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Apple trademark win
Apple this week has won a trademark infringement lawsuit against a Chinese electronics company. New Apple Concept Digital Technology Co. was ordered to pay 400,000 yuan (~$58,000 USD), completing a battle between the two companies that began in 2006 when the Shenzhen-based manufacturer was ordered to stop using its trademark, according to China Central Television. New Apple Concept had used a logo that featured an apple with the characteristic missing bite.
iTouch becomes a phone
Truphone has launched a new VoIP application that enables an iPod touch to be used as a phone. If equipped with a microphone and headphones, the device can make phone calls to Google Talk or Skype users, another Truphone-enabled iPod touch, or certain Nokia handsets, from anywhere in the world where a Wi-Fi connection is available. Other features include instant messaging to Skype and MSN, along with the ability to check and set facilities for both Twitter and Facebook.
BIM Learning Studio
Graphisoft has released the BIM Learning Studio, a suite of learning tools that allows architects, architectural students, and other design professionals to experience building information modeling (BIM) as an alternative to standard CAD programs. The training tools guide the user through ArchiCAD 12, where they can view the modeling software as it is used to design the Massaro house, a project by Frank Lloyd Wright. An introductory guide to advanced modeling, advanced collaboration, and building creation methods is also included with the package.
Voice app for iPhone
Vlingo has launched a voice-based iPhone application that allows users to speak basic commands to call contacts, search the web, find maps, or send status updates to Facebook and Twitter. Yahoo and Google searches can be initiated simply by stating the command and search terms, such as "web search: concert tickets in Boston," for example. Users can mention a specific location, and Vlingo will provide a map that is populated with local listings.
iFund application error
Nearly 600 applications to the Kleiner Perkins iFund were mistakenly published on the web, including the startups' contact information, founder bios, business plans, demos and financial information. The blame for the mistake has fallen on Meteora Technologies Group, Kleiner Perkins' former hosting provider, according to TechCrunch. The SQL file containing the data had been indexed by Google and discovered by a Fruux staff member.
pdfToolbox Server 4
Callas software has released pdfToolbox 4 and pdfToolbox Server 4, the latest version of its PDF preflighting and automated correction tools. The updates are fully compliant with the latest Ghent PDF Workgroup standards. The server version can be used for fully-automated PDF correction, page manipulation, presentation preparation or imposition. The standard Adobe Acrobat plug-in version features enhanced metadata functionality, allowing the embedded information to be exported for creating custom reports in XML or tab delimited formats.
Stanza adds 40,000 titles
Stanza, a free book-reading app at the App Store, has added access to over 40,000 titles from Fictionwise. An agreement between Stanza creator Lexcycle and the eReader format backer was announced today, and will provide a Fictionwise Store within Stanza's Online Catalog. Purchases can be made within the app, and support resumed downloads. Past purchases are available on a bookshelf.
Adtec intros VGA projector
Japan's Adtec recently introduced its AD-MP15A liquid-crystal on silicone (LCoS) mobile projector good for resolutions of either 640x480 or 800x600 and a native aspect ratio of 4:3. Meant for quick, on-the-go presentations, its battery life is rated at 40 minutes. Brightness is rated at 15 lumens, while the contrast ratio is set at 200:1.
Denon universal BD player
Denon has recently shown off what it claims is the world's first truly high-end and universal Blu-ray player, the DVD-A1UD. Apart from the capability of playing Blu-ray and DVD video discs, the player also supports DVD Audio, SACD and standard DVDs and CDs. A built-in SDHC memory card will let users play files on the reusable media, with support for WMA, MP3 audio, DiVX 6 video and JPEG images. A built-in audio-restorer function improves the quality of compressed music. Denon's 4th-generaiton Link port promises integration with the company's amplifiers, including the AVP-A1HD and AVC-A1HD, as well as any future Denon products.
T-Mobile Shadow II at FCC
The previously leaked HTC Shadow II slider handset is that much closer to being available for purchase as it has just undergone testing at the FCC. The Shadow successor introduces the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system along with a faster CPU and a softened up, more rounded design. The FCC papers reveal the quad-band handset has a separate battery rating for GSM and UMA, the latter of which is GSM-to-WiFi call bridging made possible via T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service.
Comcast bandwidth tracker
Comcast will soon provide its subscribers with a tool to monitor how close they are to the 250GB cap imposed by the Internet service provider at the end of August. The online bandwidth meter will be available on January 5th, according to an anonymous tip, and will have a three-hour delay as opposed to real-time monitoring. The meter will retain up to three months of usage records and will allow users to monitor multiple MAC addresses.
FXhome ships PhotoKey 2
Developer FXhome says it has released PhotoKey 2, an updated version of its chromakey utility for photographers. Chromakey is the process of shooting against a green or blue background in order to isolate a subject, and post it into a different backdrop; PhotoKey handles both the extraction of a subject and its later insertion. Users can apply a variety of post-processing effects, such as light spill or color filters, and print in sizes up to 11x14" and resolutions as high as 400dpi. Alpha-channel information is saved for use in apps such as Photoshop.
Logitech billionth mouse
Logitech on Wednesday announced that is has shipped its one billionth mouse for personal computers, with the news coming, appropriately, one week ahead of the fortieth anniversary of the very first public demonstration of a computer mouse by Doug Engelbart. Logitech manufactured its first mouse prototype, the P4, back in 1982, and sold the first mouse in 1985. Back then, a mouse was mainly an interface device for CAD applications. The company believes its MX Air mouse and hybrid diNovo Mini keyboard are hints as to the type of products customers can expect from the company in the future.
Rogers gets HTC Diamond
Canada's Rogers wireless provider is now offering the HTC Touch Diamond to customers, becoming the first North American provider to carry a GSM version of the Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro handset. The Touch Diamond features HTC's signature TouchFLO 3D user interface for its 2.8-inch, 640x480 touchscreen, allowing users to personalize their main screen with commonly-used applications.
Samsung OLED displays
South Korea's Samsung will not bring OLED TVs to market anytime soon, says the company's Vice President in the Flat Panel Development division, HS Kim. The technology is currently considered too expensive, and customers would not pay the premium, as OLED sets would cost 10 times as much as equivalent LCD or plasma HDTVs, Kim says. As such, Samsung will hold off on releasing OLED TVs until the cost of the technology comes down to a level customers are willing to pay.
Promotional iPhone apps
Developers should now more easily be able to offer promotional copies of apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, reports say. Apple has enabled a system which, after an app has been approved for sale, allows developers to send free download codes to as many as 50 individuals. The codes can be redeemed within any current version of iTunes, though at present, downloaders must reside within the US.
MSI EX300 in US
MSI today added just its second E-series notebook to its US lineup through the EX300. The 13.3-inch system focuses on external design first with a colored, glossy outer shell and a lightweight alloy-based chassis that comes at just 4.5 pounds even with a larger capacity eight-cell battery. The system is also comparatively thin and measures less than 1.2 inches at its thickest point.
Tivo Says No Amazon HD Yet
TiVo has quickly silenced claims of HD Amazon videos coming to its DVRs by issuing a response to SlashGear. The electronics company claims that the appearance of a menu for HD content from Video on Demand was simply an example of "testing" interface options and wasn't an indication of any near-term plans. The link should already have been pulled, a spokesperson says, though the company doesn't explicitly deny any plans.
Liquid Defense game
Nuclear Nova Software has launched Liquid Defense, its latest puzzle game for the Mac. Players must work to eliminate all of the incoming water, gas and oil, while simultaneously managing limited resources. The game features 28 different levels, each presenting separate challenges and requiring a unique solution. 3D graphics are used throughout the boards, although gameplay remains two-dimensional.
FormSpring for iPhone
FormSpring has published an iPhone application that allows users to view, collect and search online FormSpring data whenever an Internet connection is available. Along with building complex searches that can be saved for repeated use, FormSpring can also be used to upload audio and images directly from the iPhone's microphone or camera to a form, or to tag each submission with GPS coordinates.
NVIDIA on Netbooks
NVIDIA is taking a cautious approach on netbooks and is unlikely to involve itself in that field anytime soon, company officials have said at the Credit Suisse technology conference. Company CFO Marv Burkett acknowledges that it could ultimately produce graphics chips and other hardware for the mini notebooks but is waiting for netbooks to "evolve" before taking any initial steps into the field, which was effectively born with the launch of the Eee PC 700 line late in 2007 and is just now gaining traction.
Monster Dr. Dre headphones
While Monster Cable hasn't yet officially announced the in-ear version of its Beats by Dr. Dre, the rapper-influenced headphones have appeared at the Apple Store. The design makes use of a unique, nearly 4-foot long flat cable that features a Duraflex jacket claimed to be tangle- and knot-free. The headphones deliver sound with a low-mass, wide bandwidth driver and also include three pairs of eartips as well as two pairs of triple-layer flanged tips, dubbed Airlocks, for more customizable sound insulation.
iScrapBox 1.0 ships
Chronos has launched iScrapBox 1.0, an artwork management program for digital scrapbookers. The software allow users to browse collections, called iScrapKits, and then launch the image or artwork into a scrapbook application like iScrapbook or into Photoshop for editing. iScrapBox supports click-to-purchase buying of iScrapKits on iScarpbook.com and has numerous searching features for finding specific art. It can search images and kits based on keywords assigned to the art, search for dominant or secondary colors in the artwork and can filter images by artist, image type and color.
T-Mob. cuts G1 price in UK
The UK division of T-Mobile has slashed prices on the Android-based G1 smartphone, an announcement reveals. People should now be able to get the phone for free when signing up for a £30-per-month contract; previously, the G1 could only be had for free with a £40 tariff plan. Though the company is not providing an automatic discount to earlier customers, it is offering to switch people over to the cheaper plan.
Keep Your Word, EasyBatch
OnMyCommand 2.1 (free) is the latest version of Abracode's "contextual menu command line instruction executor" for Mac OS X. Users can add their favorite commands to a master list, and execute them via a universal contextual menu at any time. Version 2.1 features a new progress dialog which allows users to translate command output text into GUI progress and also features support for my controls in custom Cocoa dialogs. Support for PowerPC G3 has been added again after being lost in version 2.0. [Download - 5MB]
QuickerTek to ship charger
QuickerTek has announced a new External Battery Charger for Apple products with 30-pin connectors. The charger works with iPods using the aforementioned connector, the iPhone 3G and iPod touch. It expands the iPod's runtimes with up to 30 additional hours of music, six hours of video or three hours of talk time on the iPhone. The battery gets a charge through a retractable USB cable and it can charge an iPod as it is charged.
Amazon MP3 for UK
Amazon today in a low-key rollout introduced Amazon MP3 for UK, its first non-US version of its online download store. The British version follows the same approach as the US store and lets users buy unprotected songs and albums that can be used with any device and, through a sync app, can automatically transfer to iTunes or Windows Media Player.
Widespread iPod shortage?
iPods are becoming increasingly difficult to find in the wake of last week's Black Friday sales, says Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. Immediately following the sales, the only vendor to report any shortages was Amazon, which lengthened its lead times to 11 days for the 8GB iPod touch, and three to five weeks for the 16GB player. The company's situation has since been made even worse however, with 8GB lead times matching those of the 16GB model, making it virtually impossible to buy an 8GB player in time for Christmas.
Windows 7 Beta in January
Despite only having been publicly unveiled in late October, Windows 7 should already be in its first readily available beta version just after the start of the year, Technet's Keith Combs has confirmed. Manufactured DVDs of Windows 7 Beta 1 should be available to attendees of Microsoft's Developers Conference from January 13th onwards, suggesting the company will have the test operating system completed even sooner into 2009. Attendees at the Chicago and Minneapolis conferences will be the first to receive a copy at the show, though visitors to the earlier events should also have copies as well.
HD Log 6.0 update
Imagine Products has launched HD Log 6.0, an update to its media-file customization and management program. The latest version supports the Panasonic AVC-Intra codec, for encoding of 10-bit independent-frame HD video at data rates up to 100Mbps. Media offloading functions have also been added, making it possible to copy any type of cards or discs to up to three locations without losing speed. The software further allows simultaneous offloading from multiple sources, with support for Panasonic P2 and AVCHD cards, Sony SxS, RED ONE, and more.
ASUS Eee Box B204 and B206
ASUS today sought the edge in the burgeoning field of nettops by launching two new Eee Box models. Both the B204 and B206 are some of the first nettops to have dedicated graphics hardware and use a Radeon HD 3400 to offload most of the work of decoding HD video and turn the PC into a budget home theater. The new hardware also gives the Eee Box HDMI output to connect it to HDTVs and is preloaded with the same Eee Cinema software from the Eee Top to provide a media front end for the HD video now accessible through the mini desktops.
2008 App Store downloads
Using iTunes as the vehicle, Apple has posted a ranking of the most popular App Store downloads of 2008. The leading paid app was The Blimp Pilots' Koi Pond, which attempts to calm users with a small pool of virtual fish. Behind this was Sega's more elaborate Super Monkey Ball, which has players race across increasingly treacherous terrain. The remaining apps in the paid top 10 are Pocket Guitar, allRadio, iChalky, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D, Moto Chaser, Texas Hold'em, Cro-Mag Rally and Air Hockey.
TiVo Amazon HD
TiVo users should soon have the option of watching Amazon's Video on Demand service in HD, according to early reports. Technology reporter Rich DeMuro has noted the existence of a currently inactive menu item that would let TiVo owners specifically browse parts of Amazon's catalog that are available in HD, revealing both the existence of Amazon HD video in any form as well as its spread to DVRs.
RSPlug.E Trojan manifests
A third variant of the RSPlug Trojan has appeared online, says security firm Intego. Following in the wake of the RSPlug.D version, Intego notes that another mutant copy called RSPlug.E has appeared. The new Trojan is said to be very similar in scope to D, being mainly found on dubious pornography sites, and equipped with a downloader that installs files from a remote server.
RIM Warns on Q3 2008 Subs
Research in Motion late Tuesday warned that it expects the number of new subscribers to its BlackBerry push e-mail service to fall significantly below its original estimates. The Canadian smartphone company now expects to add just 2.6 million users instead of the originally predicted 2.9 million and also expects its earnings per share and gross margins to drop as a result. The company blames the dip both on the later launches of phones like the Bold for AT&T and the multi-carrier release of the Storm.
Hynix 2Gb Mobile RAM
Hynix on Wednesday boosted its Mobile Memory line and said it has developed the world's first two gigabit (256 megabyte) mobile RAM chip. The use of a smaller 54 nanometer manufacturing process has let the company double its previous best capacity while also improving the performance over past chips. Bandwidth for the outside world has been stepped up to 400 megabits per second, while the chip can process 1.6 gigabytes per second internally.
HTC Buys One and Co
HTC today revealed that it will buy American design house One & Company for an undisclosed amount. The move makes permanent a collaboration that started with the Touch Diamond and should see One & Company become HTC's regular designer for its smartphones in the future. Most of HTC's newest Touch series phones already draw on the US firm's influence, including the MAX 4G and Touch HD.
Rise of Atlantis for Mac
Playrix Entertainment has launched The Rise of Atlantis, puzzle game where players attempt to raise the sunken land of Atlantis back to the surface. Users will have to beat 77 levels with the help of earned power-ups and bonuses while questing around the lands of Greece, Troy, Phoenicia, Babylon, Egypt, Carthage and Rome to gather the seven powers of the patron god of Atlanteans. The game also comes with an animated Atlantis 3D Screensaver.
Anti-virus page removed
Apple has removed a support document that "encouraged" users to install anti-virus software on their Macs, saying that it was old and an inaccurate. After new reports revealed that the document had been around for at least two years, the company removed the document saying it the Mac already has technologies to protect users from viruses: "We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate," Apple spokesman Bill Evans, told Macworld. "The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box.” The representative, however, did say that running anti-virus software may offer additional protection.
Eltima Software has released SyncMate 1.4, an update to its synchronization program that enables information to be shared between Macs and pocket PCs or smartphones. New features include a mail plug-in that allows users to sync mail between a computer and mobile device, and a to-do plug-in to synchronize tasks scheduled in calendars. The update also offers an improved interface and several bug fixes.
App Store promo codes
Apple is now offering developers the ability to offer free or promotional versions of their iPhone apps. The company has enabled up to 50 promotional codes for each application, enabling developers to offer free copies of the apps for review, testing, or promotional giveaways. Until now, companies had been forced to offer iTunes gift certificates or use ad-hoc (private) distribution methods to offer users free (but authenticated) versions of their software. According to report by MacRumors, the codes be used to download a full copy of the application for free -- but can only be used in the U.S. (thus far) -- via a "Redeem" link at the iTunes Store.
RED EPIC X bundle
Camera-maker RED has detailed the specifications of its upcoming EPIC X bundle, and outlined pricing information for the basic Scarlet kit with an 8X optical lens. The EPIC X package, built on the 30mm by 15mm S35 sensor, will include a CF recording module, I/O module and battery module, bundled in a package that carries the same $28800 price tag as the sensor alone. As a bonus, the X package data-rates will be higher than the individually-purchased EPIC S35, featuring REDCODE 250 instead of REDCODE 225.
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