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Microsoft's Mac Business Unit has announced 75-percent-off pricing for Office 2008 for Mac: Special Media Edition during the Black Friday sales period that kicks off the holiday shopping season. The discount will be available online during Thursday and Friday only from Apple, Amazon.com and BestBuy Online. Apple will also offer the deal at its retail stores on Friday. For customers that miss the Black Friday sale, the software will be sold at 50-percent-off retail prices through the end of the year.
Apple has already released an update to its browser software, Safari 3.2.1. The latest version is claimed to offer stability improvements. Although the 3.2 update last week offered enhanced security through phishing protection and additional validation, many users have reported frequent crashes and other errors. It is unknown if the problems were related to the new WebKit engine and security changes, or if third-party plug-ins such as PithHelmet were to blame.
Apple is involved in yet another patent infringement lawsuit targeted at the iPhone. The plaintiff, EMG Technology, accuses the the company of violating a patent that relates to Internet navigation and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). The claim involves the presentation of content changed from HTML to XML format, a technology utilized by the iPhone. The patent also allegedly covers technology for manipulating regions of a screen, including zoom and scroll functions that the iPhone uses.
For iPhone owners looking for a strong but light case to protect their phones, DRO says it has launched its Carbon Fiber iPhone 3G Case. The case uses a two-layer system, with a neoprene liner to cushion the iPhone and prevent scratches, which is in turn attached to a carbon fiber external shell. The case features cutouts for port connections, and is available in carbon or silver colors, with a high-gloss scratch-resistant finish.
The Porsche Design P'9522 handset was recently approved by the FCC and is expected to be available for sale in North America shortly. The quad-band GSM handset is manufactured by France's Sagem, and its specs include a 2.8-inch touchscreen with a 400x240 resolution. Conspicuously missing is 3G data network support, at least for North America, as this particular version of the P'9522 only has GPRS and EDGE radios.
Acer announced on Monday it will begin selling its first Intel Core i7-powered desktop, the Aspire M7720, in its home country of Taiwan at IT Month 2008, starting on November 29th. The M7720 will use Intel's quad-core 2.66GHz Core i7 920 processor, matching it with 3GB of RAM that's expandable to 12GB. The desktop will also sport ATI's Radeon HD 4850 graphics card with its own 1GB of memory for boosting in-game processing. Rounding out the key hardware specs is a 750GB hard drive.
On Monday, HANNspree North America announced the launch of two digital picture frames that have a host of multimedia features. The 7-inch SD7021 has 8MB of internal memory and a 3-in-1 memory card reader, along with a USB 2.0 port to transfer images from computers. The frame is only available in black and will rotate images as needed to ensure they are always right side up, while a slideshow function displays the content.
Arten Science has posted R10Cipher, a new encryption utility. The app is claimed to simplify encryption, mainly in relation to public key systems; R10 is focused exclusively on e-mail text, and makes use of a 128-bit version of the Blowfish encryption scheme. In delivering a message, the sender inputs text into the software, which then saves the output as a message body or an attachment. The recipient must then decipher the e-mail with R10 and a shared key.
Retailers have begun to post Black Friday deals in preparation for this coming weekend. A brief selection of deals on computer accessories starting at $9.99 are as follows. CircuitCity.com is offering the Logitech QuickCam Communicate Deluxe (model no. 960000247) for $79.99. On November 28th save $70 for a final price of $9.99. Features include fun video effects, glass optics, noisce cancelling mic, and 1.3MP sensor. Next up is the Gigaware wireless laser mouse with ultra-compact dongle (model no. 26-990) for $49.99 at RadioShack.com. On November 28th the price will be reduced by $35 for a final price of $14.99. This wireless laser mouse is both PC and Mac compatible. The ultra-compact dongle may be stored in the mouse or left in your PC's USB port.
South Korean scientists say they have developed a new material they call "true blue" that should speed up the development of organic light-emitting displays (OLEDs), according to a weekend report. The announcement comes from a chemistry professor at Pusan National University, Jin Sung-Ho, who led the state-funded project, which was performed in conjunction with engineers at Seoul National University. Up until now, scientists had trouble developing efficient blue lights for the application. OLEDs require green, red and blue lights in their screens for proper color reproduction.
While it has not yet officially been revealed to the public, a new car stereo and navigation system combination developed in collaboration with TomTom and Eclipse has been spotted thanks to an award the device will win at the 2009 CES show. While no official specifications on the AVN4430 have been revealed, it is likely to share many with the current ACN2210p unit. One visible upgrade is the larger 4.3-inch widescreen of the removable TomTom personal navigation unit compared to the current one's 3.5-inch screen as well as a slightly revised control layout on the host Eclipse unit's face plate.
A photo released on Monday suggests Sony and Best Buy are set to release the newest PlayStation 3 bundle, timed just right for the holiday season. The bundle consists of an 80GB PlayStation 3 system, one DualShock 3 controller, the Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction gaming title and Casino Royale movie on Blu-ray disc. The system is due for a November 28th release, more commonly known as Black Friday and may be a Best Buy exclusive. Priced at just shy of $400, the bundle effectively adds the game and movie for free, as the 80GB system by itself up until now was priced identically.
The organizers of the 2009 Macworld Cconference and Expo have announced details on some of the educational seminars scheduled for the event, which will run from January 5th to the 9th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. A number of influential presenters are expected to speak, including David Pogue, Chris Breen, Andy Ihnatko and others. Seminars should also be divided into six main programs: the Users Conference, MacIT Conferences, Power Tools, Hands-On MacLabs, Market Symposiums and the Creative Safari.
StretchZ ($2) gives users access to the stretching routines included in MacBreakZ Personal Ergonomic Assistant directly on their iPhone or iPod touch. This allows users to keep track of a regular stretching routine in an environment where software can't be installed on a work computer. A regular routine helps relieve muscular tension, neck, shoulder and backache and and also reduces mouse and keyboard-related injuries, eye strain and tension headaches.
Samsung today warned that the cellphone market is likely to have slowed down in 2008 and to potentially shrink in 2009 due to the global recession. The Korean electronics giant had originally predicted that the total number of cellphones shipped in 2008 would grow by 9 percent but now says this is likely to be reduced given a sudden chilling effect from market conditions. This growth could slow further or even reverse in 2009, company representative James Chung says.
Micron on Monday said to CNET that it would start mass-producing its long-promised RealSSD C200 256GB solid-state drive in March of next year. The timeframe pushes back the drive from its original fall launch and limits the current lineup to the 128GB drives common in the industry. The 2.5-inch SSD has been touted as a potential leader through its combination both of the large amount of space as well as its extremely high read speed, which matches Intel's at 250MB per second.
FurrySoft has released Tiggits for iPhone, a ticket search and purchasing app focused on concert, sports and theater events. The new app gives users access to shows across North America via TicketNetwork, which is partnering with Tiggits and will provide secure transactions for user purchases. Users have four screens to work from: the Featured screen displays popular events with long runs, like Broadway shows or a concert series, while the Top 25 tab lists the most popular shows, concerts, etc. currently playing. The Search tab allows users to find more specific events, segregated by actor, performer, venue or city, while the fourth tab -- Info -- gives users options like tips on use, customer service contacts and support numbers.
Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer will be asked to testify as to what he knows in the lawsuit over misleading Vista Capable logos, US Federal District Court Judge Martha Pechman has ruled. The decision will ask Ballmer to make statements to the plaintiff's lawyers for a maximum of three hours to determine whether he had any role in the company's deliberate lowering of the requirements for the Vista Capable logo in 2006, which let Intel's GMA 915 chipset qualify and later drew complaints of unacceptable performance when Vista ultimately shipped.
Nextar recently added the Q4-01 and Q4-02 to its Q-series line-up of portable navigation devices. Both devices are simpler, less expensive versions of the previously unveiled Q4-MD that features MSN Direct access over wireless data networks. Both new devices have a 4.3-inch touchscreen and deliver voice-guided directions via their NAVTEQ maps.
TV builder HANNspree has announced the HT09, a new LCD TV set. The display is claimed to be first 28-inch model in the world capable of 1080p, a resolution normally reserved for TVs measuring 40 inches or larger, with some exceptions. The difference between 1080p and 720p is normally said to be indistinguishable below that size, but may make the HT09 usable as a computer monitor.
Research in Motion's heavily promoted BlackBerry Storm launch this Friday may not have been enough to save the company from a poor financial quarter, according to a new research note by Citi analyst Jim Suva. Although the Storm sold out at many Verizon stores since launch, Suva supports claims of a software-based delay and notes that many stores actually received significantly less units than expected, forcing many customers to wait as late as December 15th to get devices they would otherwise have had on launch.
Chronos LC has released iScrapbook 2.0, with over 15 new features for its digital scrapbook management software. The software now bundles art elements into "iScrapKits," with a browser for quickly locating specific elements. The app also produces two-page spreads and has a two-page column view, allowing people to see pages side-by-side for preview of final book output. Six new shapes for cropping photos are included, specially geared towards using custom photo corners; multiple objects can now be resized without being grouped, and pages can be previewed with "trim to page," hiding elements that go off-page.
Thoughtful Tree has published the second version of TunesBar, an extension for the Mac edition of iTunes. The app integrates into the Mac OS X Menu Bar, and displays the artist, album and song information for whichever track is currently playing. This eliminates the need to switch to iTunes to identify music, and can help reduce desktop clutter.
A couple of Monday reports have brought an update and a few photos of two new Motorola handsets, the previously previewed Atila and QA30. The former is billed as an iPhone competitor thanks to its 2.8-inch, 240x320 touchscreen and 3G data network support. The quad-band handset will reportedly use Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro. Photos of the Atila were revealed in a Hong Kong-based cellphone forum, though it should be noted that a custom iPhone-like interface is a third-party add-on that will not make it to the standard, production version of the handset.
Accessory maker Griffin has introduced a new version of its RoadTrip with SmartScan FM transmitter, tailored to the iPhone 3G. The device plugs into a car's 12V power socket, and broadcasts audio from an iPhone or iPod to a frequency set on the car's radio. The SmartScan feature identifies the three clearest frequencies in a given region, and assigns these to available preset buttons.
Microsoft is in the later stages of developing a phone of its own that will rely on performance to drive sales, a rumor floated by the Inquirer today claims. The Windows Mobile developer is allegedly developing a phone that would use one of NVIDIA's Tegra processors as its heart. The feature would likely involve the APX 2500 chip and theoretically give the Microsoft device 720p video playback and advanced 3D visuals that are absent on other phones.
Samsung concept phone features folding OLED screen At the FPD International show recently held in Japan, Samsung showed off a cellphone with a flexible folding OLED screen that, when opened, is larger than displays from any competitor. The handset features a vertical hinge and opens like a book. Once opened, the OLED display is about 5 inches in size. The unnamed handset also has a more conventional LED display on the front panel. That front panel also sports basic phone buttons, but there is no physical keypad, suggesting the smaller display is touch-sensitive.
The second-generation iPod touch is substantially faster than the first, to the point of affecting app design, a game developer notes. Handheld Games observes that in writing TouchSports Tennis, it was forced to reduce polygonal detail on players to 800 in zoomed-out views, and 1,000 in close-ups. This is because the first-gen Touch "chokes" when displaying the constant 1,500 polygons possible for each player with the second-gen model, says Handheld CEO Thomas Fessler.
LG is developing full multi-touch screens that may have a specific client in mind, a claim from a Stuff Asian correspondent suggests. On a tour of one of the company's Korean factories, the reporter claims to have caught word that multi-touch capable panels are being made for computers and that Apple is a possible candidate for the display given LG's existing deal to produce LCDs for iMacs.
A second piece of Trojan-like malware is currently threatening Macs, say security vendors. OSX.Lamzev.A, also known as OSX.TrojanKit.Malez, allows hackers to install a backdoor on a victim's computer and thereby assume control of it. The software is said not to be a true Trojan, however, as an attacker must already have access to the target Mac to make use of the code.
Intel and its memory making partner Micron today said they have begun mass producing their promised first 34nm NAND flash memory. The smaller manufacturing process lets the two firms build individual chip layers with 32 gigabits (4GB) of data in a standard package and in large batches using regular 300mm wafers. The technology is small enough to allow eight cores per layer and would allow a two-layer stack to carry as much as 64GB without needing entirely separate chips.
HTC has said that it would boost the shipment estimates two of its most popular smartphones based on their popularity. Company chief Peter Chou now says HTC will have shipped about 1 million of T-Mobile's Android-based G1 phones through all of 2008, up substantially from the originally predicted 600,000. The Touch Diamond will also have seen far higher shipments than once thought and is moving from 2 million to 3 million units shipped since its launch in May.
Verizon today became the late entry among carriers with its own version of the HTC Touch Pro. Similar to the versions from Alltel and Sprint, the touchscreen QWERTY slider phone adds a customized front end with a special Verizon portal for third-party apps, VZ Navigator for the phone's built-in GPS and support for tethering on an appropriate data plan.
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Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW