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Apple refurbs: MacBooks
Currently the Apple store is offering a sizable selection of refurbished MacBooks for $1299 or less. Starting at $849 is the 2.1GHz Macbook (in white) with 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive. For just $50 more ($899) get the 2.16GHz model with the same hard drive and memory specs. The 2.4GHz macbook with 2GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive is priced at $949. Two black Macbook models are featured; the 2.16GHz model with 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive for $999 and the 2.4GHz model with 2GB of memory and 250GB hard drive for $1,049. The MacBook Air with 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive is priced at $1,149. Lastly, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with 2.33GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 120GB hard drive is priced at $1,299.
DealNN: Garmin GPS
Today's DealNN deals include a wide selection of items from GPS units to iPods. For today only (12/19/09) Newegg.com has reduced the price on the Garmin StreetPilot c330 GPS unit from $199.99 to $79.99. The 120GB iPod classic is priced at $219.97 with free shipping at Amazon.com. Two deals on Transcend memory products are currently featured at TigerDirect.com: the 8GB JetFlash flash drive is $14.99 and the 4GB Micro SDHC memory card is priced at $8.99. Get a free 12 month subscription to Mac|Life magazine with the purchase of Office 2008 for $159.98 at MacMall.com. J&R.com has reduced the price on the Polk Audio miDock iPod speaker system from $79.95 to $39.95.
Asia cut off due to break
Broken underwater cables sever global communications International Internet and phone communications have been severely affected between Europe, the Middle East and Asia due to a break in three underwater optical fibre cables, according to a Friday BBC News report. The three cables normally carry 90 percent of phone and Internet traffic to the Middle East and 65 percent of traffic to India, with services to Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Taiwan and Pakistan also taking a big hit. Experts warn the disruption will have serious consequences on regional economies.
CyberPower Power Video PCs
CyberPower announced on Friday it is launching a new Power Video series of PCs that includes the XE, XT and XI models. Meant to appeal to students, editors and professionals who work with HD video, the PCs offer NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards and onboard RAM capacities of 4GB, 8GB or 16GB. Each PC in the series can then be further customized with a range of SATA II hard drives or hard drive arrays as well as Blu-ray disc burners. All include a FireWire port, USB ports, a multi-card reader and dual-layer DVD burners in order to read or distribute media files. CyberPower saw it fit to equip each workstation with a liquid CPU cooling system from Asetek as well.
RIAA budget cuts coming
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is due for significant budget cuts as the major labels backing it will reduce costs and cut down on initiating file-sharing lawsuits, say industry insiders according to a Friday CNET report. Earlier today, it was announced RIAA will stop its years-old practice of suing individuals for sharing pirated music and other copyrighted materials. With this move, the RIAA's role will be largely reduced, and insiders believe the budget cuts will be announced at the Association's upcoming annual budget review.
DAZ 3D launches Carrara 7
DAZ 3D has launched Carrara 7.0, an update to its 3D modeling, animation and rendering software. New features include a merge track tool, providing more flexibility in animations; 3D paint capabilities, to allow painting directly on a model; and multi-pass rendering, which enables image editing without having to re-render. Other improvements include export of a figure or scene into the Collada format, vertex modeling available in both the modeling and assembly room, and a UV editor. Figures can now have multiple levels of detail.
Student battery invention
A Carleton University Engineering student has found a way to increase the battery life in smartphones by as much as 12 times. Electronics PhD student Atif Shamim built a wireless connector module that replaces the tiny network of wires used to connect all the electronic circuits with a phone's antenna, thereby increasing efficiency. Apart from using up less energy than conventional, wired methods, the design is also simpler and therefore lowers the cost of hand-held devices, Shamim maintains.
Voodoo PC to go big at CES
Voodoo PC founder and HP Global Gaming Business CTO Rahul Sood announced on his blog this past Tuesday that the press can expect the launch of a "really crazy" new product at the CES exhibition in less than a month's time from the company. Sood's excitement about whatever this new product will turn out to be is evident, as he goes on to describe it as "truly awesome" and with the "potential of re-landscaping the high-performance computing space."
iFinance 3.0 beta ships
Synium Software has released a public beta of its new personal finance software, iFinance 3.0. The third edition features interactive 3D charts, a new workflow, a customizable user interface and a budgeting feature. The app manages a user's entire cash flow, and breaks expenses out into categories. The 3D charts give users a quick way of tracking spending and investment patterns, and can be customized to user preference. Stocks, quotes and portfolio performance are tracked in the program, which also generates detailed information about profits and losses.
Foxit eSlick e-book reader
Software maker Foxit has recently announced the upcoming release of its first hardware product, the eSlick e-book reader. The device supports PDF and TXT documents, and includes Foxit Reader Pro Pack and Foxit PDF Creator software that will convert any printable document to a PDF. Its 128MB of embedded memory will also hold MP3 files, and is expandable to 4GB via an SD card slot. A 2GB SD card is included. Text is diplayed on the eSlick's 6-inch E Ink screen from Vizplex, which offers 600x800 resolution at 166dpi and four grayscale levels.
Wireless Power Consortium
A new organization hopes to make wireless power a widespread option for electronics in the near future. The Wireless Power Consortium hopes to develop a universal standard that would use contact plates to power portable devices by magnetically inducing an electrical charge in an attached device. The move would let users charge devices simply by placing them on a particular surface, including hidden ones, and could avoid the risk of over- or underpowering a device by using conflicting hardware.
4D Knowledgebase updated
Business software developer 4D has released Knowledgebase 2.0, with new text-indexing capabilities for faster results. Knowledgebase is a support resource for 4D's work applications, and is built on the 4D v11 SQL platform. Knowledgebase also includes the 4D Web 2.0 Pack and 4D Ajax Framework, which aid users' searches through tech notes, tech tips, cases and videos.
FL: Verbatim TuneBoard
Many people use whatever keyboard happens to come with their computer. Apple's standard keyboard may be acceptable, for instance, but you may want a more versatile keyboard -- say, one that lets you play and control your favorite songs through built-in speakers. An example of this comes from Verbatim, and is dubbed the TuneBoard.
Slacker Radio Plus
Slacker today kicked off the start of its Radio Plus service. The feature aims to solve some of the problems of traditional Internet radio by letting users make an unlimited number of "requests" for the radio station and thus pick the songs they want rather than depend on Slacker's own team. It also lets users skip as many songs as they like and comes ad free versus the sponsored segments from some competitors.
Antec Sonata Elite PC case
Antec has introduced its new Sonata Elite to its lineup of quiet PC cases aimed at those who like to put together PCs themselves. The Sonata Elite sports seven drive bays and seven expansion slots in a two-layer steel design with plastic side and top panels meant to eliminate unwanted noise. The use of silicone grommets is likewise employed to quell vibration and any associated noise, while two large, 120mm fans spin at slower speeds to develop the same amount of airflow as smaller blades would deliver at higher, louder speeds. Removable and washable filters make cleaning an easier task.
Enhanced Messaging Spec
The CTIA finished its week by publishing the final use conditions for a service that should enable more than two-way simple communication by phone. Called Mobile Enhanced Messaging, the format would allow three or more users to maintain an ongoing conversation; like SMS and MMS, this would work through either text alone or with extra media, including audio, photos, videos and other future content. Similar to instant messaging, users could keep buddy lists and would also have the option of a cosmetic display name rather than a strict user ID.
Kenwood intros I-K50 deck
Kenwood on Friday introduced its I-K50 in-car head unit with support for Apple's iPod players and the iPhone 3G via its front-mounted USB port. The I-K50's CD drive will play back MP3, WMA and AAC-encoded files, while the USB port will allow users to plug in USB flash memory keys loaded with the same supported types of audio formats. Plugging in iPods, including the classic, nano or touch, will allow users to control them via the head unit's controls instead of the music player's own controls, making it easier for drivers to focus on the road. Users can search the music collections stored on their iPods, iPhones or USB keys alphabetically via the head unit.
iPhone 3G Jordan launch
The iPhone 3G has launched in Jordan, available exclusively from wireless carrier Orange, according to SaudiMac. The device is sold with a one-year contract commitment, with various pricing depending on the chosen plan. Customers looking for the lowest phone cost can choose the iDiamond 2000 package which includes 2GB of data usage and offers the 8GB model for 160JD (~$225USD) or the 16GB variant for 230JD (~$322USD). The phones currently lack full support for Arabic, while Jordan is not yet listed on the App Store country list.
V22 Verfino LCD monitor
Display maker AOC has unveiled a new LCD monitor, the V22 Verfino. The screen measures 22 inches, and is a part of the company's Gamer Certified line. Accordingly the monitor is equipped with high-end features, such as HDMI input, LED backlighting, a 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and a response time of only 2ms. Conventional contrast and response figures range closer to 2,000-3,000:1 and 4-6ms.
SubPixel Display, EasyWMA
Pear Note ($40) is a note taking application that can record audio and video while a user is taking notes. All activities during a session are recorded including audio, video, user actions, keystrokes and slide changes, which are then placed on a timeline which can be replayed. Pear Note 1.1 adds the ability to share notes with others by exporting text, audio, or video. The update also allows users to import externally recorded audio or video. Additional new features include enhanced text editing capabilities such as lists, links, and tables as well as numerous user interface and stability enhancements. [Download - 3MB]
SimCity ($10) brings the classic SimCity experience to the iPhone and iPod touch. Players are able to create their own city and design and plan it however they see fit. They can make decisions on budgets, taxes, residential planning and road construction in hope to turn a small town into a thriving metropolis. The game uses the touch screen for moving around the city and placing the various zoning options needed to build a successful city. The game features a tutorial, started cites and three difficulty modes for fun and challenging gameplay.
iPhone Solar Charger cases
Solar Arcadia has launched its Solar Charger for both first generation and 3G iPhones. Capable of charging the iPhone while out in the sun, features include LED indicators for the charging and discharging state, and a reverse-current protection-circuit, integrated to prevent iPhone batteries from being discharged. Using a lithium ion polymer battery; the case offers a max output of 5V, and a charge of 6V. Material for the casing is made from sheepskin.
MS Zune Xbox Job Listing
Microsoft is actively pursuing its hinted plans to directly integrate its Zune players with its Xbox systems, a recently unearthed job post for a User Experience Designer shows. A recruit hired for the position would be tasked with conceptualizing and developing the interface for not only the Zune players and PC client but also "Zune Xbox," alluding to a likely playback and possible music purchasing system for the Xbox 360 or later.
Wireless Internet Camera
TRENDnet has released its 7-inch Wireless Internet Camera and Photo Monitor, model TV-M7. Offering a maximum resolution of up to 16384 x 16384 pixels, the screen is designed to detect and work with any wired or wireless TRENDnet internet security cameras to provide real-time internet-camera video and monitoring for up to four different cameras at once (or switch between them). With the photo frame functionality, users can play photo slideshows with JPEG and BMP pictures, audio files including MP3, WMA, AAC or OOG formats, and stored videos in MJPEG, MPEGI, or MPEG-4 formats.
Exportools for CS4, QXP8
XChange International has launched its Exportools for InDesign CS4 and QuarkXPress 8, software designed to automate the process of exporting individual pages, spreads, or selections into separate files. Features allow the extraction and export of document text to other formats such as JPEG, TIFF, PNG, Photoshop, PICT and HTML. A log window is used to provide real-time reports on exports, including names and locations, plus any errors that have occurred during the process.
HP liquid-cooled PCs?
HP has recently teased an upcoming PC release with what amounts to be a gadget, a USB-powered fridge with enough room for one can of soda. While there is little supporting information available on the purpose of the curiosity, the interior of the tiny fridge reveals a photo of a liquid-cooling setup, a real version of which is believed by many to find its way into an upcoming HP desktop. Thus far, HP only offers variations of its pricey Blackbird 002 gaming desktop PCs with liquid cooling as an integrated option.
DEVONtech ships betas
DEVONtechnologies have launched public betas of DEVONthink 2.0 and DEVONnote 2.0. The software is now available, and should be accessible through January 31st, 2009. DEVONthink is information management software compatible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as OpenOffice, Pages, Numbers and Keynote files. Version 2.0 brings in a new database engine, with the ability to open multiple databases at once in the Pro version. Also present are advanced Boolean and proximity operators, wildcards, and unlimited complex search terms, among other features. A new Finder-like sidebar has been added to the interface, mainly for the sake of working with multiple databases.
iMac and mini 9400M Leak
Apple's upcoming iMac and Mac mini refreshes will both use NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M or a variant of it when they launch, according to leaks referenced and investigated by AppleInsider. Mac OS X extension files for SMC and ACPI power management included with the 10.5.6 update make references to unreleased "iMac9,1" and "Macmini3,1" models that are specifically tied to using MCP79, NVIDIA's codename for the GeForce 9400M graphics and controller combo chipset.
UBS on RIM vs. Apple
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is surviving quite well in spite of the economy and competition from Apple, says UBS analyst Maynard Um. In announcing the results of its fall quarter yesterday, RIM revealed that it had shipped 6.7 million phones during the period, well ahead of what forecasts had predicted. This is being attributed to the release of two high-profile BlackBerries, the Storm and the Bold, which have drawn considerable attention from both the media and the public.
Best Buy iPhone sale
Best Buy Mobile has begun a special holiday promotion for the iPhone 3G that will last for the next few weeks, according to the Boy Genius Report. The 8GB model will carry a price of $190, while the 16GB version will be priced at $290. Although the discount only chips off $10, the sale undercuts even the reported costs at Walmart stores of $197 and $297. Best Buy even includes double reward zone points, equating to approximately $10 or $15 in certificates for the 8GB and 16GB models, respectively.
Blu-ray DVD Combo Disc
Japanese disc producer Infinity on Friday rolled out the world's first production video title to include both Blu-ray and DVD on a single layer. A box for the TV series Code Blue will include playable versions of both formats by using a permeable layer that takes advantage of the different wavelengths to store data at different levels; Blu-ray's namesake laser will recognize one layer, while a DVD player's red laser will see another. The technique lets owners of older movie players and PC drives buy a single title and automatically upgrade to playing HD when they pick up a Blu-ray player.
Canon 5D Mk II black dot
At the beginning of December, users of Canon's new 5D Mark II DSLR have reported an issue with the camera, which produces very fine black dots on the right side of bright spots in images shot at night and at high ISO levels. The dots only become visible if the images are enlarged by at least 100 percent on a monitor or large-format prints are created. The problem was acknowledged by a Canon rep back on December 8th, and as of Wednesday, the company has posted a statement on its Australian support site acknowledging the problem, promising it is looking into the phenomenon to discover ways to "improve and/or mitigate" the issue, according to a Friday CNET report.
Samsung Android in Spring
Samsung will launch its first phones based on Google's Android platform this coming spring within the US, according to statements reportedly made by the Korean company. An official has told local press that Samsung is "accelerating" development of phones based on Android and should have a finished product released within the US during the second calendar quarter of the year, which runs April through June. The goal is to "meet the specific need of local carriers," the electronics maker adds.
Live TV app for iPhone
equinux has announced an unspecified, impending release of Live TV for the iPhone. The app receives TV feeds from equinux's Tube software, placeshifted from a user's Mac via a wireless network. Users then choose a channel from their handheld, which launches an iPhone-optimized video feed. Paired with the app's launch will be a lower $100 price for its TubeStick hybrid tuner, which includes the necessary Tube software.
iStudio Publisher at MW09
c:four has announced a Macworld 2009 launch of iStudio Publisher, a page layout application aimed at home and small business users. The software is intended for users who may be starting with limited design skills, and as a result all tools and features are available on-screen. Options include drawing shapes, running text around shapes or patterns, and placing photos in the middle of text with dynamic text wrapping; also present is a shape library for commonly-used items.
Dell Studio XPS 13 Slips
Further details have surfaced today of a major initiative by Dell to tackle the designer 13-inch notebook market, including more information regarding the Adamo notebook. A leak through Engadget now claims to have confirmed that the Adamo is an ultraportable and will be marketed as the "world's thinnest laptop" in a deliberate bid to chase after the MacBook Air's similar claim; the system will reportedly come in black and silver trim made to present an upscale look.
AV in Messenger for Mac
Casual users of Messenger for Mac should finally be able to engage in audio and video chats like their Windows counterparts, Microsoft has announced. Following the addition of AV chat for corporate users, Microsoft says it is now working on support for personal clients. Though the technology is currently associated with a beta of Windows Live Messenger, a matching beta of Messenger for Mac should see public release in 2009. A demo should be present at next month's Macworld conference.
RIAA Drops Lawsuit Tactics
The RIAA today delivered a partial change in stance on Friday by revealing that it will drop its longstanding campaign of suing individual users it alleges have pirate music. The representative group for major music labels says the decision comes after recognizing that its previous approach made people aware of file sharing as a problem but that it was ultimately not very effective in halting the problem outright. Although the number of users has remained constant, the amount of files traded has gone up, the RIAA claims.
Ethernet Disk 6TB
LaCie has announced the latest upgrade to its Ethernet Disk, a network-attached 19-inch rack-mounted storage device, offering data backup with storage and file sharing primarily aimed at small or medium business. The new model is explicitly compatible with Apple Time Machine and brings an increase in capacity bringing it to 6TB. The Ethernet Disk can support up to 100 users with customizable access to different shares and up to 25 consistent users.
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