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ABIT to close
Component manufacturer ABIT is set to cease operations on December 31st, according to TweakTown. The company gained notoriety and success in the early 1990s for producing motherboards that were preferred by many overclocking enthusiasts. The components offered Softmenu jumperless technology that allowed CPU configurations to be adjusted from the BIOS. The development lead to the integration of a chip onto ABIT motherboards that allowed adjustments to be made while the operating system was running.
Apple TV infringement suit
In Apple's latest legal battle, a wireless-entertainment company has sued the computer-maker for patent infringement, according to InformationWeek. EZ4Media submitted the filings to a Louisiana court, claiming that Apple TV, Airport Express, and even Mac computers infringe on a number of its patents. The company had originally purchased the patents from Universal Electronics (UEI) in March and alleges that three UEI employees left to work for Apple approximately a year before the launch of Apple TV.
Samson USB Go Mic
Audio company Samson Technologies has announced its latest USB microphone, the Go Mic. The device can be attached to a notebook computer via a built-in mount, or placed standalone on its base that allows a range of orientation adjustments. The condenser mic touts a frequency response of 20Hz to 18kHz, with a selectable cardoid or omni-directional polar recording patterns. When not in use, the head folds into the base for storage or transportation.
Keynote Backgrounds FX 3.0
Jumsoft has announced Keynote Backgrounds FX 3.0, the latest update to its package of motion backgrounds for Keynote presentations. The release adds 10 new backgrounds to the previous set of 16. The content can also be used as screen savers or configured to run on a continuous loop. Seven themes are offered including water, wood-fiber, redsmoke, brushstroke, cells, ocean vivacity and autumn tune.
Walmart iPhone ads
A day after the leak of alleged internal Walmart memo detailing its iPhone 3G launch, an image has surfaced that suggests the company has begun marketing the device ahead of schedule, according to AppleInsider. The poster appears to be wrapped around an anti-theft sensor and reads simply "iPhone 3G. Now at Walmart." The memo suggested that a pilot program would allow Wal-Mart employees to purchase the phones at 488 stores.
abcSAN's Macworld launch
Small Tree Communications has announced its abcSAN shared storage disk, launching at Macworld 2009 in January. The new SAN (storage area network) disk is a member of Small Tree's GraniteSTOR family, an iSCSI-based Ethernet-attached unit capable of over 600MB-per-second speeds. The disk array arrives with a user interface that features a one-pane window for managing RAID sets, volumes and shares. It can be set up as a SAN or network-attached storage, with 4 and 16 drive configuration to be offered.
Aperture, iPhoto, TrackPad
Apple has released the latest updates to its Multi-Touch Trackpad, designed for users running windows XP and Vista1.0 on a Mac using Boot Camp, and its Digital Camera Raw Compatibility 2.1. Features for the Trackpad are improved responsiveness and performance with MacBook Air, Macbook 13-inch, and MacBook Pro 15-inch. The Digital Camera Raw Compatibility software offers improved RAW compatibility for Aperture 2 and iPhoto 08 with various cameras, including Canon PowerShot G10 and EOS 5D Mark 2, Pentax K2000/K-m, Leaf Aptus-II 6/7, Leaf AFi-II 6/7, and Leica M8.2.
Palm quarterly financials
Smartphone-maker Palm has reported dismal results for smartphone shipments in the second fiscal quarter of 2009, with overall distribution of less than 600,000 units, 13 percent below last year's quarter. The company took a harder hit with its smartphone revenue of $171 million, marking a decrease of 39-percent year over year. The numbers also indicated a loss of $97.7 million before income tax provisions, and a gross profit decrease of over 60 percent. "We're working through an undeniably difficult period," said Ed Colligan, president and CEO.
Holiday deals: electronics
Its not too late to take advantage of great holiday savings from online retailers. Buy.com has a variety of products including the Kodak pocket HD video camera for $142.99 after mail in rebate, the Kensington SlimBlade media mouse for $15.99 after rebate, and the Kingston 4GB DataTraveler for $8.94 after rebate, in addition Buy is offering $10 off an order of $200 or more until December 31st. CircuitCity.com has reduced the price on select Guitar Hero bundles, plus save up to 47% on games.
iLuv 2.1-channel speakers
Portable speaker and radio maker iLuv on Wednesday introduced its iSP200 speaker bar meant to work with laptop and desktop computers. The speaker bar integrates two magnetically-shielded and detachable speakers and one subwoofer into one bar-shaped enclosure, and is rated at 32W RMS of power. It also acts as a USB hub, offering three more USB 2.0 ports.
Holiday Apple deals
Time is running out to take advantage of holiday pricing on Apple products from online retailers. MacMall's "Last Chance Holiday Apple Super Sale" includes deals on MacBooks priced as low as $919.98 (after mail in rebate) as well as iMacs, the Mac mini and Mac Pro, plus get FREE Parallels software, and Epson printer (after mail in rebates) with any Mac purchase. A wide selection of iPods and iPod accessories are featured at J&R.com, such as the new 8GB iPod nano for $139.88, and the Polk Audio miDock iPod speaker system for $49.95.
MS quick to fix IE7 bug
Microsoft is being praised by industry professionals for already releasing a fix for what it itself calls a critical security flaw in its Internet Explorer 7 Internet browser. The patch addresses a flaw in the data-binding function of 5.01, 6, 7 and 8 Beta 2 versions of the popular web browser. It was at first believed only IE7 was affected, but research revealed all currently available versions of the browser have the issue.
Geekbench 2.1 update
Primate Labs has upgraded its performance tracking software, Geekbench 2.1, with improvements designed to make the app more approachable to first-time users. The benchmark results view is said to have been overhauled, making scoring the visual focus, and easier to decipher. The Result Browser has had the same improvements, for tracking performance against past tests. Version 2.1 also adds offline result submissions, better benchmark accuracy for virtual machines, and improved timing code on software-overclocked systems.
Parrot iPod speakers
Parrot on Wednesday announced it will soon release its Zikmu wireless speakers for iPods and iPhones, which it has developed in conjunction with designer Philippe Starck. One of the 2.5-foot high freestanding columns has an iPod dock that will charge compatible Apple devices, including the original and iPhone 3G, and use it as the source for audio files. This main tower then sends the audio files to its near twin over Bluetooth, which is also used to play tracks from other compatible and paired cellphones or personal media players. A Wi-Fi connection allows the columns to play music from nearby computers connected to a wireless data network.
RIM Q3 2008 Results
Research in Motion tonight reported surprise news of a positive fall quarter. The company says it generated a record $2.8 billion in revenue over the period between September and November, representing a significant 7.9 percent boost over the summer and a significant 66.3 percent spike over the same period a year earlier. BlackBerry sales made the launch one of the company's "best ever" starts to the holidays and saw 6.7 million units shipped due largely to multiple important phone introductions, including the Bold, Curve 8900, Pearl Flip, and Storm.
12seconds for iPhone
For reasons known only to Apple, the iPhone SDK does not include tools to build video recording apps. Developers at 12seconds, however, claim to have come up with a workaround that lets users make their own video slideshows and post them on the company's website. The 12seconds app lets users capture three pictures, or select three from their photo album, and record a 12-second soundtrack. The raw materials are uploaded to the company's site, where they are automatically assembled into short movies, complete with randomly-chosen special effects such as pans and zooms. Videos can be shared on MySpace and other social networking sites.
iPlayer for Mac and Linux
The BBC has announced that the iPlayer Desktop will soon be brought to the Mac and Linux platforms. The upcoming player adds the ability to download content that can be viewed for up to 30 days, in addition to the streaming functionality that has been available on the current version. The broadcasting company has worked with Adobe to develop the update, integrating its AIR technology that will allow applications to be to be downloaded to the user's computer instead of just working with browser-based Flash presentations.
OCZ intros Flex EX memory
Computer memory maker OCZ on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of its Flex EX memory modules, available in DDR2 and DDR3 speeds. Initially, OCZ will offer 4GB bundles of the memory modules, with a pair of 2GB sticks in 800MHz, 1,200MHz, 1,600MHz and 2,000MHz speeds. The modules are meant for hardcore gamers and their overclocked systems where high temperatures become an issue, as they integrate a liquid injection system.
Verizon unlocks GPS phones
Wireless voice and data network provider Verizon has recently decided to fully unlock GPS capabilities in certain Windows Mobile smartphones, including the HTC Touch Pro as well as Samsung's Omnia and Saga, in the first half of next year. The unlock is made possible by and restricted to the Windows Mobile devices because of new software that will give the smartphones the same level of performance as the provider's assisted GPS service.
Curtains and Globe themes
Keynote Theme Park has announced its latest Keynote add-ons, animated Curtains and Globes. Both come in nine optional colors, and can be played as QuickTime movies with an alpha channel. Curtains includes opening and closing sequences, designed for standard and widescreen presentations.
Dell Adamo Teaser
Dell may be in the midst of developing a new designer, ultralight notebook that would challenge Apple's MacBook Air, an investigation shows. A teaser for a product or product series known as Adamo has surfaced and has been accompanied by matching trademarks for computer hardware as well as early marketing material that infers an ultraportable notebook line competitive with the Apple system, which has a standard-sized screen but focuses on reduced thickness and weight.
Maxian M1T portable player
Korea's Maxian has announced the upcoming release of its M1T Pocket Multi TV media player on Thursday, which features a 3.5-inch, 480x320 touchscreen and includes a stylus. About the same length as an iPhone but thicker and wider, the M1T uses Windows CE 5.0 as its operating system. It can play back all popular video files including DivX and XviD and the majority of common audio formats along with not-so-common OGG, AAC files. It differs from Maxian's identical looking M1 Edu device revealed just over a month ago with the inclusion of its DMB TV tuner.
Snow Leopard in a rush?
Apple may feel under pressure to release Mac OS X Snow Leopard as soon as possible, writes The Guardian. The British paper notes that developers have been receiving hints that Mac OS X will be shipping sooner than expected, which was "about a year" after this summer's WWDC event. Khronos Group president Neil Trevett, meanwhile, comments that the ratification of Apple's key OpenCL standard happened in just six months, whereas other standards have taken as long as 18 months to formalize.
Verizon Denies Storm Rate
Verizon quickly responded to claims of high return rates for the BlackBerry Storm by denying the allegations. Speaking to BGR, a spokesperson for the carrier argues that the Storm has the fewest returns of "any of our PDAs," including those currently part of the company's roster. No official statistics have been given to support the rebuttal, however, which seeks to defuse allegations that as many as 50 percent of Storms have been returned.
ATT Tests 7Mbps 3G
AT&T confirmed on Thursday that it has started testing some of it next-wave 3G services through a trial in Chicago. The upgrade follows previously revealed plans and gives users of supporting devices a theoretical peak 7.2Mbps download speed versus the 3.6Mbps of the current network. Upload speeds aren't mentioned but may not change depending on whether the service continues to use the older, download-focused HSDPA spec or the full HSPA format, which supports 2.9Mbps.
Android Cupcake Update
Google's Android platform is slated to get several major features as part of a major roadmap update. Nicknamed Cupcake, the upgrade will add a video recording mode that also lets users specify how they will share the content and play the video back directly, rather than the streaming-only feature of today. A mention has been made of sharing, though whether Android phones will support uploading to YouTube or other sites isn't mentioned.
Cellphone market slowdown
Market research and analyst company IDC announced on Thursday it believes the global economic plunge will have an adverse effect on cellular phone shipments in 2009, declining overall by 1.9 percent worldwide and 8.7 percent in the US compared to 2008 levels. IDC analysts point to recent announcements by top two phone manufacturers Nokia and Samsung, suppliers, and operators that all foresee lower volumes of phones shipped in 2009. Mobile phone chipmakers Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and MediaTek are just some of the major named suppliers that have already announced reductions in manufacturing for 2009.
RIAA breaking court orders
Members of the RIAA may be violating court orders in one of the latest lawsuits directed against filesharers, reports say. Motown, Universal and BMG are involved in a case dubbed Motown Records vs. John Doe, targeting a number of anonymous students at the University of Southern California. The university has been ordered to provide the names of a variety of students in the case, making it possible to extract compensation should blame be assigned.
First Look: MacPilot
You can customize any good operating system, and Mac OS X is no exception. While the System Preferences window lets you tweak components like the desktop or audio output, many more customizable features of the OS are hidden away. To get at these buried settings the most immediate solution is to enter cryptic commands into Terminal, but if you'd rather modify a Mac using a familiar point-and-click interface, take a look at MacPilot.
T-Mobile axes upgrade fee
Wireless provider T-Mobile announced on Wednesday it has immediately dropped its $18 upgrade fee that applies to customers who wish to upgrade their current handsets to a newer device. This will apply to all handsets, including high-end models like the T-Mobile G1, and all sales channels, including in-store and online.
GeForce GTX 295 Specs Show
Full specifications for the leaked GeForce GTX 295 have surfaced today through an Internet-wide release of information greenlit by NVIDIA to Anandtech and similar sites. The dual chip card is now known to be slightly faster than two GTX 260s and shares the same 576MHz core and 1GHz memory clock speeds as a single chip, but gets a boost from the 216 effects cores of the original to 240. The combination of two chips boosts the total number of cores to 480 and gives the card nearly 1.8GB of memory.
RiffWorks Standard 2.5
Sonoma Wire Works has released RiffWorks Standard 2.5, the latest edition of its guitar recording software with drums, effects, song posting, and online collaboration capabilities. Features offer improved compressors on layers and riffs, automatic imports from the FourTrack iPhone app using Bonjour, and a progress bar during Rifflink song loading. Also included is an improved output compressor/limiter, which eliminates pumping and breathing at high output levels.
PNY, NVIDIA graphics cards
Flash and memory card maker PNY on Thursday announced the release of two new ultra high-performance graphics cards with the NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 and Quadro FX 4800, which offer 4GB and 1.5GB of DDR3 RAM, respectively. The FX 5800 is the first GPU in the industry with 4GB of memory, and both are based on the second-generation NVIDIA architecture, improving performance and capacity by roughly two and three times compared to previous platforms, the company claims.
Apple buys into IMG
Apple has made a heavy investment into another chip manufacturer, according to an announcement. The company has bought 8.2 million shares in the Imagination Technologies Group, giving it a ownership stake of 3.6 percent. IMG is perhaps best known for producing the PowerVR series of chips, used to accelerate graphics in mobile devices; as a result, Apple may now be in a position to use the chips in future iPods and iPhones, or else some unknown device.
iPhone 78pc of WiFi Use
A new AdMob report published late yesterday reveals that iPhone owners now represent the single largest source of mobile Wi-Fi data traffic worldwide, particularly in the US and UK. In its home country, the Apple phone represents just over half (50.6 percent) of all requests from handhelds of any kind and is promptly followed up by the iPod touch, which itself makes up 28 percent of the requests. The best non-Apple device, Sony's PSP, only manages 13.1 percent of this traffic.
New Motorola handsets
After yesterday's report that covered four new Motorola handsets coming to Verizon, a Wednesday leak from the same source reveals three more Moto cellphones heading to the provider in 2009. The Niagra slider phone is similar in design to the Flash revealed yesterday, with similar sharp angles. The handset's flat, metallic keypad looks like it was lifted straight from the older RAZR, though other specs and features are thus far unknown.
Panasonic Wraps Sanyo Buy
Panasonic on Thursday is said (membership required) to have successfully landed an agreement to buy Sanyo. The deal follows several weeks of talks and sees Panasonic buy a controlling 70 percent stake in Sanyo from companies that already had influence in the firm, including the American bank Goldman Sachs. The value of the buyout is estimated at the equivalent of $6.4 billion and creates one of the largest Japanese electronics ever, competing with Hitachi.
12 Days at iTunes
Apple will soon be giving away various media downloads as a way of promoting the iTunes Store, the company has confirmed. Starting December 26th, at least in the United Kingdom and France, Apple will be offering one free download every day until January 6th, as a part of its 12 Days of Christmas promotion. The exact identity of the content is unknown, but Apple describes it as varied, consisting mainly of rare singles and exclusive live tracks, as well as music videos.
BBerry Storm Mass Returns
Verizon's first few weeks of offering BlackBerry Storm may be plagued by very large numbers of returns, based on data collected by Alley Insider. In addition to a higher than expected demographic of anecdotal reports and users on Twitter returning the touchscreen phone, the report points to claims of as many as 40 to 50 percent of all Storms having been returned due to dissatisfaction with their performance. Electronista has also heard similar observations from early adopters.
rubiTrack 1.2 for Mac
Toolsfactory has launched its latest update rubiTrack 1.2, a GPS-enabled activity-tracking application for the Mac. Designed to help analyze and organize outdoor activities, users can store the desired information and then display it in detailed maps. Features include synchronization support with rubiTrack for the iPhone, Spanish translation, and added activity types such as ski touring, snow showing, sailing, nordic walking, and shopping. Other improvements involve big fixes, and the compatibility for importing GPX files by supporting tracks without elevation data.
TRENDnet 11n ADSL 2 Modem
TRENDnet late Wednesday unveiled a hybrid modem and router that aims to provide faster speeds on both sides. The TEW-635BRM is the home to an ADSL 2 and 2+ modem that provides faster broadband up to 24Mbps downstream but also includes an 802.11n Wi-Fi router to share the connection at a theoretical peak of 300Mbps on the local network. It also carries a four-port, 100Mbps Ethernet switch for wired connections.
SlingPlayer BBerry Beta
Sling on Thursday revealed the imminent launch of a public beta for SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry. The app lets BlackBerries with 3G or Wi-Fi stream the video from a Slingbox at home and lets the user remote control any source that supports input from the streaming hub. The feature is meant to help commuters catch TV shows they might miss but also lets users access on-demand content from devices like the Apple TV or TiVos.
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