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Now Playing, MyTracks
Floola 4.4 (free) is a utility that allows a user to manage their iPod or Motorola phone. Floola can copy, rename, delete music, videos and photos, add artwork and lyrics, manage playlists and keep podcasts up-to-date. It can also convert files like YouTube videos to a format that is compatible with the designated device. Version 4.4 addresses several bugs dealing with the interface, photos and Google Calendar and also adds a used in playlist feature. [Download - 15.3MB]
DealNN: bargain Blu-ray
DealNN deals for today include a variety of products from Blu-ray players to iPod docks. First up is the refurbished Sharp Blu-ray disk player priced at $179.99 at SecondAct.com. For a limited time Frys.com is offering the SimpleTech 250GB signature mini USB portable hard drive in pink for $67. CompUSA.com has a mail in rebate offer that drops the price down to $9.97 on the OCZ 4GB memory kit. Amazon.com has reduced the price on the Samsung 2.1 home cinema system from $499.99 to $248.39. The Griffin Amplifi iPod speaker system is priced at $69.99 at Buy.com.
Apple refurbs: Shuffle
Apple's online store is currently offering a wide variety of refurbished products from iPods to Mac Pros. One and two gigabyte iPod shuffles are priced at $39 and $59 respectively and come in silver, blue, purple and green. The 160GB iPod classic is available in black or silver for $249. MacBooks start at $849 for the 2.1GHz model with 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive. The 2.0GHz Mac mini with 1GB of RAM and 120GB hard drive is also available for $679. Mac models top off at $4099 for the 3.2GHz Mac Pro with 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Mac accessories include the wireless keyboard for $69, the MacBook Air external SuperDrive is $79, and two Time Capsule models are featured in 500GB ($249) and 1TB ($419) configurations.
iPhone nano clones
Adding to the confusion surrounding the rumors of an iPhone "nano," images have surfaced that suggest the unconfirmed devices have already been replicated by knockoff manufacturers, according to AppleInsider. The fakes are built with a smaller form-factor than the iPhone 3G and even include Apple logos on the back panel. When the devices are turned on, the menu layout is similar to the genuine interface and several icons have been directly copied.
Visual Land iPod clone
Southern California-based Visual Land's V-Touch VL-875 multimedia player is being sold on Boxing day, Friday, at Future Shop, a major Canadian electronics chain store owned by Best Buy. The 8GB gadget, which bears a striking resemblance to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, sports a 2.8-inch, 240x320 resolution resistive touchscreen and is part of Visual Land's VL-805-series of personal multimedia players, which are differentiated by their onboard memory capacities, ranging from 1GB through to the current 8GB example.
Archos surprise product
Portable GPS, Internet media tablet and personal electronics maker Archos recently announced it will unveil a surprise new product at the CES show on January 10th in addition to the Archos 7 Internet media tablet already on sale. At the press conference, Archos CEO Ron Ferguson and director of marketing and business development Frederic Balay will make the presentation at the MGM Hotel Towers in Las Vegas.
iPod touch browser share
Amid reports that the iPod touch was one of the best-selling holiday gadgets, website visitor data also indicates that the new owners more than quadrupled its browser share on Christmas, according to Silicon Alley Insider. Two percent of the readers navigated to the news site from the iPod's Safari browser, an increase of 456 percent year-over-year and 525 percent when comparing the average from December 1st through the 24th. The Touch and iPhone achieved a combined share of over 5 percent, up 90 percent from last year.
TEAC iPod docking station
TEAC Japan has recently introduced a 2.1-channel home stereo system, the TD-X300i, which includes an iPod dock and CD drive, as well as built-in AM/FM radio tuner with 10 station presets. The system will play back MP3-encoded CD-Rs and CD-RWs via its flat-panel, NXT speakers. The subwoofer has a 4-inch diameter and is rated at 15W, while each speaker is rated at 5W of power.
Cygnus vs. Apple, etc.
Apple, Google and Microsoft have all been targeted in a lawsuit related to software technology, reports say. The three have been accused by Cygnus System of violating US patent 7,346,850, System and method for iconic software environment management. In depth, the patent describes "a method and system for storing, navigating, and accessing files within an operating system through the use of a graphical thumbnail representing the video display of the active document within the active application."
Comcast faces lawsuit
Internet and cable TV provider Comcast is being sued by its customer, Cheryl Corralejo, for requiring its customer to pay rental fees for its set-top and CableCARD boxes in order to view premium content and not giving them the option of buying them outright. The class-action lawsuit was filed at the end of November at the US District Court for the Eastern District of California and alleges Comcast's practice violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act as well as business and professional codes.
AMD Phenom II CPUs selling
A couple of online computer stores are offering two versions of AMD's upcoming Phenom II CPUs, ahead of their official debut planned for CES in January. According to the web stores' listings, the two new quad-core CPUs will begin shipping on December 27th. AMD's Phenom II X4 940 quad-core, rated at a 3GHz clock speed, is being offered for $304 by Computers4Sure and $373 CAD ($305) by A-Power. The second chip, the 2.8GHz Phenom II X4 920, is priced at $271 by Computers4Sure and $317 CAD ($259) by A-Power.
Energizer solar charger
Battery and associated peripherals maker Energizer recently announced it will introduce a portable and solar-powered AA and AAA battery charger at CES at the start of January. The charger will also include a USB output to charge cellphones and other personal electronics, and users will have the option of plugging it into a conventional AC wall plug when indoors and away from windows or on dark, cloudy days.
Dell Adamo Blu-ray Leak
More leaks surfacing today regarding the Dell Adamo have hinted at the initial notebook's early features and at a lower than expected price. A Google cache of information on Dell's own site indicates that the purported MacBook Air competitor will use DisplayPort for video out and eSATA storage and will have a number of peripherals ready on or near launch, including a 2X Blu-ray combo drive as well as 8GB, 250GB and 500GB external drives made to match the notebook in question.
Apple rankings at Amazon
Two Apple-related products performed extremely well at Amazon during the holiday season, the latter company has announced. Tracking orders from November 15th through to December 19th, the online retailer notes that one of the bestselling electronics items was the second-generation iPod touch, specifically in its 8GB capacity rather than 16 or 32GB. Apple's chief competition was split between a 52-inch red Samsung TV, and Acer's Aspire One netbook.
RIM Fold SureType Patent
RIM on Christmas published a patent filing that hints at an attempt to overcome some of the size limitations of the BlackBerry Pearl and Pearl Flip. Describing the design as an "appearance adaptable" keypad, the method would have the appearance of a normal BlackBerry number pad but contain hinged sections that fold out past the normal dimensions of the phone to provide a larger SureType keyboard with two letters each.
New Apple kybd. commands?
Apple may be looking to implement swipe gestures into the iPhone and iPod touch's virtual keyboard, a newly-published patent application hints. Submitted to the the US Patent and Trademark Office, the patent -- simply titled Swipe Gestures for Touch Screen Keyboards -- describes a means of substituting swipes for commands that would normally require extra tapping. Users of handhelds could, for instance, swipe left with two fingers to backspace, or swipe down to enter a new line.
NVIDIA Urging New Material
NVIDIA is urging notebook manufacturers to buy into a new generation of graphics hardware to avoid a chronic failure problem with the earlier hardware's material, a memo obtained by VR-Zone reveals. The graphics company reportedly "strongly recommends" that partners making certain GeForce 8700M, 8800M and 9650M video chipsets switch to a revision with a Hitachi underfill, or contact bump material, as soon as possible. The new substance provides "improved thermal cycling," according to NVIDIA, and should improve reliability as well as prevent a glut of orders for replacement chips.
Walmart confirms iPhone
Walmart has confirmed long-standing rumors, and will soon begin selling the iPhone 3G, according to an announcement. As expected, the phone will become available on December 28th from the low-end retailer, and sell in an 8GB model for $197 or a 16GB version for $297 -- in each case, just $2 less than the prices offered by Apple, AT&T and Best Buy. Shoppers will still require a two-year contract through AT&T.
Nintendo Wii Video Service
Nintendo on Christmas Day said it would start offering videos for the Wii, marking the first time the device will have readily available programming. The deal will see ad firm Dentsu help produce new videos that will be available solely online. Adding videos will turn the Wii into a "fun area for communication" between family members, Nintendo says in its official statement regarding the plan.
Fix for 10.5.6 crashes?
On older MacBook Pros, at least, some of the recent crashes triggered by the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update may be related to outdated firmware, experimentation suggests. A Pro owner who has managed to fix problems with v10.5.6 notes that he was never alerted to the existence of a newer firmware update from April. After installing the update, the owner claims that his Pro is functioning fine under v10.5.6.
Creative Zii Teaser
Creative today launched a teaser for an unusual product known as Zii. The company posts very little but suggests that the device revolves around the concept of "stemcell computing," suggesting that it may involve distributed computing or a parallel to the hardware or software of the Nintendo Wii. Aside from this, the firm only makes the claim that "everything you know is about to change" and provides no clues outside of four-leaf clover graphics.
Atom Maybe Clear for 9400M
An Intel spokesman now denies statements made that suggest the company is blocking NVIDIA's Ion for use with Intel Atom processors. Company official Bill Calder insists to InternetNews that there is "nothing" stopping system creators from buying Atom chips alone and thus that they can combine the processor with the faster, GeForce 9400M-level hardware or any other mainboard chipset.
Orange-free French iPhone
People looking for an iPhone in France can now buy one without having to go through the country's official carrier, Orange, a local retailer has announced. FNAC is now selling a contract-free version of the iPhone 3G, though at a significant markup. An 8GB version of the phone is priced at €799 ($1,123), while black or white 16B models are selling for €899 ($1,263). By contrast, similar options in Belgium are priced at only €529 and €619.
HP Voodoo 15in Notebook
HP is developing its first mid-size Voodoo PC-branded notebook since the reinvention of the label earlier in the year, a slip from within the PC builder claims. The system would be HP's first known high-end portable to carry a 15.6-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio display and will use an LED backlight that should both slim down the display and improve battery life. The system is reportedly due to ship during the summer and so is a candidate for Intel's mobile Core i7 processors.
Rogers Fido Roadmap 2009
An initial 2009 roadmap for phones at Canadian provider Rogers and its sub-label Fido has leaked and provided clues not only to devices coming to the West for the first time but a new BlackBerry device. A new Pearl Flip will represent a quick turnaround for RIM and will add HSPA-based 3G for faster Internet access; it will also be the first non-QWERTY phone from the company to have both GPS and Wi-Fi at the same time. The new Flip is due sometime in the first half of 2009 and will be available only through Rogers.
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