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Pandora's Pests for Mac
Koingo Software has announced its latest arcade game, Pandora's Pest. The game takes place in three settings: a desert resort, a home and an infested swamp, where players must battle through a scorpion den, wasps' nest and ant infestation to reach the final challenge of destroying Pandora's box. As more bugs are destroyed new weapons and skills become available.
Philips media players
Philips has announced the latest GoGear line-up for its digital audio players, the Raga, Spark, and LUXE. Features for the Raga include a 2GB or 4GB flash storage, a tiny multi-line display, and roughly 27 hours of battery life. The spark offers a 1.5-inch OLED color screen capable of displaying album art or photos, and navigation style similar to a clix media player. For the LUXE, Bluetooth 2.1 functionality and FM stereo are offered, along with up to 10-hours of playback time and 100 hours in standby. If a BT-enabled phone is nearby and paired up with the LUXE, calls can now be answered without having to swap out headphones.
IdeaPad S9 US release
Several retailers are now offering the Lenovo IdeaPad S9 in the United States. The manufacturer had previously shipped the model only to other countries, while offering the slightly larger IdeaPad S10 in the domestic market. The netbook runs on the Linpus Linux Lite operating system and features a 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor, GMA 950 graphics processor, 4GB solid-state drive and 512MB of DDR2 memory. The 8.9-inch display offers a resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels. The device also provides built-in 802.11b/g support, an ExpressCard slot, media card reader and web camera.
Macworld 2010 still on
Despite Apple's announcement that it will not exhibit at Macworld after 2009, IDG will continue to hold the conference through 2010 and beyond. Paul Kent, vice president and general manager of the expo, has expressed disappointment for the computer-maker's decision but provided reassurance that the changes would not put an end to the event. "We look forward to many more successful years of Macworld to come," he said.
Sonnet Technologies has unveiled the DX800RAID, an eight-bay SATA storage system with an integrated Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) expander that can be used to connect up to 16 individual eight-drive enclosures to a single RAID controller. The new system supports RAID 5 and RAID 6, protecting against data-loss if one or two drives fail. The company claims read speeds of up to 680MB per second and write speeds of up to 640MB per second.
Apple deals: refurb iPods
Apple's online store is offering a variety of refurbished iPods at reduced prices. Three iPod touch models are featured; the 8GB model for $179, the 16GB model for $219 and the 32GB model for $319. Two iPod shuffle models are also available; the 1GB model is $39 and the 2GB model is priced at $59, both models come in purple, silver green and blue. 8GB iPod nanos are priced at $99 and come in green, blue, silver, and black. Lastly is the 160GB iPod classic priced at $249 and is available in black or silver. Other refurbished items include the 40GB Apple TV for $199, the wireless keyboard for $69, AirPort Express base station for $79 and the MacBook Air external SuperDrive for $79.
iPhones at German univ
The University of Cologne has considered a purchase of 45,000 iPhones, one for each student attending the school, according to MacNotes.de. André Bresges, a physics professor, explored the idea of using new tools to enhance the teaching experience. The devices could help students organize their time or stay in touch with teachers. iPhone apps could also be used, possibly for live polls in class or for prioritizing terms that a large number of students would like the professor to explain again.
DealNN: Blu-ray disks
There is currently a wide selection of discounted products ranging from Blu-ray disks and HDTVs to iPods and MacBooks at DealNN. For today only get a two for one deal on the SanDisk Cruzer 2GB ReadyBoost flash drive, priced at $16.99 from RadioShack. J&R.com has holiday pricing on Blu-ray disks starting at $9.99. The brand new Westinghouse 47-inch LCD HDTV has been reduced to $799.99 at SecondAct.com. The refurbished 4GB iPod nano is available at eCost.com for $84. Right now the Apple store is offering the refurbished 17-inch, 2.5GHz MacBook Pro for $1999.
AudioRefurb for Mac
JS8 Media has launched its audio enhancement and filtering application, AudioRefurb. Programmed to allow improvements and alterations to audio files using a 31-band graphic equalizer, both effects and filters can be applied including distortion, delay, reverb, and bandpass. The finished product can be exported as new audio files ready to work on an iPod. Many of the presets for audio controls and effects are pre-configured with the options of adding and saving desired ones.
Apple done with Macworld
Apple today announced that it will no longer exhibit at the Macworld Expo after the January 2009 event. Not only is the company pulling its presence from the show floor, but also from the keynote address. Many of the attendees that paid nearly $2000 for keynote priority seating may be disappointed to find out that Steve Jobs will not be giving the final keynote address. The senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, Philip Schiller, will speak to the crowd instead.
Hercules DJ Control Steel
Hercules on Tuesday announced the upcoming availability of its DJ Control Steel digital dual mixing deck. The portable deck is powered by a computer's USB port and supports AIFF, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG and audio CD formats. The included Virtual DJ 5 DJC edition software allows direct access to iTunes playlists. The deck has MIDI control capabilities, and two mixing decks with equalizer and volume knobs. A pair of jog wheels has adjustable resistance, and there are 13 rotary switches and six faders with one general volume fader. Of the 46 pushbuttons, five serve to introduce effects while six are kill buttons.
SanDisk, Toshiba Flash
Toshiba and manufacturing partner SanDisk on Tuesday announced they will cut production of NAND flash memory by 30 percent starting in January due to the global economic slowdown. With more production than there is demand, prices for the semiconductors have shrunk, with Toshiba's earnings suffering in the first half of the fiscal year. Before prices go back up, however, inventories need to be cleared out, investors say; the process is expected to prove difficult as demand is weak. Toshiba is not clear on how long the production cuts will last, or how they will affect its workforce.
Lenovo OPhone specs leaked
Some basic specifications have emerged on the still-unnamed Lenovo handset and is due to use Google's Android operating system. The touchscreen handset is now known to sport a five-megapixel camera with autofocus, flash and video-recording capabilities. While it's not yet clear if or how much onboard memory is present, the handset will have a microSD memory card slot for expansion. The previously guessed at input method will consist of an English/Chinese virtual keyboard. Bluetooth 2.0 will be integrated as well.
Scripta iPod-notebook case
Scripta has released the iPod-notebook, a small hard-case notebook with a compartment used to transport and protect an iPod. The holder for iPods is located inside the rear cover of the notebook, and secures devices with molded foam. Also built-in is an opening at the bottom of the holder, enabling users to plug in headphones and listen while the notebook is closed.
BlackJack II tops CR list
BlackJack II tops Consumer Reports rankings Consumer Reports has published ratings of new smartphones, cellphones and US wireless carriers in their January 2009 issue, giving the highest honors in the smarthphone category to the Samsung BlackJack II. The second highest rated phone was the T-Mobile Wing, followed by the Motorola Q9C, T-Mobile Shadow and BlackBerry Pearl Flip. Just two point behind the Flip, at 61, was the iPhone 3G and T-Mobile G1, tied at 61. The latest round of Consumer Reports ratings did not include the BlackBerry Bold or Storm, however, nor the Samsung Omnia or any version of the HTC Pro handset.
Widget Channel gear at CES
Computer chipmaker Intel announced on Monday that it will show devices at the CES show that will bring Internet-connected applications to users' TVs, according to a Monday report. The prototypes may come in the form of digital set-top boxes and will allow users to chat with friends or buy advertised products. The gadgets will work in conjunction with the previously announced Widget Channel software Intel is developing together with Yahoo.
Mariner posts Contour 1.0
Mariner Software is shipping the first version of Contour, a new tool for screenwriters. Unlike other such tools from the company, Contour is intended not for the writing itself but for initial story development. The software operates on a fill-in-the-blank motif, and guides users from forming initial plot and character ideas to a final outline.
Epson intros nettop HTPC
Epson has unveiled a new addition to its desktop PC Endeavor line with the ST120 on Tuesday. It uses the same compact footprint of nearly 7.7 by 7.3 by 3 inches of the other ST100-series nettops, or slightly larger than a Mac mini. Unlike the Apple product, the ST120 sports a Blu-ray disc recorder and is powered by a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor along with 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive and an integrated Intel GM45 Express graphics processor. It sports an HDMI output and has a digital HD tuner in the form of the MonsterTV HDUS.
Dell Mini 12 Linux
Dell on Tuesday quietly expanded its options for the Inspiron Mini 12 with Linux and XP options. The new trim levels let the PC maker provide both an open-source alternative as well as offer a significantly better-performing alternative to the original, which was previously forced to use Windows Vista. The Linux version also lasts longer and runs for up to six hours despite using the same three-cell battery as the XP system.
Motorola shows i9 handset
Motorola on Monday revealed official photos of the previously spotted i9 handset at the FCC. The CDMA/iDEN handset allows Sprint subscribers to use the provider's push-to-talk service but is separated from other Motorola PTT-capable phones by its 3.1-megapixel camera instead of a 1.3MP shooter. It has similar controls to the cell phone maker's ROKR E8 device that switch functions depending on if the phone is in music or talk modes and its orientation.
IE7 Zero-Day Exploit
A new and previously undiscovered vulnerability in Internet Explorer 7 has triggered warnings to at least temporarily avoid the browser until it can be fixed. The exploit, which takes advantage of the browser's data binding feature to create a memory hole, is unique to Microsoft's code and potentially dangerous due to its usability over the web. A maliciously formed website can use the exploit to steal private data or otherwise compromise the system; some benign websites have been turned hostile using the exploit and other vulnerabilities, the company says.
Iron Man for iPhone, iPod
Paramount Digital Entertainment has launched Iron Man: Aerial Assault for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed as an airborne shooter, players take Tony Stark and his armored suit through 12 different levels, while gaining flying and shooting skills. Featuring a variety of weapons including repulsors, lasers, missiles and the unibeam, the game also has players battle various enemies in a series of quick-time melee combat events.
Needham on Nov. sales
Needham & Co. is maintaining a strong buy rating on Apple stock, favoring what it calls Apple's underlying fundamentals over predicted softer sales in December. Market research firm NPD's data shows a slowing of Mac sales for the December quarter, with November sales falling 1 percent after a 28 percent rise in October. Desktop sales were off in November by 35 percent, but notebooks increased in balance.
MvixPVR for home theater
Mvix has recently and quietly introduced a new multi-functional device to complement home theater set-ups, the MvixPVR. It combines personal video recorder capabilities with media server functionality and has a dock for iPods. The MvicPVR can play back 1080p high-definition video, will upconvert standard-def signals and supports 5.1-channel digital surround sound set-ups. It has an HDMI input and output, in addition to standard RCAs and components as well as USB 2.0 port that allows users to connect external drives or digital cameras to play back their content. The device itself can be connected to PCs like an external drive.
I Love Katamari for iPhone
Namco has debuted I Love Katamari , an action game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Players must replace stars that have been accidentally knocked out of the sky by the King of All Cosmos; equipped with a katamari ball, users tilt their handheld to roll up various objects and increase the size of the ball, which in turn allows for larger items to be added. The game features several different modes, including story, time attack, exact-size challenge and external modes, the last of which lets players roll at their own pace without time or size limits.
iPhone gets Kodak Gallery
Kodak has released its new app for the iPhone, the Kodak Gallery iPhone App. It gives Kodak Gallery subscribers anytime access to their online galleries and supports uploading photos taken by the iPhone. Users can browse photos, play back slideshows, or view random images with the shake-it-up feature and the app supports sharing photos from the iPhone's contact list. Tapping, zooming and tilting functions are supported as well.
BBerry Curve 8320 at ATT
AT&T this afternoon made a late addition to its phone roster and launched its version of the BlackBerry Curve 8320. The handset replaces the GPS of the 8310 with Wi-Fi to provide faster Internet access than the phone's EDGE cellular link can offer. The American provider's version doesn't provide support for Wi-Fi calls as with Rogers or T-Mobile but is instead pushed as a way of getting free Internet access at AT&T's local and international hotspots.
XFX, AMD announce team-up
PINE announced on Tuesday that its graphics division, XFX, is partnering with AMD to offer ATI Radeon-powered graphics cards, including the company's HD 4000-series GPUs. Up until now, XFX only offered NVIDIA-based graphics cards, but it's believed NVIDIA's recent GPU quality issues and the price cuts on its GTX line of cards are what's causing many graphics card makers to turn elsewhere to restore their margins.
First Look: Little Snapper
When viewing webpages or programs on your Mac, you may want to capture some of the images to view later. Fortunately, every Mac lets you capture all or part of a screen image using one of the following commands:
Command-Shift-3: Saves a screenshot of the entire screen as a file on the desktop
Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Saves a screenshot of an area as a file on the desktop
Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Saves a screenshot of a window as a file on the desktop
Command-Control-Shift-3: Copies a screenshot of the screen to the clipboard
Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Copies a screenshot of an area to the clipboard
Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Copies a screenshot of a window to the clipboard
Sony PSP-4000, PSP2
Sony is working to develop two more updates to its PSP gaming handheld, according to anonymous sources at game publishers. Following the launch of the PSP-3000, a minor update which introduced a microphone and a better LCD, Sony is said to have turned towards making the PSP-4000, expected to ship in late 2009. Any changes scheduled for the hardware are unknown, and Sony has so far refused to confirm or deny any plans.
Dell Green Packaging
Dell today fought to regain a reputation as one of the most eco-friendly PC builders by launching a new effort to reduce the impact of its packaging. The company hopes to reduce the total amount of boxing and other material it uses by about 20 million pounds, or the financial equivalent of $8 million, from now through 2012. Computers in particular should drop about 10 percent of their packing material and will have as much as three quarters of their packaging made recyclable over the same four-year period.
aLunch 3.6 (free) is an application launcher that is accessed from the menubar. The applications contained within it can be organized to make finding items quick and logical. In version 3.6 when a folder is registered into the launcher widow, the function which displays a hierarchical menu by right-clicking is added. The new version also has received slight performance optimizations. [Download - 1.1MB]
Mac OS X 10.5.6 crashes
Some users attempting to download and install the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update are are running into critical errors, discussions on Apple's support forums reveal. The most common problem consists of crashing or hanging, whether in the middle of an install or immediately thereafter. The crashes may be accompanied by kernel panics, though the contents of these panics can vary.
miniDP to HDMI adapter
The latest MacBooks, MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs equipped with Apple's proprietary Mini DisplayPort connection as the sole video output to connect to HDTVs and computer monitors with HDMI ports with one adapter, courtesy of MonoPrice.com. The adapter is expected to become available late next month at the earliest. Thus far, the only way to hook up the MDP-equipped Apple notebooks to any external displays is via adapters offered by Apple, but those are limited to VGA or DVI connections rather than full-size DisplayPort or
Maxprog updates iCash 5.0
Maxprog has launched the latest update to its personal finance and money manager software, iCash 5.0. The application is designed to control and keep track of incomes, expenses, credits, debits and bank transactions. New features include the ability to merge accounts, categories and contacts, edit multiple transactions at once, and allowing users to view scheduled transactions in the transaction panel. The recent documents window is now called file manager, listing all the files currently being worked on, and offers delete or duplicate options. Also added is a project manager to enable the deletion or re-naming of a project, along with payment summery and general ledger reports,
V Low Cost Netbook HDDs
Hard drive manufacturers are in the midst of developing 2.5-inch hard drives inexpensive enough to easily be used with netbooks and other budget notebooks, say unnamed storagy industry contacts. Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital at a minimum are all said to be developing drives that would cost between 40 and 50 percent less than many existing netbook drives, which cost up to $45 and take up a disproportionately large percentage of the final cost of systems that themselves often cost approximately $400.
Apple financials examined
Shaw Wu of the Kaufman Brothers has updated estimates of Apple's December quarter, Rating Apple stock a buy with a favorable risk-reward balance. Wu's estimates have seen little movement, with a more conservative approach on iPods, but assuming a higher average sales price (ASP). Expectation are of reductions in the strong European iPhone sales, primarily due to iPhone gift cards; many won't be activated between Christmas and New Year's, moving the profits to the March quarter.
HolidayFrames, Moo Shake
ACTCurrency (Universal Currency Converter) ($1) is a universal currency converter that retrieves daily exchange rates for over 190 world currencies. The app also includes options for adding additional currencies but these have to be updated manually. The app performs calculations as you type and also converts the value two ways. This allows one to see both how much something would cost in their home country and how their domestic currency converts into the foreign currency.
VUDU RIA Platform
VUDU today staked out a potential edge in networked media hubs on Tuesday by launching a new platform specifically tailored to normally web-oriented services. The RIA (Rich Internet Application) standard lets developers write and users download add-ons that convert web games, photo and video services into a native program for the VUDU Box rather than have to use a special web browser or make special arrangements for app development. The implementation will make it relatively straightforward to integrate web content while still having a "lean-back" interface with remote control, the company explains.
VueScan 8.5 updates free
Hamrick Software is celebrating 10 years of its VueScan scanning software by offering its v8.5 update free to all previous VueScan owners. The 8.5 update has over 600 improvements and supports 750 scanners on the Mac platform. Some of the recent v8.5 features include support for multi-core processors, skew correction and multi-page documents. The multi-core support speeds up scans and, in particular, cuts down on infrared cleaning, grain reduction and descreening times.
AIM 1.0 for Mac launched
AOL has released AIM for Mac 1.0, adding features from the PC version of its instant messaging service, as well as new abilities. AIM 1.0 also forms a part of the just-released AOL Desktop for Mac 1.5 update, which features improved parental controls. Available as a stand-alone application, AIM now includes expressions and one-click e-mail support, plus the previously PC-only file transfers, friendly names and tabbed IM conversations. Users can select buddy sounds, wallpapers and animated buddy icons, and finally take advantage of Apple's VoiceOver feature.
Mac mini Macworld Rumor
Apple is preparing an update to the Mac mini that would launch at Macworld Expo, says a rumor floated by Wired late Monday. The magazine claims to have been contacted by a non-retail Apple employee who says the miniature desktop will be unveiled at the start of the event but allegedly declines to mention more for fear of being identified as a source. Apple itself hasn't commented on the subject and has only said that there would be no new hardware in 2008.
iPhone 3G unlock by Jan.
The iPhone Dev Team has announced that its long-awaited software unlock for the iPhone 3G should be released on New Year's Eve. The unlock has been completed, and is currently being packaged into a user-friendly application, expected to be no more complicated than other iPhone hacking applications such as QuickPwn and BootNeuter.
Recession hits Mac sales
The current recession is beginning to harm Apple's US sales, writes the NPD Group. The research firm notes that in tracking November sales of Macs, numbers actually declined 1 percent year-over-year, while the computer industry as a whole grew 2 percent. Apple has generally seen continuous growth in recent years, and the trend was poised to continue until the development of the credit crisis in September.
NVIDIA GT 300 Leak
NVIDIA's launch of the GTX 285 and 295 next month will be quickly followed up by a new generation card just weeks later, claim video card makers. The GTX 300 series will reportedly be launched sometime in the first quarter of 2009, or before the end of March. Most details of the first cards are unknown, though they will allegedly share the same 55 nanometer manufacturing process that will let the chipsets run faster and potentially cooler.
Palm Software Store
Palm late yesterday signaled the surprise launch of the Palm Software Store, its own take on OS-native stores such as Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market. The store is divided into familiar categories for entertainment and productivity apps but is uniquely cross-platform; a similar interface is available both for Palm OS devices such as the Centro as well as the company's Windows Mobile-based Treo models. Free apps are given their own section independent of category.
NVIDIA explains lead-bumps
Owners of the latest generation of MacBook Pros may not face the same defects in the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M chip that were prevalent in past models. The Tech Report has found that the Inquirer missed a small but important detail. The high-lead bumps used in the GPU silicon and substrate are present in the new MacBook Pros; however, NVIDIA claims there is nothing inherently wrong with the bumps themselves, and that they are used throughout the industry without problems. NVIDIA claims the problems with recent chip failures were due to a combination of errors, not specifically the lead bumps.
Photoshop Lightroom 2.2
Adobe has released an update to its Photoshop Lightroom software for organizing and managing photos. Photoshop Lightroom 2.2 adds raw support for seven new camera models including the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon PowerShot G10. The update also includes several refinements such as enhanced performance of the local adjustment tools. In addition, the company said that its Camera Profiles are now available natively within Lightroom 2.2 and are provided automatically as part of this release. As the visual starting point for the raw processing workflow, camera profiles provide flexibility that allows photographers to quickly achieve their desired rendering.
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