents. The components in question are contained in Apple, RIM, Lenovo, Sony Ericsson, and Telefon Ericsson products.
LAUBlab has released version 1.1 of VRAYforC4D, a major update to the Vray renderer for 3D animation suite Maxon Cinima4D. The update adds over 75 features, enhancements and fixes. It also upgrades the render core to version 1.6 (from Chaosgroup), and has optimizations most areas of the engine. The Vray engine offers accurate light and surface quality rendering, and supports user-defined values, photometric light intensities and IES light data. It also offers control to alter reality for special lighting effects.
Incase has unveiled the Power Slider, a case for the iPhone 3G that also contains an extended battery. The case is designed to drain its own battery first, then leaves the user with a fully charged phone. The hard-shell construction protects the entire phone, while a soft-touch coating offers improved feel and grip. The 1330 mAh lithium-polymer battery is claimed to increase standby time by 330 hours, audio playback by 26 hours, and internet use by five to six hours. Talk time on the 3G network increases by five hours, while talk time on the 2G network is extended by ten hours.
Novell has released GroupWise 8, an update to its productivity and collaboration software that adds a customizable dashboard and Web 2.0 workspaces. The new version's dashboard allows users to interact with e-mail, calendar, contacts and task lists in one location, and features Web 2.0 enabled team workspaces, blogs, RSS feeds and applications. All the features work through the dashboard, which also allows administrators easy access and control, working across all three major platforms, supporting Macs, Windows and Linux.
Dover Studios has launched its Maya NURBS Modeling Third Edition visual effects training video. The video focuses on introducing visual effects artists to NURBS (Non-uniform rational B-spline, a mathematical model for generating and representing curves and surfaces) modeling tools when working in Autodesk's 3D modeling, animation and effects suite Maya. The third edition of the video is completely revised and updated, with new examples, detailed descriptions and over two hours of 1080P high-definition video.
LaCie has announced the US release of its LaCinema Rugged multimedia storage device. The drive features HDMI output and HD upscaling, allowing content to be viewed on an HDTV. Users can load video, images, and music onto the drive via USB 2.0, and then play or view content from any television. The Rugged features aluminum shell protection, combined with internal anti-shock absorbers and an exterior rubber bumper. Users can view the content by navigating the graphic menus of the user interface.
Adobe has announced Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5, Flash Media Streaming Server 3.5, several advancements to the Flash Platform, and a public beta version of Cocomo. The server products offer several new features, including dynamic streaming, High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio support, and enhanced H.264 video. New DVR capabilities of the Interactive version allow pause-and-seek functions within live video streams. The software also enables multipoint publishing of messages into a stream, and live or on-demand delivery to Flash Lite 3.
Creaceed has released Vocalia 1.2, adding french language support to the iPhone voice recognition dialing app. The update adds both French interface localization and a French phonetizer and acoustic model. Vocalia also works 10 times as fast at phonetizing and has a vibrating alert when it is ready to talk. Users access Address Book contacts, up to 5000 supported, by speaking to the software. It recognizes the name and brings up a list of close matches, allowing the user to pick the contact from the short list and place a call.
Third Street Software has released Sente 5.7, upgrading its academic reference manager's note-taking feature with support for taking notes from PDFs and web pages. Version 5.7 features a completely rewritten interface with better usability and appearance. Amazon.com and IngentaConnect are now supported in the v5.7 browsing feature as well. The software aids users in finding, organizing reviewing and citing academic literature, and it maintains a library of PDF files of information a user has gathered for future reference.
The W580 has been a staple of GSM phone carriers ever since it was released simply because it does most things well (including music) at a low-enough price. Still, there were definite limitations, and the device now has a RAZR-like overabundance that signals a time for something new. The W760 promises to check off some the remaining flaws -- including the addition of 3G -- but also faces a tougher cellphone market. Sony Ericsson's ultimate challenge may be less to improve the device and more to consider the roles of the devices themselves. Read our full W760 review to see where the slider fits in.
Google has released the latest version of its 3D modeling software, SketchUp 7. The update includes Dynamic Components, and integration with 3D Warehouse. Sketchup Pro users, meanwhile, can take advantage of the new LayOut 2 presentation tools. Dynamic Components are programmed to react realistically to manipulation or editing, and will scale, animate or replicate accordingly. If a user extends a set of stairs for example, the program will add more stairs instead of stretching the distance of the existing set.
The Portland Group has released PGI 8.0, the latest version of its compiling and development suite for Mac, Linux and Windows software. The v8.0 edition introduces support for the OpenMP 3.0 multi-core programming standard, which lets coders exploit multiple cores in C or Fortran. Concurrent with this is the ability to create and debug OpenMPI apps in Linux and the Mac OS, and build and deploy multi-core apps to any "major" desktop or cluster OS.
Custom PC and notebook system maker CyberPower on Monday unveiled its newest and fastest gaming PC, the Black Pearl, which sports Intel's new Core i7 processor, the 3.2GHz 965 Extreme Edition CPU, along with 12GB of RAM. For video processing, there is a pair of ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 PCI-Express cards, each with 2GB of dedicated video memory and two graphics chips.
An eBay auction for an example of Sony Ericsson's C905a handset, equipped with an 8.1-megapixel camera, reveals wireless provider AT&T may be considering adding the flagship handset to its line-up. The device in question features AT&T's firmware loaded onto it, complete with the start-up screen and logo, though there are no AT&T logos anywhere on the outside of the device.
Taiwan's dmedia System has recently showcased its G400 WiMAX mobile Internet device (MID). The G400 is to include a 3.8- or 4.3-inch, 800x480-pixel touchscreen via which users will be able to access the Internet and many applications it makes possible, including VoIP, streaming video and video conferencing, as well as NextWave's MXtv mobile broadcast service. Apart from access to the high-speed WiMAX mobile broadband network, the G400 also promises to bring with it Bluetooth support, a built-in GPS sensor and HSPDA/WCDMA data network access.
Aspyr on Monday introduced its first game for the iPhone, Buggled, a multiplayer-savvy "finger twister" where players must hold down ladybugs on a leaf. Vibrantly colored, Buggled takes players through several levels that progressively increase in difficulty by their self, or with another person using the same device, with time trial challenges and competitive features for fellow gamers. Buggled is available from the App Store for $2.
Korea's Maxian has recently unveiled its most feature-packed personal media player to date, the M1 Edu. The device sports a 3.5-inch, 1,600-color LCD and can be had in either 8GB or 16GB NAND flash memory capacities. An SD memory card slot lets users quickly share files or expand the capacity. The M1 Edu can support MPEG1 through to MPEG4-format video files, along with WMV, AVI and less popular codecs. WinCE 5.0 is the operating system for the device, which will also playback music and display photos.
Data from the NPD Group backs up in-store checks on Mac sales, according to Piper Jaffray. The analyst group notes that October figures are up 28 percent year-over-year; this is being attributed to release of new MacBooks on October 14th, which may have satiated many Mac followers who had been waiting for an upgrade. Piper is now estimating between 2.5 and 2.7 million Macs for the whole quarter, which would represent 8 to 16 percent growth year-over-year compared to Street predictions of 13 percent, or 2.6 million computers.
Britain-based accessory producer Logic3 has launched a pair of new iPod speaker docks that each are said to bring something rare to MP3 player audio. The Valve80 combines both a stereo speaker setup and a vacuum tube amp that both creates a pseudo-vintage look and reportedly adds a layer of accuracy and warmth to the sound that doesn't occur with usual audio systems. Logic3 promises 80W of total power, a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range, and an 86dB signal-to-noise ratio.
Nikon today quashed hopes of a camera press event this week. Speaking with an English company spokesman at the Foto 2008 expo, a Swedish site says the company has no plans for a November 20th announcement. Previous claims of an introduction are now thought to have been spurred on by a Danish press agency incorrectly relying on old material and then propagating the news through mainstream channels.
A new ASUS Eee PC 901 model has been spotted for sale in France that offers a high-speed 16GB solid state drive (SSD) along with a new, six-cell 8700mAh battery that is good for 7.2V and should provide users with as much as eight hours of battery life. An Italian Eee PC 901 GO offers the new SSD as well. The 8.9-inch netbook uses Windows XP or Linux operating systems. Previously, the Eee PC 901 offered 20GB of SSD storage for the XP version and 12GB in the Linux versions.
T-Mobile this afternoon shipped the second of its November phone updates. The Samsung Gravity is T-Mobile's rough equivalent to the Rant and gives non-smartphone owners a lateral slide-out QWERTY keyboard for quicker messaging: outside of e-mail, the phone comes with built-in support for AIM, ICQ, Windows Live and Yahoo chats. A 1.3-megapixel camera, media playback with microSD storage and stereo Bluetooth audio put it in the middle of T-Mobile's lineup.
Gateway has added to the mix of PC makers launching Core i7 systems on Monday through the launch of the FX6800. Besides using the new processor, each model adds a third RAM stick to exploit the third memory channel added through Intel's new X58 chipset and also comes with an upgrade to the baseline for graphics and storage over earlier models.
Apple's Safari 3.2 release may be causing more problems than are solved for some users, anecdotes indicate. The browser is said to be crashing frequently in some cases, with at least some incidents being preceded by the "beachball" loading icon. It is unknown why the errors might be occurring, but it is thought that they may be connected to Apple's new anti-phishing safeguards, or alternately, the third-party PithHelmet ad-blocking extension.
Fujitsu on Monday announced the launch of its 2.5-inch, 10,000RPM MBD2 RC- and 15,000RPM MBE2 RC-series of 6Gbps Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) enterprise hard disk drives. Compared to the previous-generation drives, capacity is doubled thanks to Fujitsu's use of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology, which also reduced power consumption to class-leading levels, according to the company. As part of the company's Green Policy Innovation program, the drives in both ranges feature halogen-free construction and are RoHS-compliant.
The ExpressCard 2.0 format is nearing completion, the PCMCIA trade group has announced. The existing format is a popular means of expansion on notebooks, such as Apple's MacBook Pro; the updated edition will be based on both the USB 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 standards, and should be substantially faster, achieving two to 10 times the speeds of ExpressCard 1.x. This will make it better suited to storage functions, such as connecting flash memory or SATA II drives. Systems with ExpressCard 2.0 slots will remain compatible with v1.x peripherals.
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today revealed the full specifications for its namesake interface standard and so greenlit development of computer platforms and devices using the technology. The new peripheral format will now officially peak at 5Gbps, or about ten times faster than the 2.0 protocol. In actual tests, 25GB of data transfers in nearly 14 minutes over USB 2.0 but just 70 seconds over USB 3.0, significantly outpacing FireWire 800 as well as many hard drives.
Fantasktik 1.2 ($10) is a toolbar application that allows users to switch between open windows and applications. The update now includes the ability to exclude applications from the menu bar as well as the option to auto-hide Fantasktik when selected applications are active. Users will also find better support for applications that span across several Spaces, an optimized version of Sidekick and a fix for the bring-to-front option. [Download - 0.7MB]
After brief period of beta testing, Sun says it has released the final version of StarOffice 9, its work suite aimed directly at competing with Microsoft Office. Unlike the Microsoft software, StarOffice is open-source, being based on OpenOffice 3.0; StarOffice 9 is also the first version of Sun's program to be coded natively for the Mac, and allows users to read Microsoft's Open XML format, though not save in it.
London JamCams ($3) provides users with a method for quickly viewing traffic congestion on London's roads. Users have access to any of the 179 traffic cameras across Greater London, which can be sorted quickly or defined into routes. Once a route has been defined the included cameras can be viewed manually or as a slideshow.
Echoing a recent trend of Japan-first launches, Dell today introduced an option for the Inspiron Mini 9 netbook to add a 32GB solid-state drive. The capacity is twice that of any previous version and lets users choose to preload Office 2007 Personal to take advantage of the newly available free space. Dell's expansion comes as Microsoft has eased up on the storage levels of SSDs that can use Windows XP.
The Mac edition of LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures should be released on November 28th, conversion company Feral Interactive has announced. The game is a port of a title already available for Windows and console systems, and takes players on a more sanitized and comedic trip through the first three Indy movies. A number of key setpieces are recreated, such as the boulder chase from Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Grail temple from The Last Crusade.
Late-night snackers now have another option of ordering pizza in addition to the phone and Internet, as TiVo has teamed up with Domino's Pizza to offer them the option of ordering using their TV sets. Via their Series 2, 3 or HD broadband-connected TiVo DVR boxes, subscribers to the service can order from Domino's menu, opting for delivery or pick-up options. The interface will also allow users to track when they can expect their order to arrive.
Rogers Wireless today became the first North American carrier to officially pick up the Nokia E71. The full QWERTY smartphone should take advantage of the Canadian provider's HSPA network and should be the thinnest smartphone available through the carrier. It should also carry the other features of the high-end device, including its 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS and Wi-Fi. Storage is handled mostly through microSDHC cards.
Developer Livescribe is releasing a beta of Mac software for its Pulse Smartpen, which simultaneously records hand-written notes with sound. The company is also adding features to the Windows version of the software, allowing users to print the special micro-dot paper used by the pen. Add-on software allows Windows users to transcribe handwriting into editable text.
The iPhone should launch in Taiwan sometime next month, carrier Chunghwa Telecom has announced. The company says it should be the phone's exclusive carrier on the island for the foreseeable future, and has set a rough timeframe of December 2008. No subscription plans have been announced, nor has Chunghwa provided an estimate of phone prices. The carrier will however have to compete with gray-market phones from New Zealand, Hong Kong and even the US, which have been selling for the equivalent of $667 or more.
Research in Motion hopes to avoid its earlier mistakes in wireless technology by leaping on 4G when it becomes available, according to a tip given to BGR. The Canadian BlackBerry designer is said to have created a team specifically to build a smartphone with much faster cellular Internet access using the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard, which tops 100Mbps and should be used by most major North American carriers.
This year's December quarter should be rough for Apple, but not as terrible as has been predicted elsewhere, note analysts with Piper Jaffray. The group says that it spent 25 hours in Apple Stores across the US last week, and based on this, it is estimating a 5 to 15 percent sequential decline in iPhone shipments, with a target figure of 8 percent. While this is liable to be disappointing, given that the holiday season normally boosts shipments 15 percent, Piper observes that this is far superior to results from other checks which have pointed to a decline as sharp as 40 percent. The improved estimate is based on both the typical holiday bump and an expanded international market, which could theoretically support as many as 989 million iPhone subscribers versus the September quarter's 153 million.
Dell today quickly seized on Intel's Core i7 debut by launching two new systems, including one completely new line. The Studio XPS upgrades the regular Studio desktop with features friendly to gamers and high-end media with Core i7 processors and dedicated video as the baseline. They further exploit the new Intel hardware with three memory sticks that both up the minimum storage and also the available bandwidth.
As promised back in September, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) on Monday announced it will once again launch its Give 1 Get 1 program that aims to put a simple, Internet-connected laptop to children in developing countries to help in their education. Anyone can participate in the program by buying two XO laptops for $399, one for themselves and another for a child in a poor country. The other option involves donating as many XO laptops as they want at $199 each. The nonprofit organization's program aims to put more than 1 million laptops into the hands of children in 2008 in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Cambodia, among others, or more than double of what it did last year.
ASUS on Monday claimed a minor victory in smartphones with the launch of the P565. The Windows Mobile device uses an 800MHz Marvell processor that is said significantly faster than the roughly 600MHz chips used in better devices today. This helps multitask as well as crunching through particularly demanding tasks as much as two times faster, ASUS says. These tasks include graphics on the phone's 480x640 touchscreen as well as recording and playing back MPEG-4 video.
Adobe today said it would develop optimized versions of its AIR and Flash 10 apps for ARM11 and Cortex processors. The update will be part of the Open Screen Project initiative and is meant to bring both complex Internet apps as well as more advanced web video to more than desktop computers. The partnership specific to ARM includes a combination of chipmakers such as Broadcom, Freescale, NVIDIA, Samsung and Texas Instruments and should use both a newer, faster generation of ARM processors as well as OpenGL ES 2.0-capable graphics hardware to handle tasks that were previously impractical for lower-performance devices.
Houdah Software has released its latest app for the iPhone and iPod touch, ACTPrinter. The program allows users to print documents to their mobile device from any Mac application. ACTPrinter can be used to save electronic tickets, boarding passes, bar codes and e-mails. The company claims that bar codes contained in the documents can be scanned from the display of the iPhone or Touch.
iZotope has released iDrum 1.7, updating the software-based virtual drum machine with a new song editor, 50 new kits, the ability to create rhythms in differing time signatures and more. The song editor allows users to create drum patterns in iDrum alongside existing tracks, and keeps the effects in time. Added within the new kits are live acoustic drums, hip-hop sounds, dance track effects and others. The software works as a standalone application or as a plugin to GrageBand, Logic, Pro Tools and other sound programs. It has plugin support for RTAS (Pro Tools 7+), VST, Audio Units and MAS. Version 1.7 also supports iDrum apps for the iPhone and iPod touch found on the Apple iTunes App Store.
MacVide has launched iPod Converter 1.8, and update to its audio/video mp4 converter that fixes bugs and adds a bitrate calculator. The user can also set up an approximate output file size in version 1.8. The converter supports numerous video formats, including AVI, WMV, MOV, MPG, ASF, DivX and more, and outputs mp4 files playable on iPods, the iPhone, Apple TV and others. It can crop out black bars, can set video resolutions and frame rates and bitrates for both audio and video.
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Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6