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ShoveBox 1.6 update
Wonder Warp Software has announced ShoveBox 1.6, the latest update to its capture and organization program. Created to help keep track of small bits of information, the application sits in the menu bar, where users can drop in text, URLs, and images to be stored and organized. The new version contains several enhancements including support for OpenOffice .odt and Word .docx file formats, the ability to enter a users name for labels, and an improved interface for exporting multiple entries. An "insert anywhere" function has also been added that allows hot keys to be assigned to a clipping to insert its contents into the frontmost app.
Notebooks outsell desktops
Notebook sales have exceeded desktops for the first time ever in the third quarter, according to research by iSuppli. Notebook shipments exploded by almost 40 percent to 38.6 million devices, while desktop distribution fell 1.3 percent to 38.5 million. Despite the feeble economy, the research group raised its overall yearly growth forecast for PC units from 12.5 percent to 13 percent. Shipments of combined computers gained 15.4 percent for the quarter, totaling 79 million devices.
Apple has released a service update for its web-based e-mail service, MobileMe. Users can now search for contacts in large address books without encountering a "slow script" alert message. A keyboard shortcut has been added for creating new contacts, and exported vCards containing multi-line addresses can be imported into the address book. The calendar now allows sorting of to-do items by the title, while long titles will appear properly in the month view.
Audioengine W2 for iPod
Audioengine has released the W2, a wireless adapter the iPod that transmits sound from the media player to a stereo system. The company claims that the all-digital PCM signal does not reduce the audio quality. A sending unit is attached to the dock connector, while the receiver is directly connected to the amplification equipment. Wi-Fi technology is utilized instead of Bluetooth or FM, working on the 2.4GHz band and claimed to offer a range of 30 feet. The circuitry automatically splits the band into 40 subchannels and works to constantly stay on the clearest frequency.
Vectorworks 2009 SP2
Nemetscheck has released Service Pack 2 for its Vectorworks 2009 CAD software. The update addresses a variety of reported issues including file corruption, stair quality and IFC import or export functions. "We have also addressed a much broader set of user concerns based on feedback from our customers worldwide," said Mark Farnan, director of software development. Other bug fixes relate to NURBS object scaling, rendering, solid subtraction, character width and batch conversion.
ProteMac update KeyBag 1.1
ProteMac has launched the latest update to its keystroke recording software for the Mac, KeyBag 1.1. Designed to intercept and record every keystroke entered, the program keeps track of opened applications, conversations, and any keys pressed in the applications. New features provide improved stability, bug fixes, warnings for undesirable words, and a database cleanup interface.
Boxee public alpha
Boxee has announced that the alpha version of its media player will soon be opened to the public. The open-source project has drawn over 150,000 applicants to test the software. Users will be able to play a wide range of digital video formats, images, and music. Integrated social networking features allow content to be reviewed or recommended. Recent updates added Netflix support and interface enhancements for Hulu, CNN, Flickr and Picasa.
DealNN: refurb MacBook
Today's deals at DealNN include a variety of products that include printers and refurbished aluminum cased MacBooks. First up is the Sharp executive micro system priced at $129.99 at ElectronicsExpo.com. The refurbished Fujifilm 7.1MP FinePix digital camera is currently $88 at eCost.com. Apple's online store is offering a refurbished model of the new aluminum cased 2.4GHz MacBook for $1599. PCconnection.com is offering the 15-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro for $1599 after mail in rebate. The Brother HL series wireless laser monochrome printer has been reduced from $139.99 to $99.99.
Pogo Sketch stylus debuts
Ten One Design has uncovered the Pogo Sketch, a new control stylus built on capacitive touch technology. Like its predecessor, the Pogo Stylus, this means that the Sketch can be used with iPhones and iPod touches, substituting for fingers. The Sketch expands functionality to MacBooks, however, where it interacts with multi-touch trackpads instead of a display.
Vacuum tube amp for iPods
RockridgeSound has introduced the ISR-VT02 iPod dock/music player/AM-FM tuner that relies on a vacuum tube amplifier as opposed to transistors to power its speakers which deliver a softer, richer sound. Based on the old VTS-384 which also had a vacuum amp, the ISR-VT02 is basically a scaled-down version of the older dock. A two-stage 12AX7 (ECC83) amplifier provides each of the two 3.15-inch speakers with 12W of power.
Apple refurbs: new MacBook
Apple's online store is currently offering a range of refurbished Macs including the new aluminum cased MacBook. Two new aluminum cased MacBook models are featured: the 2.0GHz MacBook with 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive is priced at $1,099 and the 2.4GHz MacBook with 2GB of memory and 250GB hard drive is priced at $1,399. A variety of iMacs are also featured starting at $949 for the 20-inch 2.0GHz model with 1GB of memory and 250GB hard drive and top off at $1,549 for the 24-inch 2.8GHz model with 2GB of memory and 320GB hard drive. Previous generation MacBook pro models start at $1,499 with a 15-inch screen, 2.5GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 250GB hard drive and go up to $2,299 for the 17-inch model with 2.6GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive.
Focal AquaTune speakers
Focal of Japan has just announced the release of two new waterproof speaker enclosures in its AquaTune series made to work with Apple's iPod personal music players. Both the AquaTune v2 and AquaTune nano 4G use clear, polycarbonate bodies with O-ring seals and are rated to keep the interiors free of water when submerged at up to 1 meter (~3.3 feet) for 30 minutes. The larger AquaTune v2 will accommodate Apple's fourth and fifth generation iPods, first through fourth-gen iPod nanos, iPod classic, first and second-gen iPod shuffle and the iPod mini with the use of an included spacer.
Christmas C@rds, Memory
Print ($3) lets users print photos, contact information and webpages stored on an iPhone or iPod touch. Printing is supported across either a Wi-Fi or a cellular network, allowing remote printing back to a home or office printer. In order to use Print, one must also use the free desktop companion application.
iGo to intro green product
iGo, manufacturer of chargers for numerous devices, including notebooks and other portable consumer electronics, announced on Tuesday it will unveil seven new products at its first visit to the CES expo in January. Among the new product reveals will be the first green laptop charger that will use up 80 percent less standby power compared to standard power products. Also part of the Green Technology products, the iGo Surge Protector will be debuted, with eight outlets that have shut-off and recovery functions to reduce standby power. An iGo Wall Outlet with the same functions rounds out the new Green line of products.
Pro 850 coming to Best Buy
A few leaked digital inventory screen images at an undisclosed Best Buy store location reveal that a couple of smartphones will soon be available at the chain store under the Sprint banner. The first is the Palm Treo Pro 850, which, according to the inventory photos, will retail for nearly $700, presumably not subsidized by a contract from Sprint. The Treo Pro 850 should feature built-in Wi-Fi connection, a GPS sensor, 320x320 resolution touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard, as well as a 2-megapixel camera.
HP iPrint Photo for iPhone
Hewlett Packard has launched a new app for iPhones and iPods, iPrint Photo. The title enables wireless photo printing to HP inkjets when connected through a local Wi-Fi network. Users can create borderless 4x6 or 10x15 prints, though the program currently supports only JPEG images as a source, not other common types such GIFs or bitmaps.
Viliv S5 MID brings 1080p
Earlier this summer, Korea's Viliv introduced a pair of personal electronics with the S7 UMPC and S5 Mobile Internet Device and today has been followed up with hard S5 specifications. It will be capable of decoding 1080p HD video and playing it back on its 4.8-inch touchscreen sourced from Samsung, with resolutions varying between 800x480 and 1024x600, depending on the particular model. Power will come from a 1.33GHz Intel Atom CPU along with 1GB or RAM, while the 6,200mAh battery is said to last at least 4.5 hours even when the device is playing back 1080p video.
Samsung Anycall Origin
Samsung is prepping the launch of the Anycall Origin flip phone in its home market of Korea. Pitched towards those who the company calls active seniors, the phone also known as the W690 features a large 2.6-inch Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) LCD main screen which, compared to traditional LCDs, does not require a backlight, is more energy efficient, can be thinner and is better suited for quick motion thanks to its faster refresh rate.
iFood for iPhone/iPod
Kraft Foods has announced iFood Assistant, an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that provides a variety of food and meal-planning ideas. iFood contains over 7,000 recipes with step-by-step instructions, including tips and shortcuts for meals on-the-go. Other features include video demonstrations, a smart shopping list with nearby store recommendations, and the ability to review comments on recipes and share with others.
Telus BBerry Storm Stock
Telus is finally receiving large quantities of its own version of the BlackBerry Storm, a tip to BGR indicates. The Canadian provider has reportedly received a "rather large" volume of the touchscreen smartphone which is said enough to stock the company's stores on a national level. Exact numbers aren't given but may be higher than the initial batch, which may have involved just 2,500 units for all of Canada.
David Steele Enterprises has announced the iBreath, an accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch that works as both a breathalyzer and a wireless FM transmitter. For the former task, owners plug the iBreath into a player, set it to the proper mode, and blow for at least five seconds to determine alcohol level. The device also comes with a timer, which can be set to anywhere from one minute to eight hours in order to prompt a future test.
G-Map nav app for iPhone
A new program, now on the App Store, attempts to mimic dedicated GPS navigation on the iPhone. Like a conventional GPS unit, XRoad's G-Map presents a choice of 2D or 3D views, and displays directions in the form of highlighted paths, with accompanying information such as distance and estimated time remaining. The app also avoids relying on an Internet connection, and instead uses a combination of GPS reception and an assortment of preloaded maps.
iPhone Flickr Ranks Dec 08
Apple's cellphone line is now competing with digital SLRs for the most popular cameras used on Flickr, according to the photo site's Camera Finder. The site shows the iPhone's two-megapixel unit as responsible for roughly as many photos as Canon's EOS-40D and is near other considerably more expensive cameras in the ranks, such as Nikon's D80 and Canon's Digital Rebel XT. The iPhone is also unambiguously the most popular cellphone and maintains a very high lead over the next-best Nokia N95.
Quanta w New iMac in Jan
Large-scale electronics assembler Quanta is preparing to large numbers of a new iMac due early January, a report from the Taiwan-area Economic Daily News. Previously well-known for building a significant portion of Apple's computers, Quanta is allegedly set to produce a new iMac that would ship in large volumes starting in January; as many as 800,000 per month would ship during the first three months of the year, the newspaper claims.
ePhone M8 iPhone clone
An anonymous clone labeled the ePhone M8 has surfaced that provides a fairly accurate iPhone 3G clone until one peruses its specs. Notably absent are its inspiration's full touchscreen and 3G data network support features, with M8 owners having to make do with TV support and handwritten input capabilities. The 3.2-inch, 240x430 screen will play back 3GP- and MP4-format videos while its 1.3-megapixel camera will take photos and videos, unlike the iPhone's 2MP shooter. Also, users can send MMS messages. Storage is confined to a memory card slot, with a 1GB TransFlash (microSD equivalent) card included.
Wii sells 1M+ in one week
Over 1 million units of Nintendo's Wii console were sold in the US last week, figures from the tracking site VG Chartz indicate. The number is believed to be the highest one-week sales amount achieved by the console so far, easily beating the 535,806 Xbox 360s sold the same week, and a still lower 239,576 PlayStation 3s. Some 1,695,940 Wiis are believed to have been sold worldwide, though this number was eclipsed by the 1,929,713 units of Nintendo's DS handheld.
Pinger Phone for iPhone
Pinger has announced its latest app for the iPhone and iPod touch, Pinger Phone. Combining a variety of tasks into a single menu, Pinger allows users to text, IM, mail or call someone, as well as send a message to contacts through Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. An automatic horizontal-keyboard function is used when messaging through AIM, Yahoo, MSN or Google Talk, and users can choose to appear online all the time by receiving alerts of new IM conversations through SMS.
HP Firebird 803 Leak
A new leak floated by Engadget has revealed both a new compact HP gaming PC as well as new technology by PC. Supporting hints by HP's Rahul Sood of a Voodoo-influenced new gaming PC, the Firebird 803 appears targeted at gamers who still hope to have relatively compact desktops and should provide gaming-level performance using a new low-power video array: the system will carry two previously unknown GeForce 9800S chips that take up less space and power than regular desktop chips but should perform better than mobile chips.
Twittelator Pro 1.6 update
Stone Design today released the v1.6 update to Twittelator Pro, its higher-end Twitter client for iPhones and iPod touches. The app enables functions such as switching between multiple accounts, and quickly inserting items such as maps, images and links into tweets. The latest update introduces the concept of Sub-Groups, used to divide contacts into finer sets such as friends and family.
iSuppli on Q3 Notebooks
Despite a major shift from desktops towards notebooks in the summer, Apple slid slid significantly in its worldwide market share over the period, according to a new iSuppli study. The MacBook creator lost exactly a half percentage point of influence and dropped from 3.7 percent of the market in the spring to 3.2 percent the following season, leaving it at seventh place. Most incumbents were stable and saw HP lead world market share with 18.8 percent, or 14.9 million PCs; Dell claimed 13.9 percent, while Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba managed 12.2 percent, 7.5 percent and 4.6 percent each.
Last load of VHS tapes
Distribution Video Audio, a Florida-based distributor of old, seemingly unwanted products such as unsold novels, forgotten fan boy memorabilia and, now, VHS tapes, has shipped the very last load of VHS tapes back in October. The format, which required VCRs to play and record, was first brought into homes with somewhat affordably-priced VCRs from a handful of manufacturers back in 1965. This marks the end of an era that allowed users to time-shift shows the old-fashioned way, by recording them to a video tape for watching later.
Kaufman on Jobs' worth
The emphasis on Steve Jobs' role as CEO at Apple is misplaced, says Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. Wu notes that while Apple shares managed to break the $100 barrier on December 10th, they have since fallen "under pressure." This is due not only to economic recession, says Wu, but continuing worries over Jobs' health, and what might happen to the company should he die or be forced to step down from the company. Jobs is a survivor of pancreatic cancer, and in recent months has appeared unusually thin, prompting worries of recurrence. Apple stocks plummeted briefly in October on false rumors of a heart attack.
FilmOn HD Movies
A new service promises to offer HD video streaming without the typical long buffering times for typical internet connections. Online movie provider FilmOn says it has implemented a new video compression technique known as HDi that reduces the normally very large footprint of HD videos to as little as 2Mbps. While not explaining how this is accomplished, the provider claims that "HD-quality" movies can play on typical broadband connections in real time rather than caching some of that data in advance.
Spots app for iPhone, iPod
Savoy Software is preparing for the release of Spots for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app allows users to find over 230,000 worldwide hotspots, and does not require an active Internet connection. Spots locates the closest available hotspots, and allows free navigation of a map to find a desired location. Users can also search specifically by name, street or city.
Textcast podcast creator
Bit Maki Software has released Textcast, an application that allows the transformation of text documents, webpages, or blog feeds into audio files that can be played on an iPhone or iPod. Offering customizable voices, including a default of Mac OS X Leopard's latest Alex voice, Textcast sends all spoken-word audio files to iTunes for sync purposes.
VUDU Christmas Sale
VUDU has quietly introduced a major discount on its networked media hubs just ahead of Christmas. The company has cut the price of the VUDU Box in half to $150 and also provides $50 in credits to buy or rent movies and TV shows. A similar deal also provides a $200 wireless bundle that includes the hub as well as an 802.11.g Wi-Fi kit that bridges the media device to a home router. The hardware itself is the same and can play movies up to 1080p in its new HDX format and has 250GB of storage to hold as many as 50 movies in 480p.
Ubercaster 1.6 update out
Pleasant Software has posted a major update to Ubercaster, its podcast production software. The app handles all stages of the production process, including note preparation, recording, editing and eventual publishing online. New to v1.6 is the implementation of Skype support, popular with podcasters for handling phone conversations through VoIP. Users can now make phone calls from within Ubercaster, eliminating the need to run separate clients.
Gartner Sees Music CDs End
Music labels should all but phase out CDs as a key source of income in as little as a year, analyst group Gartner says today in a new report. Research VP Mark McGuire argues that the shift towards direct online music downloads is now so well underway that the industry has little choice but to push the format heavily and that the market share for CDs is declining too quickly to ever properly recover. By trying to sustain the physical medium for so long, the industry has failed to give buyers a viable alternative to piracy and clung to dying technology at the same time, McGuire explains.
Intel Stake in Imagination
Intel has countered Apple's investment in Imagination Technologies with an increased stake of its own. The semiconductor maker says it has bought just over 6.9 million shares in Britain-based Imagination to gain a 3.04 percent stake in the company and warns in a required statement that it may respond to any bid to acquire the company with a counter offer of its own, though it adds that there is no immediate intention to launch a takeover itself.
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