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OXtender beta launched
Open-Xchange is now previewing an iSync connector for its open-source groupware suite, the OXtender for Mac OS X. The beta software allows Mac users to access Open-Xchange servers and groupware e-mail, appointments, documents, contacts and tasks through standard Mac OS X applications like Mail, iCal and Address Book. Using OXtender, groupware data can be accessed and edited within OS X applications, despite the actual data being on a central server and available to users on multiple platforms.
The Thumb iPhone app
Imagebakery on Monday announced The Thumb, an application for the iPhone/Touch designed to familiarize users with the device keyboard to improve the time it takes to type messages. Users can complete practice sentences with automated correction, with confirmation of mistakes. Various real-time statistics log typing speed and accuracy, with tracking through the week and an option to clear the history. A blind keyboard function prevents the keyboard from being viewed, but presents the typed letters at the top of the screen.
Macessity on Monday released the LapTuk Clear, a 3/8-inch clear acrylic stand designed to fit above a MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or PowerBook 15-inch. Able to hold displays that weigh up to 35 pounds, the stand allows access to all ports and the drive slot. A hot-air relief opening in the back helps prevent overheating, while a cable management slot is provided to keep everything on the table. Priced at $50.00, LapTuk Clear is now available from the company.
Yazsoft has released the latest version of its Bonjour connection software, ShareTool 1.2.5. The update now allows automatic configuration of e-mail information every time the program is restarted, and adds an option to retrieve connectivity settings from e-mail clients. Users can also be re-emailed if the connection information changes while content is being shared. A status indicator in the sharing window now shows whether Internet connections are active or disruptive.
FileMaker has released Bento 2.0v3, the latest version of its database software. The update addresses a number of user-reported bugs, including issues related to the vertical spacing between checkbox fields, text-box editing on imported templates, and exporting of non-ISO date formats. Problems with deleting static labels and XML references, upgrading large databases, and partially downloaded e-mail messages have also been corrected.
WARP10 software graphics
Windows 7 promises to bring with it a pair of programs that will enable users to process Direct3D 10 graphics on Direct3D 9 hardware as well as processing Direct3D 9-level graphics with no hardware at all, according to an MSDN article. The former feat is made possible with software called Direct3D 10 Level9, while the latter comes courtesy of Direct3D Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP10). The new standard is a high-speed, fully compatible software rasterizer that has already shipped in beta form in the November 2008 DirectX SDK.
Mini DisplayPort goes free
Apple is opening up access to its Mini DisplayPort standard, according to an announcement. Though Apple did not develop DisplayPort proper, the company has created a more compact version of the technology to accompany its new unibody MacBooks, as well as the revised 24-inch Cinema Display. Hardware makers looking to build peripherals compatible with the standard -- most likely third-party monitors and video cards -- must apply first for an evaluation license, and then for a separate implementation one. Once Apple agrees to the latter the standard is then free to use.
Good OS intros Cloud OS
Good OS, makers of the gOS Linux operating system that debuted in computers sold at Wal-Mart, on Monday announced it will soon introduce its Cloud operating system that can give users near-instant access to Google, Yahoo and Windows Live services, as well as rich client applications and multimedia content. Good OS introduced the Cloud on a GigaByte touch-screen netbook at the Netbook World Summit kicking off today in Paris, and will begin including Cloud alongside Windows XP on the PC builder's tablets early next year. When users need to do access more hardware-intensive programs, they can go from Cloud to Windows XP.
RoverPC Pro G7 smartphone
Russia's RoverPC recently introduced a business-oriented smartphone, the Pro G7. The handset includes a 2.8-inch, 640x480 touchscreen complemented by a scroll wheel. Processing power comes from a 624MHz CPU and 128MB of RAM that run Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional particularly smoothly. The quad-band GSM device can connect to the Internet over 3G data networks or hotspots thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi module. Built-in memory is fixed at 256MB but expandable via a microSDHC card slot. A pair of cameras, including a 3-megapixel shooter on the backside and a 0.3-megapixel cam for chatting, is built in.
SageTV launches HD Theater
SageTV has launched a new HD extender over the weekend, called the HD Theater or HD200. The HD200 has many of the same functions of the HD100 it replaces, including the same video and audio format support. The HD200 will connect to home networks or directly to PCs preloaded with software that makes them DHCP servers via an Ethernet jack. It has a rear- and front-panel USB port for connecting external drives or USB flash drives for local streaming to users' HDTVs.
Boinx Software on Monday announced Mouseposé 3.1, the latest update to its mouse-pointer highlighting tool for presentations, screencasts and demos. Users can now define a list of custom keystrokes that remain invisible when using the keystroke display, with the full range of key combinations only shown when modifier keys are pressed. The update is also claimed to improve stability and performance during start-up on some computers.
Linux on iPhone
Devteam member planetbeing has successfully reverse-engineered the iPhone and iPod touch platforms to run the open-source Linux 2.6 kernel. The port is still in the beginning stages of development, with limited functionality that lacks support for the touchscreen, sound, accelerometer, baseband and wireless networking. When the device is powered-on, OpeniBoot gives the choice of booting the iPhone operating system or a separate mode for the Linux kernel.
Weightbot ($4) is a weight tracking application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Users can set goals, record their weight and then track their progress over time. Progress can be viewed in a graph form that can be plotted by days, weeks, months or years. Users who would rather keep this information private can also choose to add a numeric password to keep the data safe.
Joost iPhone app
Onilne service Joost says it has published a native supporting application for iPhone and iPod touch owners. The app lets users view hosted video, which is normally restricted for Apple handhelds due to the latter's incompatibility with Flash. Joost claims to have over 400 TV shows and 1,200 movies on its network, as well as some 18,000 music videos. Content is divided into genres such as anime, comedy, drama and sports.
BenQ intros 10.1" Joybook
BenQ has released its Joybook Lite U101 netbook in its home market of Taiwan. The netbook sports a 10.1-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio screen with an LED backlight unit that provides a resolution of 1280x800 pixels and a response time of 8ms. It uses an Intel Atom CPU rated at 1.6GHz and can be ordered with either 120GB or 160GB hard disks or 4GB or 16GB solid state drives preloaded with either Linux or Windows XP Home. Graphics processing is handled by the onboard Intel 945GSE chipiset while built-in memory is rated at 512MB, upgradeable to 1GB.
BBerry Storm Firmware Leak
A leak from BGR on Monday reveals that Research in Motion is already close to releasing a firmware patch for the BlackBerry Storm that will address the numerous software flaws affecting the launch edition phone. The 126.96.36.199 update dramatically improves the response time for tasks such as rotating to landscape mode, browsing photos or playing music, all of which have suffered from delays as long as several seconds for certain tasks.
Maintain has launched an update to its Mac OS X maintenance software, Cocktail 4.2.1. The latest versions fixes compatibility issues with TechTool Pro and Safari 3.2.1, while adding support for the Flock 2.x social web browser. The "Prevent DS Store file creation on network volumes" setting could not be enabled in past releases and has now been fixed, and new languages have been added to the start-up language setting. Maintain has also improved the uninstaller, updated the help files and refreshed Automator actions.
First German Apple Store
Apple's first German retail store is due to open this week, the company has announced. The shop is situated at 1 Rosenstraße in Munich, and will throw open its doors at 10AM local time this Saturday, December 6th. Visitors will of course be able to test Macs, iPods and iPhones; as an incentive to arrive early, the first 2,500 people to come will be given a free Apple t-shirt. Although the store should be closed on Sundays, regular hours are slated to be a consistent 9AM to 8PM Monday through Saturday.
Nokia Siemens LTE Advanced
Nokia Siemens Networks today said it has already run a demonstration of cellular Internet access beyond even 4G. Now called LTE Advanced, the format uses a new radio relaying technique that extends the network without requiring that the carrier build out the entire network infrastructure to a given access point. This will let users on the edge of the network get LTE's faster speeds as carriers can simply put relays in areas where coverage, not bandwidth, hurts performance.
Clearwire WiMAX as Clear
Clearwire today said its recently completed deal with Sprint for WiMAX will use the "Clear" name on its own side of the network rather than use Sprint's Xohm naming scheme. Worth about $14.5 billion, the agreement will effectively replace Xohm on Clearwire's portion of the network rather than see the two provide a united naming scheme.
Sony VAIO netbook exposed
Sony's long-anticipated netbook has been revealed through filings with the FCC, a report from Engadget suggests. Two versions, known as the PCG-1P1L and PCG-1P2L, have been through wireless testing with the government body; the PCG prefix is known to represent Sony's VAIO portable line. More crucially, the computers match typical netbook dimensions, at approximately 9.5 inches long by 4.5 inches wide. This should make them smaller than many rival systems.
Cyber Monday Mac deals
Apple retailers across the net have reduced the prices on Mac models from the new unibody MacBook to the Mac Pro. Starting at $544 (after mail in rebate) is the 1.83GHz Mac mini, which is $55 less than the MSRP of $599 at Amazon.com. Next up is the 2.1GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive priced at $918.97 after a $50 mail in rebate making this $80 less than the MSRP of $999 at MacMall.com. Also at MacMall is the 1.6GHz MacBook Air with 2GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive for $1,649.99 after a mail in rebate offer making this $149.01 off the MSRP of $2,499.
iRiver Wave launches early
Korea's ReignCom, which makes iRiver-branded personal media players, has released its first cellphone in its home market ahead of the promised March 2009 launch. The iRiver Wave handset sports a 3-inch, 480x272 touchscreen that is capable of recognizing handwriting and will connect to the Internet via its built-in Wi-Fi connection or over wireless data networks, provided by exclusive carrier KT. The handset will also support VoIP calling to reduce airtime costs. Initially, the Wave will be offered in just ten iRiver stores in Korea.
Fortune on Apple & Amazon
Various Apple products dominated Amazon's bestsellers in electronics during Black Friday, Forbes reports. The morning of the sales event, the iPod touch was the top-selling item, though it was displaced to fourth place by Sunday. Three of the top 10 electronics items are said to have been Apple gear, however, and Kaufman analyst Shaw Wu notes that the lead times for Touches lengthened dramatically, shifting from one to two days to as much as five weeks.
Net Apps Share Nov 2008
New research data today from Net Applications has revealed both Apple and Mozilla bringing Microsoft's share of the web to historic lows for November. The Mac's usage share of the more than 40,000 websites tracked by the Internet firm has now reached 8.87 percent for the past month; the increase is a major jump from the previous record of 8.23 percent in September and is enough to have pushed Microsoft's Windows below 90 percent usage online for the first time in years.
Speed Download, Wallet
Entrance 1.3 ($50) is a browser for MySQL database that uses data to draw histograms, line charts and more. Entrance also supports an new data mining feature dubbed "data painting" and an explore tree with drag and drop support for tables, queries and scripts. The SQL script editor also features a built-in error detection feature and lets users edit and run SQL scripts against their data. With the update tabs can now regenerate reports and charts automatically based on timer delays. A new online guide is also available to help users make charts with the software. [Download - 2.7MB]
Apple Black Friday results
Apple did fairly well during its Black Friday sales event in spite of terrible economic conditions, claims Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. While Apple is said to have kept to its normal discounts, hovering between 5 and 10 percent, checks with distributors and retail are said to show evidence of "strong" traffic at Apple outlets. Third-party vendors are said to have contributed even further, making cuts of 11 to 13 percent, while sometimes bundling accessories or gift cards for iPod buyers.
Nokia Tablet Tip at UBS
Nokia could be developing a new, much larger portable device that sits above its Internet Tablets in features, a new research note by UBS analyst Maynard Um says. Where the existing N810 has just a 4.1-inch display, investigations by Um point to the existence of either a notebook or tablet with a 9- or 10-inch display and features that have never existed on an Nseries tablet, such as a touchpad for input, HDMI out, a secondary OLED screen and Near Field Communication (NFC) for very close-range wireless links.
MEDION intros secure PNDs
MEDION on Monday announced it is introducing three new personal navigation devices that use a fingerprint scanner for security and theft-deterrence. MEDION enlisted the help of AuthenTec to integrate its fingerprint sensors into the devices, which include the GoPal P5235, GoPal P5435 and GoPal X5535. Users can save up to five fingerprints using the small AES1510 fingerprint sensor used in millions of cellphones, which then allows them to log in and use each device. The feature ensures only authorized users can access the three devices, which are useless if stolen.
Nokia cancels 5MP handset
Nokia, the world's largest cellphone maker, is allegedly declining to bring an unnamed handset (pictured) to market due to low perceived demand. The stylish handset is similar in appearance to the Finnish phone maker's Prism line of phones, while its functions are nearly identical to the recently introduced but homelier looking 6260 slider. Like the 6260, the axed S40-based handset includes a 480x320 display, a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a GPS receiver and an integrated Wi-Fi module. The handset was reportedly due to cost about $300, which could be part of the reason most markets did not want to purchase the handset.
Simpsons parodies Apple
In its most recent episode, popular animated sitcom The Simpsons has parodied a variety of aspects of Apple culture, including its marketing, high prices and cult-like following. The plot sees the opening of the first Springfield Mapple store, stocked with products such as MyPhones and MyPods, and services such as the Brainiac Bar. Though Lisa finds she cannot afford even MyPhonies earbuds, by fluke circumstance she ends up with a MyPod, which in turn leads to her buying more music than she has the money for.
Verizon Drops Omnia Price
Verizon on Monday has already dropped the price on the Samsung Omnia less than a week after its introduction. Originally priced at $250 with a contract and a $70 rebate, the device will now cost $200 with the same discount and now almost matches the pricing of both the BlackBerry Storm as well as the iPhone 3G, which has an inferior two-megapixel camera but shares a similar 8GB of built-in storage, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi.
Nokia Phone Tomorrow
Nokia is planning to kick off its Nokia World 2008 expo with the launch of a new phone that could be its first high-end touchscreen device, Fast Company's Robert Scoble says. A Nokia executive tells the online reporter that a phone announcement scheduled for the show has been kept unusually well hidden and that outsiders have "no clue" as to what will be unveiled. Even within the company, only "a handful of people" have seen the finished product, the official insists.
Apple shipping discount
Following in the wake of its one-day Black Friday sale, Apple has posted another single-day special at the online Apple Store. For the duration of Monday only, all products at the store should be eligible for free shipping, regardless of expense. The deal is also not exclusive to the US, and applies to stores such as the ones in Canada, France and the United Kingdom.
Vista SP2 Due April
Microsoft's next and potentially last major update to Windows Vista is arriving by mid-spring, a reported source for TechARP claims. The historically accurate site is told that Vista Service Pack 2 should be sufficiently complete to reach release candidate status by February and to be finished by April, when it would be sent to manufacturing for DVD versions and prepared as a download for existing users.
Nokia in a low-key launch today rolled out the 2608. The clamshell targets the budget world but also claims a certain amount of fashion consciousness with a striped outer shell, deliberately angular edges and colors that include fuchsia as well as black and a two-tone black-on-white. It relies on an FM radio for music and touts features such as a built-in flashlight as well as basic support for web browsing and sending business information over SMS.
Nikon today launched its long-anticipated D3X as its new flagship digital SLR. As slipped by the company ahead of time, the new pro camera roughly doubles the sensor density to 24.5 megapixels and produces a native 6048x4032 picture -- enough to rival a medium-format camera in a handheld format, the company claims. The camera also adds 16-bit color processing for further image accuracy improvements over the 14-bit D3.
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