HP today became the first PC maker to incorporate a multi-touch display in a home-focused notebook with the TouchSmart tx2. Stylistically similar to the tx2500 series convertible tablets, the new model now accepts two-finger gestures to pinch, rotate and otherwise control media both in the MediaSmart front-end (which also makes its first notebook appearance) and in general apps such as the Office suite. Users can drag objects or flick to scroll quickly, and still have the option of falling back to a stylus for handwriting or more precise actions.
Technology company Epson has introduced the WorkForce Pro GT-S50 and GT-S80, its first sheet-fed scanners. The devices can both handle documents up to 6.5 inches by 36 inches, along with rigid ID cards, with automatic paper size detection. A dual-color CCD sensor and mercury-free Led technology are claimed to eliminate warm-up waiting time. The interface is displayed on an LCD panel that allows one-touch scan or scan-to-PDF. Both sides of a document are scanned in just one pass, with functions for automatic de-skew and background color removal.
4D has released the latest version of its integrated software platform, 4D v11 SQL Release 3. The update is optimized to take advantage of multi-core processor architecture capabilities. The company claims significant speed gains and scalability across a variable number of processor cores. A new SQL connection protocol is now available, allowing applications to communicate without ODBC for further improvements of response time. SQL schemas can be configured with tighter control of access rights to the server.
Design company Kena Kai has begun shipping leather "Inter-Departmental Mail" computer sleeves for the 13.3-inch Macbooks and ultra-portable notebooks with screen sizes of 10 inches or less. The white exterior resembles the type of mail envelope used by Steve Jobs for the introduction of the MacBook Air. The design includes embossing on the face, and a string closure. The thin leather offers basic protection so a device can be carried in a bag that is not be dedicated to computer protection.
Toshiba on Tuesday unveiled a new 500GB 2.5-inch SATA drive featuring whisper quiet operation. The flagship MK5055GSX offers an 8MB buffer, and a read/write power consumption of 1.4W. Toshiba claims that the improved servo mechanism not only decreases the operational noise, but also increases durability of the hardware. Pricing was not readily available, but Toshiba expects to ship the drive in January, and will exhibit the drive at CES 2009 in January.
Microsoft is set to launch its New Xbox Experience, beginning Wednesday. The update pushes beyond the standard-definition video stream and into the realm of the next-generation Netflix HD. Users will initially have access to 300 movie and TV show titles, with more to be added in the future. Although a Netflix subscription and Xbox Live Gold member ship are both required for the HD content, the system diverges from competitors by allowing unlimited streaming instead of charging for each viewing.
FishEye ($1) emulates a fisheye lens using the iPhone's built in camera. The effect can be applied to a new picture being taken or to existing images in a users photo library. The settings can be modified to allow users to control the overall effect of application.
Today 1.5 ($15) provides users an option for managing and organizing their iCal task and events into one window. Users can assign a keyboard shortcut that will toggle Today's visibility allowing them to quickly bring up the window when they need it. With Today 1.5, users can now add custom alarms to notify them of upcoming events and tasks. The update has also added support for the Growl notification framework. [Download - 3MB]
Cygnett has released its latest product for iPods and other media players, the GrooveBassball portable speaker. The device integrates a rechargeable battery, claimed to last for three hours of playback time. The speaker resembles the shape of a ball, but extends when the end is twisted. The additional length is designed to improve bass response. A USB cable is included for recharging the lithium-ion cells. Any MP3 player or device with a 3.5mm jack can be connected.
The negotiations between Apple and China Mobile are progressing toward an iPhone launch in the 600 million subscriber country, according to MarketWatch. Although non-disclosure agreements prohibited the carrier's chairman and chief executive, Wang Jianzhou, from providing any details or confirmation, he did speak highly of the American phone manufacturer, saying it was "very, very, successful" with the iPhone and App Store. "All I can say is that China is still interested in [bringing the] iPhone into China Mobile markets," he added.
Today MacNN forum goers continue a heated debate about the differences between the new MBP vs. the early 2008 model MBP due to one member stating that they believe the early 2008 model was "the best ever made". One member finds advice and assistance from others when faced with sleep issues with their 2006 MacBook Pro. A list of good places to find deals on AppleCare can be found in this thread. A discussion of the new upgrade to Azureus, Vuze version 4, can be found here. Fresh-Faced Recruit, alia, recently got their first iMac and is looking for some tips and tricks in order to make the most of their Mac experience.
A countersuit filed against Apple by Psystar has been tentatively dismissed, documents show. Apple filed suit against Psystar in July, accusing the company of illegally installing Mac OS X on unauthorized hardware; Psystar retaliated with a claim of its own, arguing that Apple violates local and national antitrust regulations. In a 19-page ruling issued today however, judge William Alsup has sided with Apple, granting a dismissal of the countersuit should Psystar not improve the reasoning of its case by December 8th.
The Apple store is currently offering a generous selection refurbished items from iPods to Apple accessories. The 1GB iPod shuffle stores up to 240 songs, is priced at $39 and comes in silver, blue, green, and purple. MacBooks start as low as $999 for the 2.4GHz model with 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. Also starting at $999 is the 20-inch 2.4GHz iMac with 1GB of memory and 250GB hard drive. Two Mac models start at $1349 the MacBook Air with 1.6GHz processor and 80GB PATA hard drive; and the MacBook Pro with 2.4GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 200GB hard drive. Mac accessories include the wireless keyboard for $69, 500GB time capsule for $249, and Apple Cinema displays in three sizes: 20-inch for $499, 23-inch for $749, and 30-inch for $1,499.
The Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has developed a color electronic holography technology that can project captured images of moving subjects under normal lighting conditions and reproduce them. Instead of a laser or darkroom, the technology relies on a video camera with a fly-eye lens and a number of integrated microlenses. The same lens is used to later display the 3D images.
A variety of products from flash drives and graphics tablets to MacBooks are currently being featured at DealNN today. Buy.com is offering a three pack of Kingston Data Traveler 2GB flash drives for $16.96. MaxPerks members get a FREE $30 gas card at OfficeMax.com with the purchase of the Brother wireless InkJet all-in-one printer for $90. The Wacom Intuos3 4" x 6" graphics tablet is priced at $177 at TechForLess.com. MacConnection.com is offering the new 2.53GHz MacBook Pro for $2349 after a $150 mail in rebate. Get the refurbished 160GB Apple TV for $239 from RefurbDepot.com.
Velocity Micro on Monday announced it is launching a range of PCs powered by Intel's newly released Core i7 CPUs. The Core i7-920, 940 and 965 Extreme chips will be offered on various Edge, Raptor, ProMagix and Vector models in the Velocity Micro range of offerings. The very first system with a 2.66GHz Intel Core i7-920 CPU, the pictured Edge Z55, will include 3GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a DVD burner and cost $2,199. Buyers will be able to upgrade to the 2.93GHz Core i7-940 chip for an extra $360 or the 3.2GHz Core i7-965 Extreme for $965.
HP is working on developing a digital photo frame that will be able of accessing the Internet, reading e-mail, accessing RSS feeds and other downloadable widgets and simple programs, according to a Monday report. While no detailed specifications are known at this time, the frame is believed to include an Intel Atom CPU, integrated Wi-Fi module, and a 10-inch display.
The UK's The Medical Phone Ltd. is about to release the iCEphone, a powerful handset meant to act as a portable video game platform, a personal navigation device, 3G-capable smartphone and micro notebook. It has a three-way hinge, allowing users to access its QWERTY keyboard, 3-inch, 240x400-pixel touchscreen display, mouse tracker pad and gaming controls all at the same time or just some of the time, to minimize its footprint.
Reseller of consolidated patent license portfolios MPEG LA on Monday announced flat panel HDTV maker VIZIO has entered into an MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License with the company. As a direct result of the new agreement, a few other clients of MPEG LA with essential MPEG-2 patents have dropped their lawsuits against VIZIO. Filed in the summer of 2008 in New York, the lawsuits allege VIZIO failed to enter into a licensing agreement for MPEG-2 video compression technology necessary for its HDTVs.
Just two months after introducing its third-generation Zune platform, Microsoft is already dropping prices on its flash-based models to improve their competitiveness, the company's Zune marketing director Adam Sohn has confirmed in an interview on Tuesday. The company's largest cut will apply to the outgoing 4GB Zune, which drops $30 to reach $99. Zune 8GB players will drop $10 to $139, while the 16GB player is being slashed by $20 to $179. Americans will see the cuts as of Wednesday, while Canadians will see a similar effect on Friday.
equinux has released TubeGuide US, a subscription-based TV listing service that displays digital and analog TV programming for the sake of its TubeStick Mac TV device. equinux has also added support for an independent Australian electronic program guide (EPG), IceTV. The new software allows users to access detailed information about upcoming TV shows, covering broadcast digital programming, digital unencrypted cable (Clear QAM) and analog cable TV. Information on the next few days of programming is updated automatically.
Following closely on the heels of the BlackBerry version, Mark/Space has unveiled The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 4.0.4, offering users Entourage 2008 support, and more. The new version includes direct sync support for Entourage 2008, for calendars, contacts, and tasks with categories, and improved device mounting. Missing Sync can also synchronize video, music, photos, and other files, supporting iCal, Address Book, iPhoto, and iTunes.
MYOB has released the latest version of its small business management software for the Mac, AccountEdge 2009. The update features a new Business Insights tool, integration with Marketcircle Daylite, and new options for form design. Google Maps has been integrated as well, providing directions and maps to customer, employee, or vendor locations. MYOB claims that the Network Edition offers quicker searches, faster reports, and other speed enhancements. New filters have been added for searches and reports.
Cellular carriers are effectively damaging their own business in mobile games by refusing to adopt a more iPhone-like business, a new study by Juniper Research says. Although the total value of the market is set to nearly double in the next five years from $5.4 billion to about $10 billion, game publishers producing Java titles and other typical mobile games are actively quitting their regular industry due to deals with providers that make it difficult or impossible to continue selling their usual games.
ZappTek has released EngLits, a series of iPhone apps that provide detailed audio and text summaries of classic literature for educational purposes. The apps are written by university-level professors, and are intended to allow study of a chosen book while on the go. EngLits provide students with full story summaries, including all central characters and events.
The iPhone is not yet in Walmart stores, but may ship to them in December, new accounts claim. Although sources had suggested that Walmart could carry the iPhone as soon as November 15th, that date has since passed without any indication of a near-future release. New reports indicate that the launch may have been delayed, and will instead happen towards the end of December, possibly after Christmas. Managers at Walmart stores are said to have been informed of plans, in part through a memo revealing the new timeframe. A number of low-level workers may also be aware of plans.
Despite a recent overturning of a ban on Qualcomm chip sales, the company is once again found in contempt of an injunction of 3G cellular phone chip patents held by wired and wireless semiconductors maker Broadcom. Broadcom announced on Tuesday that a federal judge on Monday found Qualcomm in contempt of an injunction agreed to last November preventing it from shipping products using two Broadcom patents.
LG today marked the launch of the Prada II in the UK with news that the phone will come bundled with its own smart watch. Called the Prada Link, the wristwatch makes a Bluetooth link with the Prada II or other phones and serves as a more discreet method of monitoring the phone itself; it warns of incoming phone calls with vibration and caller ID while also flagging inbound SMS messages. The black-and-silver look appropriately matches the phone itself.
Microsoft this afternoon launched an uncharacteristic mid-cycle Zune software update that adds new features in addition to usual fixes. The 3.1 upgrade now has a significant visual overhaul for the Zune Social feature and should be easier to navigate. It also adds a "like minded listeners" feature that shows users other Zune Social members that tend to play similar music. Three new Zune games, Checkers, Sudoku and Space Battle, will also be loaded on to Zune hardware with its next sync.
Insider Software has released FontAgent Pro Server 3, with replicated font server technology headlining the new release. The new font server also adds advanced directory services integration, and security and performance enhancements. Insider claims that Pro Server 3 is the first and currently only option for providing redundant, replicated font servers, allowing administrators to distribute server loads using a master font server, which then replicates changes to all of the remote servers in the chain.
NVIDIA on Tuesday announced the availability of its GPU-based Tesla architecture Personal Supercomputer, which, the company promises, has as much as 250 times the computing performance of a PC thanks to NVIDIA CUDA parallel computing architecture and up to 960 parallel processing cores. Along with its partners, buyers can now opt for desktop PCs with the sort of computing power previously reserved for supercomputing clusters.
Dell's SP2309W LCD, first revealed quietly through a Canadian website listing, has now been formally launched in the US. The monitor is notable mainly for supporting resolutions up to 2048x1152, a figure beyond the 1080p maximum common to most modern displays. Dell also claims an unusually high 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and a built-in two-megapixel webcam with twin microphones.
Motorola on Tuesday officially confirmed its previously leaked upcoming handset, the MOTO VE66 slider phone, the first Motorola phone with widget integration, allowing users to access stock tickers, RSS feeds from blogs or sports scores, among other applications. The handset will also feature a 5-megapixel camera with integrated autofocus, an LED flash and auto stabilization functions. The phone will also have an HSDPA/UMTS radio for 3G cellular access in both Europe and North America along with a Wi-Fi module.
Zengobi has posted a v5.3 update for Curio, its combination brainstorming and task management software. Several different functions fall under these catagories, including notetaking and mind-mapping. The patch for the software allows custom headers and footers during print jobs, with support for inserting dynamic variables. Users can now also convert lists into mindmaps, or run the reverse operation.
Expanding the REDFLY beyond its initial niche of Windows Mobile devices, Celio today launched two new versions of its notebook-style smartphone add-on. The REDFLY C8N adds a new media port and matching cable that can either serve as an extra USB port or as a composite video input for handhelds that simply need the external screen rather than the keyboard and trackpad; it can now serve as a larger 800x480 screen for an iPhone, Zune or most other portable devices for up to eight hours without plugging in. It ships with VGA output for $299, while its matching cable costs $20.
Sony on Tuesday rolled out a broad-based update to its earphones with a new model in each of its key categories. The DR-BT160 headset is targeted at runners who want to eliminate cables over Bluetooth without losing a stable fit or phone support. The in-ear buds are worn with over-the-ear hooks and a behind-the-head band; while functioning as a full A2DP stereo Bluetooth device for cellphones, computers or audio devices with adapters, the headset can also take hands-free cellphone calls.
A new version of an existing Trojan poses a significant threat to Mac users, claims the Intego security firm. Based on RS.Plug.A, the RSPlug.D Trojan is said to find its way onto computers through malicious websites, namely several less scrupulous porn sites. On visiting a particular page a person will be greeted with a "Video ActiveX Object Error," stating that their browser cannot play a particular video; it then asks people to download the ActiveX object in question.
AT&T today added a second full touchscreen phone in as many weeks through the LG Incite. Unlike the earlier Samsung Eternity, the Incite is a full Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone and comes with an LG-customized front end that both encourages more use of finger input over a stylus and takes advantage of an accelerometer to provide a landscape keyboard when tilting the phone on its side.
Apple's new 24-inch LED Cinema Display, first announced back in October, is now available for order at the Apple Store. It is the company's first monitor with a Mini Display Port connection, and additionally hosts three USB ports plus a MagSafe power connector; both this and the Display Port link are intended to support Apple's new range of MacBooks. Thanks to LED technology, the monitor offers more light and better color accuracy than regular LCD displays.
Certain movies bought through the iTunes Store appear to be taking advantage of the inherent copy protection hardware in the new MacBook lineup, a report from one Ars Technica reader. Attaching an external display without HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) encryption support, such as a projector with VGA-only input, produces a warning from some titles that the display isn't authorized to play protected movies and so refuses output.
The makers of Boxee say theyhave secured $4 million in venture capital funding to continue development of the media player. Currently available for Mac OS X and Linux, the software was recently adapted for the Apple TV using a USB drive.The additional funding buys time for the company as it seeks partnership with major content providers, and works to license the platform for use in set-top boxes and other consumer electronics.
The iPhone is unlikely to carry Flash even if its hardware technically supports it, a report claims. Although Flash is in widespread use on the Internet, running everything from animation to full applications, Wired notes that section 3.3.2 of the iPhone SDK specifically prohibits the downloading and use of interpreted code in apps, unless the APIs and interpreters are already preloaded. This by definition bars third-party plug-ins, whether from Adobe or any other developer.
Art Lebedev Studio's namesake founder today noted that the company's Optimus AUX keyboard has been turned into a final prototype that hints at the production model. The 15-key OLED pad will use an anodized aluminum case and should have the same key style as the full-size Optimus Maximus. The AUX is a balance between the Maximus and the basic Mini-Three and is meant for content editors or frequent users who need a significant amount of visually customizable keys for specific tasks.
Japanese electronics company Funai's research and development arm, the Funai Electric Advanced Applied Technology Research Institute, has developed a reflective display without a backlight, unlike conventional LCD displays. The company, which makes Sylvania-, Symphonic- and Emerson-branded LCDs, says the new display uses just one percent of the electricity per square centimeter needed by conventional LCDs. In place of the backlight, the display uses dyes that change color when exposes to an electric current. Fittingly, Funai says the clarity can be compared to that of characters printed on a piece of paper.
VUDU today catered to custom home theater installations with a second-generation networked media hub. The XL2 has the same 1TB of hard drive space for videos as the original XL but drops VUDU's favorite curved shape in favor of a thin, single-unit (1U) box design that can be rackmounted in a media cabinet or another part of a customized home theater. It also improves on the stock VUDU Box by adding control over infrared or over most network-based home automation systems using the Ethernet connection.
Kodak late Monday filed a lawsuit against LG and Samsung, accusing the two Korean companies of infringing on digital photography patents. The complaint, filed in a Western District court in Kodak's home state of New York, charges both LG and Samsung with copying Kodak techniques for capturing, compressing, previewing and storing photos and still images.
Apple has released a software update that is designed to fix the glass trackpad problems with the new aluminum MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Owners had reported that the device would occasionally fail to recognize the click input. After downloading the update through the Software Update feature, the computer should be connected to the AC power source before executing the program. The company has not provided any details regarding the nature of the problem, but claims that the update addresses the issue.
Google has added voice search to its Google Mobile App for iPhone, and has integrated the accelerometers and sensors into the feature's operations. The company's blog says that Google Mobile, when raised to the user's ear, will issue a beep, signifying when they should speak the term for which they wish to search. Product manager for Google Mobile Gummi Hafsteinsson states that it speak with the iPhone's location services in order to obtain locally relevant search results.
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 136.66 ( + 0.13 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE