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Grubby Games on Thursday launched My Tribe, an island simulation game where players control little tribespeople shipwrecked on a tropical island. Offering real-time gameplay the tribe will grow, learn new skills, and have children even while the computer is turned off. With billions of islands to explore, alter the landscape with up to 14 different buildings, flowers, and tall trees. My Tribe also offers designable clothing colors up to 18 styles, different hair styles and colors, over 40 different potion recipes, and eight levels of scientific advancement to research.
Speakal on Tuesday released iPanda, its newest audio system with a built-in iPod docking station. Similar to iPig, iPanda is a small five speaker stereo with an onboard Hi-Fi amplifier to produce 360 degrees of sound, dynamic airflow optimizer, interior dynamic cooling exchange and sound stabilization, all compacted into a tiny panda design. Compatible with all iPod models, the docking station allows users to charge the iPod while listening to music in 2.1 stereo. Also equipped is a 3.5mm standard input jack that allows iPanda to work with any MP3 and MP4, producing 25+ watts of sound.
Advertising Standard Authority in the UK has banned another iPhone advertisement suggesting the handset is misleading in the speed at which it can browse the internet. Apparently 17 iPhone users called and complained that the "really fast" almost instant web browsing shown in the commercial was in no way the actual speed.
A variety of great Black Friday deals on Apple products are currently being offered by a range of online merchants. Until 11/30/08 Newegg.com is offering the 4GB iPod nano -silver (model no. MA978LL/A) for $99.99, that's $49.01 off the original price of $149. Save an extra 10% on Apple computers at Gainsaver.com, prices start at $260. MacMall.com has reduced the price on the new 13.3-inch MacBook from $1229.99 to $1179.99. Until 11/30/08 Newegg.com is offering the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro (model no. MB133LL/A) for $1489. BestBuy.com is offering the first generation 32GB iPod touch for $349.99 which is $30 off the regular price of $379.99. Visit DealNN for more Black Friday deals.
New Star Games on Thursday announced the latest instalment to its sports based games, New Star Soccer four. Adding to its predecessor, NSS4 offers a wider variety of lifestyle options having players balance a career, girlfriend, family, and media obligations. With this enhancement every social decision has an impact on the characters career, resulting in greater or a poor performance on the field. Players also have access to a new casino feature containing blackjack, roulette, slot machines plus the ability to place bets on horse races or buy and train a horse of your own.
Private photosharing has been launched for Firefox through the new GPhotospace Add-on for Firefox. The Firefox extension allows Gmail users to store and share photos within their standard Gmail e-mail storage account. Users select their photos, upload them to their Gmail storage, select their recipients and send album viewing invitations via e-mail. For security, users' Gmail credentials are used to log-in, but these credentials are not sent or stored on any servers other than Gmail's servers, using an encrypted https connection.
Over on the other side of the world, down under in Australia, Apple has announced some of its one-day Thanksgiving holiday sales. The savings extend to many products and accessories offered via Apple's online store but the biggest are offered on the 13-inch MacBook, with Aussie buyers saving $161 AUD (about $104). The savings throughout fall at between 6 and 8 percent off regular prices and should be mirrored on the US website late tomorrow or early on Black Friday.
Griffin Technology on Wednesday released Component and Composite video cables for connecting iPods to televisions, computer monitors and home entertainment systems. Each six-foot cable attaches to the 30-pin dock connector, while a second USB cord and A/C adapter are also included with each package, which allows the devices to be charged while in use.
Chip and computer hardware parts maker VIA unveiled its roadmap for future Nano chips at the Embedded Technology 2008 show in Japan held last week, according to a Wednesday report. The roadmap revealed VIA won't be releasing a dual-core Nano CPU for netbooks until an estimated date of June of 2010, leaving the market wide open for competitor Intel and its dual-core Atom CPU. The Taiwanese company also revealed it will release a Nano E-series chip in the spring of 2009, which will bump up the front system bus speeds from the current 800MHz to 1,333MHz and use a 65nm process.
Motorola on Thursday has announced the latest additions to its digital cordless home phones, the D10 and D11. The handsets are optimized to use as little energy as possible and are made with at least 20 percent of recycled materials. An eco mode will automatically adjust the wireless reception strength and therefore draw less power based on how far a phone is from its base station
Korea's LG will launch 3D TVs next year, says the Vice President Director of Digital TV Research Lab Choon Lee in a Wednesday report. Not much specific information about the launch details was given, other than that one or two unspecified markets will see the launch of the technology. As for the tech itself, Lee said it would involve a slight change to existing Blu-ray technology and use the media to keep costs to buyers down.
Elpida says it has expanded its lineup of DDR3 RAM with what it says is the most energy-efficient memory of the type. A new format based on a 50 nanometer manufacturing process helps both reduce the size of each chip to 40mm (1.6in) square and also reduces the amount of power necessary to drive the memory. Where most DDR3 needs 1.5 volts, the new memory can scale back to 1.35V or even 1.2V in notebooks, servers and other low-profile computers that may not run at full power.
iRiver on Thursday introduced a low-key update to its basic media player lineup through the E100 Season 2. The new players are primarily a visual change and switch from the monotone colors of the original to orange-on-silver, silver-on-orange and white-and-orange color schemes. The Korea-made player is otherwise similar but shares the same uncommon features, including a rear set of stereo speakers and a microSD card slot for loading up extra music beyond the internal flash.
World's-largest cellphone maker Nokia on Thursday announced it is developing the Nokia Home Control Center, a platform that will allow users to control their home electronics, security systems and energy management systems via a mobile device. It's an open platform that will allow third parties to write their own smart home solutions for use in mobile devices or PCs and control all compatible devices in their home either locally or remotely.
Samsung today introduced five large touchscreen displays meant for public use, such as presentations and terminals at mass transit. Using similar sizes and resolutions to HDTVs, the 32-inch 320TSn, 40-inch 400TSn, 46-inch 460TSn, 70-inch 700Tsn and 82-inch 820TSn all work in either portrait or landscape mode and also support a unique MagicInfo feature that lets the owner manage several displays at once, such as when they play a multi-screen video.
The long-awaited uTorrent beta for Macs is out as of Wednesday, offering users of Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or newer the same low-memory footprint Windows users have enjoyed to date. Compared to the Windows version, however, the newly-released version is missing certain features, including an RSS downloader. Rumors of a Mac uTorrent release first surfaced in June of 2007, with an alpha version leaked back in September.
Nokia today said it has started the first wave of shipments of the 5800 XpressMusic, its first touchscreen phone. The Symbian S60 device is already on sale or should be soon for the few regions receiving it before the end of the year, including Nokia's home country of Finland as well as Hong Kong, India, Russia, Spain and the Taiwan area. The company positions it as a near-smartphone with support for full apps, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi but also a media-centric interface with an always-present media bar for navigating tracks, a 3.2-megapixel camera with video capture and a particularly sharp 640x360, 3.2-inch display.
Cowon today revealed that it will bring its S9 Curve media player to the US in December. The device is the Korean company's most direct answer to the iPod touch and centers on a rare, 3.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen that both produces more vivid colors than LCDs and also boosts the battery life to 40 hours of music. It also includes an accelerometer to rotate the image into landscape, Bluetooth for wireless audio, and is unusually fast for its category through a dual-core processor.
The ATSC TV standards company today said it has approved a candidate version of the Mobile DTV standard. The technology will give American cellphones, notebooks, portable media players and other devices a more universal way of watching over-the-air mobile digital TV provided by regular broadcasters rather than through proprietary, subscription-only services such as the MediaFLO network used by AT&T and Verizon.
iWeb Template has released family-based iWeb themes for building web pages with a family orientation. The collection has seven iWeb themes to choose from, including Baby, Boy, Girl, Tree, Old Album, Wall and White Album. Each theme includes multiple page layouts as starting points, like a Welcome page, About Me, Photos, My Albums, Movie, Podcast, Blog, and Blank pages.
Sonic Motion has launched a beta version of its WavearsLE software that simulates a 3D sound environment. With the program running in the background, media-player applications can function normally, while the sound output is processed to replicate a virtual 5.1-channel surround-sound speaker configuration, the company claims. The system is designed to work best when music is played through headphones.
ZOS communications on Tuesday launched Zhiing 1.1, the latest update to its location-based messaging application for the iPhone. Users can now send one message to multiple people. Recipients will also receive names instead of numbers, while the general speed and stability have been enhanced. The program combines browser plug-ins with SMS, allowing users to send directions from the browser to a mobile phone, or from one mobile device to another. Users click the Zhiing icon and enter a number, which sends a map and turn-by-turn directions to their location.
Apple is offering a special holiday gift card for potential iPhone users, with the iPhone 3G Gift Card, available from Apple's online store. The card allows customers to load any value between $25 and $2500, accompanied by a personalized message, towards the purchase of an iPhone 3G. After the card is received, it can be redeemed at either an Apple retail store, or through an online process, where the user can set up their account and visit the store later.
Sony is allegedly looking to achieve a slice of Apple's gaming pie – praise of the iPod touch and iPhone's graphics hardware have come from industry giants John Carmack and Sega – as it has apparently signed a license agreement for the PowerVR SGX chipset. EE Times writes that an anonymous deal was signed Monday, with little details readily available, which sources say is to outfit the PSP2 with the SGX55x chipset.
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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
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.