Omni Group has announced updated versions of two products, OmniGraffle 5.1 and OmniFocus 1.5. The diagramming and layout program, OmniGraffle, features improved Visio compatibility with support for the Enhanced MetaFile format. The company also enhanced the interface with changes to the sidebar, with the highlight now falling on the selected layer for better readability. Users can also take advantage of several new drawing tools, including adjustable arc, wedge, and star shapes.
Samsung on Wednesday night said it has started manufacturing the 256GB Flash SSD. The 2.5-inch solid-state drive stands both as the company's largest-capacity drive and also its fastest. Its sequential read speed is slightly lower than for its Intel rival at a still fast 220MB per second but is faster for sequential writes, recording data at a very high 200MB per second. The company estimates that the SSD can write 250GB of videos in about 21 minutes versus 70 minutes for a 7,200RPM rotating disk and launches apps about 10 times faster.
Apple has released the latest software update for its Apple TV devices, version 2.3. Users can now stream music to other Apple TVs or Airport Express speakers via AirTunes. Third-party remote control support has been added, allowing the system to learn the signals from other manufacturers' products to use them alongside the Apple Remote. iTunes playlists that contain movies, shows, podcasts, or music videos can now be viewed from Apple TV. Another improvement allows the volume to be controlled while in the Music mode.
Khronos Group and its alliance of associated companies have managed to build the OpenCL programming standard in just six months, according to Macworld. OpenCL (Open Computing Language) is a standard for parallel programming, which could serve as the foundation for a variety of devices and applications, without the limitations of platform-dependent or closed architecture.
DeFi Mobile has announced the expansion of its Global Access VoIP service to include the iPhone platform. For a monthly subscription fee, users will have access to unlimited global calling, roaming, and long distance. The calls require a WiFi connection, but the company claims that its global partnerships extend the available access points to include private and commercial connections. Other features include voice-to-email, caller-ID, call-forwarding, call-hold, and call-transfer.
IOGEAR has released the GCS1716, a 16-port USB or PS/2 KVM switch designed for small-to-medium size businesses. The device allows peripherals, such as monitors, keyboards, or mice, to be shared across 16 computers. The switches can be chained, linking up to 256 computers if needed. Users can select the computer assignment from the display menu, hot-key combinations, or with push button LEDs on the front panel.
Maxell on Wednesday announced it will soon release noise-cancelling earbud headphones that are compatible with 4th or newer generation iPods and the first and second-gen iPod touch. (however, the iPhone 3G is not supported). The headphones plug in via the dock connector, as they draw power from the device to perform their function -- the company says the power draw is significant enough to reduce the battery life of the iPod by between about 33 percent and 50 percent.
A claim from BGR today suggests Palm is converting its Treo Pro to CDMA for Sprint. The Windows Mobile smartphone has previously been available only as an unlocked model for GSM networks but would see one of its first carrier deals through an adaptation to the competing standard. Any other changes to the Wi-Fi equipped device are unknown, though the phone would likely use EVDO Revision A given similar support on the existing Treo 800 for Sprint.
Like Thought has published a v1.2 update to Opacity, its graphics creation utility. The software is specifically intended to design art for program development, and combines pixel and vector editors with Photoshop-like tools such as filters, layers and transforms. Users can also insert variable items, and tap into resources such as factories and templates.
Headphone manufacturer Ultimate Ears on Wednesday announced it has added the Super.Fi 5 and Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5vi earphones to its range of universal-fit earphones. The new products are the first to feature a top-fire armature speaker design that, the company claims, provides a strong sound delivery while retaining a small form. The headphones feature a frequency response range of 15Hz to 15kHz and a maximum sound pressure level of 115dB.
NCC is about to introduce five new Goodyear-branded GPS devices, with three of them out by Christmas, according to a Wednesday report by Engadget. The least expensive among them, the GY130, will include a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen along with three million points of interest (POI), a SiRF GPS receiver, turn-by-turn directions and 3D view. The next step up, the GY135, will add Text-to-Speech capability, being capable of speaking out street names. The GY145 will up the touchscreen size to 4.3 inches but bring little else in terms of features and specs.
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America on Wednesday announced the release of two new 500-series projectors with the wide-format WD510U and WD500U-ST. Both have 1280x800 native resolution and 16:10 aspect ratios and are meant for use in education and business industries. The WD510U has a brightness rating of 2,600 lumens, with the WD500U-ST rated at 2,100 lumens.
Konica Minolta has released specs on a tiny projector it is currently developing, according to a Wednesday report. Measuring 20x40x7mm (roughly 0.8x1.6x0.3 inches), the unseen prototype requires less than 1W of power and can produce a 1024x768 resolution, 20-inch color images when positioned about 20 inches from the screen.
Kingston Technology on Wednesday unveiled its DataTraveler 150 USB Flash drive with a new, higher 64GB capacity, or double that of the previous highest capacity of 32GB. The DataTraveler 150 is now the highest-capacity USB flash drive of its size in Kingston's range of offerings, enabling users to carry around more of their multimedia files and backed up hard drive content.
Google has released Vocito, a desktop quick-dialer for its GrandCentral beta. The app simultaneously dials a remote phone and a local phone, connecting them together. Vocito also integrates with Address Book, QuickSilver, Automator and system services, and supports "tel" URLs and AppleScript. Scripting allows functions to be tied to the condition of other apps; iCal, for example, can be set to dial a conference call number when the time of the meeting arrives.
Alienware on Wednesday announced it has released the Aurora Online Gaming Edition desktop PC. The tower is meant to improve the online gaming experience thanks to the inclusion of a Killer NIC K1 network card from Bigfoot Networks that claims to reduce lag and deliver smoother, more responsive online gameplay. The PC includes AMD's Phenom X4 9950 CPU rated at 2.6GHz and also sports 4GB of RAM.
A version of the new Nokia E71 smartphone is coming to AT&T, according to a Wednesday report. The handset will reportedly be renamed as the E71x, and will feature some AT&T-specific applications, though most of its feature-set is expected to carry over intact. Earlier this week, the handset was announced as coming to Canada's Rogers provider. The E71 sports a full QWERTY keyboard, 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS functionality and an integrated Wi-Fi module. The OS will be Symbian's S60.
Zenoss has released a Mac installer for Zenoss Core 2.3, the latest iteration of its IT monitoring software. Core is an open-source program used to handle the configuration of networks, servers and software, and then monitor overall performance and stability. The app operates on a modeling concept, and maps all of the available IT resources into a single entity. To add items into the system, admins can use auto-discovery, web services, XML import or manual input.
Apple is discussing deals with the three major music labels yet to sign on to iTunes Plus to remove the locks on their music as well, alleged sources tell CNET. Two reported contacts describe "preliminary" negotiations that would expand Apple's deal for music without copy protection beyond EMI and independents to include Sony, Warner and Universal. The talks are said to have been spread over the past several months for at least two labels and aren't certain to result in a favorable income.
Flying Meat has posted VoodooPad 4, a major revision of its personal wiki software. After writing down various comments, users of the program can drag links, images, folders and applications into a wiki for future reference. The new version introduces a sync service, which taps into a MobileMe or a separate WebDAV server to duplicate a wiki across multiple machines. Optional is the generation of an iPhone-compatible site.
Certain employers are docking their employees' pay while they wait for their Vista PCs to boot up, to the tune of 30 to 60 minutes per day, resulting in class-action lawsuits being brought against the employers, says a Tuesday blog report. The employers, which include big companies such as AT&T, United Health Group and Cigna, argue workers often go on coffee, smoke or social breaks while they await their machines to boot up, and therefore do not do any work. The lawsuits have popped up over the last year and are being handled by a lawyer experienced with cases involving long boot times.
Microsoft late Tuesday took a step towards tightening security on Windows by announcing a significant expansion of its anti-malware efforts. The company plans to launch a new, free software suite currently nicknamed "Morro" that will replace the previously pay-only OneCare service and guard against spyware and viruses. The new project shares the same scanning and cleaning engine as OneCare and enterprise-grade apps but is billed as more focused, dropping "non-security" components like PC tuning and consuming less of the CPU and memory.
Digieffects has published a new plug-in collection, Simulate: Camera, intended for the video software in Adobe's Creative Suite 4. The plug-ins are intended to simulate various camera and film errors, which can add interest to footage that is otherwise too sanitized. Archive is used to reproduce various decay and contamination effects, while Overexpose is able to ramp up highlights and generate flickering.
Portable and internal hard drive maker Seagate on Wednesday announced the upcoming release of its FreeAgent Go drives in a wide range of colors. In addition to the previously available red, blue, black and silver FreeAgent Go drives, the new color options include two kinds of green, a lighter blue, pink, orange and gold. Each drive from the FreeAgent Go range originally launched in September will come with a bonus multimedia package when owners register them between November 28th and New Year's day.
KeyCue 4.3 ($27) helps users to make better use of keyboard shortcuts that different applications provide. After holding down the Command key for a set period of time KeyCue opens and displays a table of all currently available menu shortcuts. In the new release, the keyboard combination used for activating KeyCue can be defined by the user and a new double-tap option to activate KeyCue by pressing a modifier twice has been added. KeyCue 4.3 can also display menu shortcuts and Keyboard Maestro macros together in a single table. [Download - 0.98MB]
Ziibii (free) blends together Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, plus any other favorite web content into one app. Users will find two different views, River and List. The river turns all of the stories into "rafts" that will float across the iPhones screen on a river. The speed and direction of the story "rafts" can be adjusted by using swipe gestures. The list view provides a more traditional view of news stories, placing them all in one list.
Neuros Technology has announced the Neuros Link, a new media extender meant to push video to TVs. Whereas most extenders are used to stream media from a local PC, the emphasis of the Link is on streaming web video from sources such as CBS and Hulu; content is delivered through the free Neuros.TV online service. This enables users to skip the normal transcoding process associated with hardware like the SlingCatcher and Xbox 360.
The BlackBerry Curve 8900 was given its second major launch today with news that UK retailer Carphone Warehouse will be the next to pick up the RIM smartphone on December 20th. The choice of carrier and pricing haven't been named but will see Carphone as the exclusive third-party to carry the device, which resembles a smaller, 2G-only version of the BlackBerry Bold. The 480x320 display, GPS and Wi-Fi of the more expensive phone carry over with EDGE handling cellular Internet access.
Wolfram Research has begun shipping Mathematica 7, his professional-level computation software. Aside from mathematics, the software can be used to model a variety of interactions in fields such as chemistry, economics and geopolitics. The seventh edition introduces an image processing component, allowing users to run functions related to composition, enhancement and transformation.
Apple's second-wave push for the iPhone has already made it the most popular phone on the web, a study of October data from AdMob indicates. The mobile ad provider notes that total worldwide iPhone share for ad requests nearly doubled from 2.1 percent in September to 4.1 percent the following month, bringing it from fourth place to first. The previous leader, Motorola's RAZR V3, has held on to its second place spot but dropped substantially from 4.1 percent to 3.4 percent of all requests to AdMob.
Swedish telecom company TeliaSonera is working on an MMS workaround for the iPhone, a company spokesman says. MMS is used on many cellphones to send photos and videos, but despite its commonality as a format, the technology has been left off of the iPhone in favor of e-mail and third-party applications. Some form of MMS is slated to arrive within the next two months, says Telia's Bengt Olsson. It should be incorporated in the form of an application, possibly alongside software easing access to WLAN networks.
Desktop and notebook computer maker MSI recently unveiled a new range of small-footprint all-in-one PCs, called the Wind Neton, in China. The Wind Neton range should compete against the ASUS Eee Top as well as the iMac and comprises the 22-inch M22, 18.5-inch M19 and 15.6-inch M16. Processing power will come from Intel's Atom CPU, with a dual-core 1.6GHz Atom 330 in some models. Any of the three nettops will be available with touchscreen functionality for the M16 and M19's 1366x768 screen or the M22's 1920x1080 display. In a rare move for Atom-based systems, the M22 also has an optional Blu-ray drive.
The new date for the launch of the iPhone at Walmart has been narrowed to December 28th, information suggests. The figure comes from a leaked internal memo, obtained in response to earlier reports explaining why the phone missed a predicted November 15th shipment. Additional sources say that some 2,500 Walmart stores will carry the device, along with 69 Sam's Club locations, the latter being owned by Walmart. This will leave about approximately 1,000 Walmart stores.
Japanese cell carrier NTT DoCoMo and Korean carrier KTF are working together on an Android-based phone for 2009, the Nikkei Business Daily said in a report today. The two are allegedly hoping to undercut the prices of smartphones by about 20 percent by using the free mobile operating system on a jointly-developed device. Other features haven't yet been discussed for the handset, which would be either provider's first Android phone.
The next major release of Mac OS X is scheduled to arrive before many were anticipating, according to a recent Apple presentation. When Mac OS X Snow Leopard was announced at WWDC '08, it was stated that it would take "about a year" to bring the update to market. At last week's Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference however, Apple's Director of Engineering of Unix Technologies, Jordan Hubbard, is said to have announced that Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) will ship in the first quarter of 2009, several months ahead of public expectation.
Sony today added support for Slacker radio to its BRAVIA Internet Video Link for its HDTVs. The addition lets users tie an existing Slacker account to the link and stream their customized radio channels; Sony doesn't say whether users have access to the full favorite, ban or skip controls from the web or the Slacker G2 but implies users will have to configure stations away from the TV.
T-Mobile today started shipping the cameo digital photo frame. The Parrot-made viewer is comparatively unique in carrying its own SIM card and cellular subscription to let the owner update the current image through either an MMS message or e-mail. Users can also explicitly allow other users (including non-T-Mobile subscribers) to update the frame automatically rather than require permission.
Apple is waiting on a special round of Intel chips to update its iMacs with quad-core processors, according to claims by PC makers. The California company is reportedly hinging its move on a new set of desktop Core 2 Quad processors due in January that are specifically power-optimized for all-in-one desktops, dropping the thermal peak power from a too-high 95W down to 65W. They would have the same performance characteristics as existing processors and include a 2.33GHz Q8200 with 4MB of Level 2 cache, a 2.66GHz Q9400 with 6MB of cache and a 2.83GHz Q9550 with the full 12MB of cache.
The Dream Apps on Monday offered a new update to its video recording utility for Mac OS X, Dream Capture 2.3, providing users with simple recording features and sharing options. This new update makes Dream Capture 2.3 easier to work with in regards to other recording applications, while offering a higher amount of support for iTunes and audio recording. With the new enhancements to the video quality, this version is also supposed to work out some bugs that were embedded in its predecessor. Though Dream Capture is made to support most cameras available on the market, it is mainly optimized for Apple’s built-in and external iSight cameras. Dream Capture 2.3 also offers an automatic image stabilizing platform using technology to that found in Apple’s Shake.
Ivyskin Released on Tuesday its newest iPhone 3G accessory, the QuattroPower SmartCase. Priced at $100, this bundle package includes a Glass touch-thru case called Quattro T4 along with a new QuattroPac™ battery. The QuattroPower case will provide stronger protection for the phone while making it easier to handle and the added on battery should provide an additional 200 percent battery life. This increase in power will allow for an extended standby time of up to three 350 hours including more talk time, internet use, audio playback and video playback.
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.
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Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe