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HP's CES introductions are being headlined today by an entirely new entry to its desktop line. The Firebird 800 is built with help from the Voodoo sub-label and aims to take up the minimal amount of space of a small form factor desktop with the performance of a full tower, thanks to new Intel processors: new set of Core 2 Quad chips consume just 65W of power without losing features over previous 95W versions. A custom liquid cooling setup also cuts back on fan noise from the chip and simultaneously frees up space for accessing RAM and the two drop-in notebook hard drive bays.
Samsung Electronics has extended its line of full-HD digital camcorders with four new models - the HMX-H106, HMX-H105, HMX-H104, and HMX-H100. In addition to full HD video, the new H-Series offers a renowned Schneider Kreuznach Varioplan HD lens with Optical Image Stabilization, H.264 and internal Solid State Drives to provide onboard memory. Samsung's new flagship HMX-H106 features an internal 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD), increasing both write performance and dramatically reduces power consumption. The company claims that when actively reading and writing data, Samsung's SSD technology consumes approximately 1/8th of the power of a comparable HDD.
Ahead of CES, Pentax on Tuesday announced two compact digital cameras: the Optio P70 and Optio E70. The ultra-slim PENTAX Optio P70 digital compact camera offers 12 megapixel resolution, a 4X optical zoom (equivalent to 27.5mm-110mm), and a wide angle 28mm lens; The Optio P70 features metal body and is available in multiple colors. Other features include a 2.7 inch high-res, wide-angle view LCD panel, and new Pixel Track Shake Reduction technology decrease shake in low lighting. The Optio P70 also offers Advanced Face Recognition that tracks up to 32 faces in 0.03 seconds as well as both Smile Capture that automatically releases the shutter when subjects smile and Blink Detection to provide alerts when subject’s eyes are closed.
HP in its pre-CES run-up introduced its first major update to its Mini 2100 netbook. The Mini 2140 replaces the Mini-Note 2133 and abandons VIA's C7-M processor in favor of a 1.6GHz Intel Atom that HP claims should extend its battery life and cool it down compared to the hot-running older model. It also switches from the original 8.9-inch screen to a 10-inch model and now has the pick of both the original, extra-sharp 1366x768 display to a lesser 1024x576 panel which is both lower-priced and less demanding on the graphics chipset.
HP's pre-CES launches today include two new Pavilion notebooks, one of which marks a first for the company's choice of processors. The 12-inch dv2 is one of the first systems to carry AMD's new Athlon Neo processor and uses a 1.6GHz version of the chip to provide ultraportable dimensions closer to a MacBook Air without cutting too deeply in terms of performance or price, unlike the aluminum chassis and Intel Core 2 Duo S of the Apple system; this and an LED-backlit display help keep the weight down to 3.8 pounds and the case down to between 0.93in and 1.29in despite the use of traditional notebook hard drives. HP likewise promises a 92 percent sized keyboard in the normally tight spaces of ultraportables.
Truphone (booth no. 3228) on Monday debuted the ability to make and receive Skype calls and instant messaging (IM) from its iPhone and iPod touch applications. Scheduled to be available to all customers during the week of January 12th, Truphone customers on both Apple devices can now reach their Skype friends via their Skype IDs. Separately, Truphone also announced today the availability of well-known instant-messaging services using the Truphone application on the iPod touch and the iPhone. The new features include full two-way instant messaging over MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk on the iPod touch and on the iPhone (with the latter beginning next week) as well as support for Twitter in its TruFriends view so users can view posts and post directly from within the Truphone application.
Apple has allegedly backed away from its strict pricing policies for iTunes songs, although the same negotiations could also mean that music from the big three labels could soon be DRM-free, according to CNET News. A source suggests that the tracks will fall into three pricing categories, including a higher-priced level for hit songs, which many media companies have pushed for. The shift could lead to higher profits for sales of popular singles.
ezGear has announced the latest addition to its series of ezSpace Wall-Mount UFO surge-protector outlets. Created as a round UFO style, 6 outlet plug expander, with built in 1050 Joule surge protection, the device contains enough space for a large plug or transformer on each outlet. Equipped to plug directly into a power outlet on the wall, the ezSpace UFO comes with a screw to secure the wall mount tightly to the outlet. The device offers a maximum current of 1875W, and a line voltage of 125V AC.
Google has released Picasa for the Mac, allowing Mac users to manage, edit and share photo collections. The new software works with Google's Picasa Web Albums and provides tools for photo editing, eliminating scratches, blemishes and fixing red-eye. It has automatic web sync, offers collage making and simple movie editing and, using Picasa's web albums, photos can be tagged with names for tracking the faces in each picture.
Mobile PDA and WebIS (booth 1438) announced Pocket Informant for the iPhone/iPod touch. Available previously only for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices, the iPhone/iPod touch version offers an integrated calendar with tasks and search options, customizable settings, and sync capabilities for Google Calendar and ToodleDo through a network connection. The software also enables full task management, customizable smart groups, and smart groups for filtering overdue, completed, and due today.
In brief: MacTech has announced that the next release of its Archive DVD collection is now available and can be ordered online. The DVD is a collection of MacTech history from its beginnings in 1984. Macworld attendees and fans of the popular virtualization software VMware Fusion can attend a meet and greet party hosted by the Fusion team. The party is located only minutes from the Moscone Center and will include free appetizers and bumper stickers. Meanwhile, Location Based Technologies, Inc. has reported over 10,000 PocketFinder application downloads for the Apple iPhone and Google Android Smartphone.
LaCie has unveiled its latest external devices, the d2 DVD burner and a dual-drive RAID system. The DVD burner is driven by Windows XP Embedded and touts a maximum write speed of 22x. Users can choose from a USB 2.0 connection or FireWire, and write to DVD-R, DVD-RW, Dual Layer, CD-R or CD-RW media. The drive also features LightScribe technology for burning custom labels directly onto the discs.
EZQuest has revealed the Cinema Pro, a new RAID storage system geared towards video editing. The unit provides 16 bays in a 3U rack format, allowing for up to 24TB of capacity. It uses a 20Gbps external PCIe bus, and transfers approximately 900MBps in RAID 0 mode, or 870MBps in RAID 5; 1, 1E, 3, 6 and JBOD configurations are also supported. Tasks on the Pro are aided by an 800MHz Intel processor equipped with 2GB of SDRAM cache.
In its attempts to quickly build up its 3G voice and data network, AT&T is knowingly reducing the signal strength of its existing 2G network used by the first-generation iPhone, Motorola's BlackBerry and RAZR and other handsets, according to a Friday Open for Business report. AT&T is said to have shifted some of its transmitters from the 850MHz 2G band to the 1,900MHz band in certain areas. AT&T subscribers and owners of 2G cellphones are finding weaker signal reception in areas that previously had strong reception, with the only fix available while remaining with AT&T being to upgrade their hardware to 3G devices.
Japan's Fujitsu says that it will debut the ScanSnap S1500M, a new scanner, at booth 520 during this week's Macworld Expo. The hardware (not pictured) is said to incorporate a new "intelligent" resolution function, as well as a redesigned interface built for Mac OS X 10.5. Business card scanning should be improved, and the package includes a bundled copy of Acrobat 8 Professional for document editing.
JVC is due to show off the world's lightest HDTV set at the CES show on Wednesday, with the that tips the scales at just over 11lbs. While not the thinnest 32-inch HDTV, it's near the top with a near 0.28-inch (7mm) profile. The company promises technology used for the prototype 1080p-capable TV will be made commercially available before the end of 2009.
G-Technology on Monday announced the upcoming release of a range of external drives housing the first 2.5-inch solid state drive. The company's G-DRIVE mini SSD is available in 120GB and 250GB capacities, while the RAID 0/1 G-RAID mini SSD can be had in 250GB and 500GB versions. G-Technology is marketing the drives to users who need to transfer large amount of data in the field, such as professional photographers, based on SSD's inherent resistance to shock and temperature extremes compared to traditional hard disk drives.
Samsung will try to stake a claim for the world's thinnest Blu-ray player when it unveils its CES offerings, a leak ahead of the event reveals. The unnamed movie reader will be as thin as many DVD players and should measure just 1.5 inches thick; few features are available, though the player will have a more rounded look than earlier Samsung players and is likely to carry Blu-ray Profile 2.0 support for live Internet features.
Equinux has released SongGenie, an application designed to analyze, detect and label music data. Once installed, the program automatically searches a computer's archive for music tracks, and creates an acoustic fingerprint for each one. As each song is logged, it keeps track of any incomplete and incorrect album, artist or song title information. Based on specific characteristics, SongGenie then finds the missing data and gives users the option of applying correct labels.
XtremeMac on Monday announced it will display the Micromemo accessory for the fourth-generation iPod nano that will allow users to make voice recordings on the Apple device. The digital voice recorder features a detachable omni-directional microphone mounted on a flexible neck. The Micromemo connects via the nano's dock and uses the device's battery for power.
A software developer has, intentionally or not, fueled speculation that Tuesday's Apple keynote speech will see the announcement of an updated Mac mini. In promoting v4.6 of its namesake digital asset management (DAM) system, it describes "new Mac mini hardware" as being supported, with the option of bundling the two products together in a server bundle. In operating as a server, the otherwise unidentified Mini would be equipped with 1TB of storage.
MSI on Monday has topped off its PC lineup with the X-Slim 320, a new crossover between netbooks and full-size notebooks. The system is based on the familiar Intel Atom chip but uses a 13.4-inch, 16:9 ratio LCD that simultaneously provides a more comfortable view but also lets MSI slim the system down to extremely thin levels: the computer uses a tapered design patterned closely after the MacBook Air that measures just below 0.8 inches at its thickest point and weighs 2.9 pounds. Despite this, MSI finds room for Ethernet, three USB ports, an SD card reader and VGA output.
Altec Lansing recently introduced its BackBeat 903/6 Bluetooth headset at the currently ongoing Macworld Expo and will also display them at the CES show later this week. The headset, developed with cooperation from Bluetooth earpiece maker Plantronics, stays in place thanks to the use of both ear canal-sealing ear buds and ear hooks. Plantronics' dual-mic AudioIQ technology is incorporated into the headset to increase call quality and raise call volume depending on ambient noise levels.
Elgato has announced the release of its EyeTV Hybrid USB TV Tuner Stick for North America, along with updated software, EyeTV version 3.1, which allows users to watch and record TV. The new software brings with it an electronic TV Guide and a feature called Smart Series Guides that allows the recording of a series of episodes of a user's favorite show. Users can also search the guide by genre and lock out certain programs or channels via the integrated parental controls. Maximum video resolution support is limited to 1080i.
Dell today chose to avoid a direct CES announcement for the Inspiron 15, its long-expected overhaul of its staple 15-inch notebook. The new model is cosmetically much closer to the wedge-shaped Inspiron 13 and switches from a 16:10 aspect ratio display to a 16:9, 1366x768 screen deemed better for movies. Extras that have been common to the Inspiron 1525 carry over and involve at least Blu-ray, Bluetooth and a webcam.
Storage tech builder ATTO has announced a preview demonstration of the FastStream SC 8500, a new RAID controller, for this week's Macworld Expo. The 8500 is meant for high-end storage functions such as video editing, and can handle as many as five uncompressed HD streams simultaneously. It includes four 8Gb Fibre Channel host interfaces, and can connect up to 128 3Gb SAS or SATA drives, or else eight to 16 JBOD enclosures.
Samsung announced on Monday that certain HDTVs in its 2009 line-up will feature the Internet@TV content service first introduced this past summer. The service will be made possible thanks to the Yahoo Widget Engine, an applications platform in its fifth-generation that will bring Internet connectivity to users' living rooms via a number of what the company calls "TV Widgets." Initially, users will be able to check their stocks and news headlines and also browse Internet-based videos and photos as well as interacting with friends.
MSI today outlined its plans for CES and confirmed the presence of the company's first all-in-one nettop. The Wind NetOn (shown) competes against ASUS' Eee Top and also described as one of the fastest; in the US-specific AE1901 model, the 19-inch system will come with a dual-core 1.6GHz Atom that should significantly improve performance while keeping power use down to just 50W. IT and the other 16- and 22-inch systems have yet to receive full details but should come with 16:9 ratio, 1366x768 touchscreens (1920x1080 in the 22-inch version) that simplify their respective interfaces.
Widget Press has posted the first version of ModelBaker, a development tool for Macs. The software is specifically designed to create web applications, and in addition to apps built for desktops and notebooks, can be used to produce mobile sites for iPhones, iPod touches and Android-based cellphones. After enabling the appropriate checkbox, developers can rebuild an existing site to be delivered in mobile format.
Eye-Fi, the makers of wireless memory cards for digital cameras, has announced an iPhone application that allows Eye-Fi card owners to upload their photos either directly to the computer through a home Wi-Fi network, or to one of 25 online photo sharing and social networking websites. Any photos taken on an iPhone can be automatically tagged with information on where the picture was taken; users can then view these geotagged photos on a digital map and organize photos by location.
Torus ($1) has players attempt to catch tori as they fall from the sky by tilting the device to slide the base hook around. Each time a tori hits the floor the player takes damage which can only be recovered by catching the glowing green tori. Players can track their high score globally on the web based high score table or with the Torus Facebook application.
Amazon.com announced on Monday that it has teamed up with Roku to offer Amazon Video On Demand video service via the Roku Digital Video Player. Roku already streams movies from Netflix and will now give its users access to more than 40,000 movies, including new releases, and TV shows offered by Amazon.com. Other than via the Roku player, Amazon's VOD service can already sync with PCs and Macs, TiVo set-top boxes and Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video Link.
TimeTable 1.6 ($15) allows users to analyze and total the number of hours recorded in iCal. It can also find trends by searching the details of events and viewing the average, minimum and maximum times spend on projects. Version 1.6 looks to give users more control over the format in which data is exported. TimeTable now will use the same order, width, title and sort order of columns as seen on the screen in the export. The update also features more control over columns, Dutch language support, improved preferences and several bug fixes. [Download - 2MB]
Storage maker Iomega has announced the Home Media Network Hard Drive, a new external device shipping in the next few weeks. The drive is a form of network-attached storage, meant primarily for sharing music, photos and video between computers, TVs, and game consoles such as the Xbox 360. It connects to an existing router via gigabit Ethernet, and unlike similar devices, relies on a custom version of Linux to serve Mac and Linux computers as well as Windows-based ones. Users can stream media via iTunes, UPnP and DLNA formats.
Best known for its add-in video cards, BFGTech on Monday stepped into the PC arena with its first full computer. The Phobos is meant to exploit BFG's expertise with video cards and will come with as many as two GeForce GTX 295 cards with liquid cooling to produce a quad SLI video setup. It will also have an uncommon, eight-inch front touchscreen that lets users not only track system performance but manually tune the system's overall speed and play both music and video.
BeeJive has announced an update to its instant messaging application for the iPhone and iPod touch, BeeJiveIM 2.0. Designed to work with IM networks such as AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, MySpace, ICQ or Jabber, users have access to a variety of IM options while being able to manage their account and buddy list. Version 2.0 offers several new features, including image transfers between an iPhone and PC, address book linking, the ability to use default AIM or Yahoo sounds, and voice note functions now similar to those for sending images.
FileMaker says it has begun shipping FileMaker Pro 10, the latest version of its professional database software. The upgrade makes a number of important changes, most noticeably to the interface, which has been overhauled with features such as a new Status Toolbar. The bar is said to resemble that in a web browser, and make features from the main menu more readily accessible. Users also have access to an improved Quick Start screen, which teaches the FileMaker interface, and can create a database from new sources such as Bento 2 or XLSX files.
iLuv made its presence felt for CES today by launching the iMM183, its latest take on iPhone and iPod speaker docks. The new model supersedes the earlier iMM173 and chiefly adds support for weather text alerts from NOAA and SAME that automatically come through on preset radio channels; the feature lets users archive as many as 10 notices for ongoing situations and has an LED warning to catch the owner's eye when a new alert is available.
At the Macworld expo due to kick off tomorrow in San Francisco, CA, NEC Display will demonstrate its newest desktop display for graphics professionals, the 26-inch MultiSync LCD2690WUXi². Based on the existing LCD2690WUXi display, the new monitor has a wider color gamut panel, covering 97.8 percent of the Adobe RGB color spectrum versus the older model's 91 percent, as well as delivering greater blue coverage and brightness uniformity.
Xsilva (Booth No. 314) this week will offer previews and demos of LightSpeed 3.0, its revamped retail point-of-sale (POS) application. Expected to ship in the spring of 2009, LightSpeed combines a POS functions for front-counter retail with back-office functions such as inventory management, order processing and billing. Version 3.0 will feature a new point-of-sale screen, a host of new features for multi-store retailers and support for the latest version of Xsilva’s e-commerce solution, Web Store 2.0.
UIQ today said it would file for bankruptcy, effectively ending the mobile operating system's role in the cellphone market. The move follows six months of job cutbacks and is directly credited to the effective abandonment of the platform by supporters Motorola and Sony Ericsson, both of whom have joined the Symbian Foundation and are more likely to use this than the related but separate UIQ software for future cellphones.
BusyMac (Booth No. #3526-I) on Monday has announced BusyCal, its latest desktop calendar application that combines the company's BusySync technology with a calendar interface recognizable to iCal users. BusyCal enables people to share and annotate iCal calendars using Bonjour over a local area network (LAN), without the need of a dedicated server; it is able sync with both Google Calendar and the iPhone via iTunes or MobileMe. Containing multiple-user editing capabilities and password protection options as read-write or read-only, users with full access can make changes to the calendars while offline, which will then be automatically synchronized once the connection to the network is re-established.
Insider Software (Booth No. 526) has announced TypeTrax, a new product for managing design projects created using Adobe Creative Suite. Developed jointly by Insider and Moksa, TypeTrax manages projects, and tracks, organizes and pre-flights project files, including fonts and digital assets. The software is fully integrated with Canto's Cumulus digital asset management and allows users to simply drag a document into Cumulus: TypeTrax automatically detects and displays the project's font resources in WYSIWYG mode. TypeTrax also provides full access to font metadata and the ability to view native fonts and associated font data from within Cumulus.
Adding to recently-released browser figures, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu notes that use of the Mac OS is not only growing, but accelerating. Figures based on OS and browser use are said to show that the Mac OS -- combining versions for computers and the iPhone -- grew its marketshare to 10 percent in December, a 0.75 percent increase over the 9.25 percent share achieved in November. November's growth was just 0.65 percent, Wu comments, and only a year ago, the Mac OS held 7.3 percent of the market.
In addition to its just-updated HD models, Canon on Monday has also seen fit to revamp its standard definition camcorders with CES in mind. The FS22, FS21 and FS200 are trimmed in size and as much as 17 percent smaller than their FS1x equivalents. The FS21 and FS22 also hold more internal storage and carry 16GB and 32GB respectively of flash memory, with the latter option holding as much as 7 hours and 20 minutes of video at full quality. SDHC cards are usable on all three devices.
Ultimate Ears, owned by Logitech, announced on Monday the upcoming release of its MetroFi line (not pictured) of noise-isolating earphones. The MetroFi 170 and MetroFi 220 are compatible with iPods, iPhones and more generic music phones and MP3 players thanks to their 3.5mm stereo jack and are designed to offer 16dB of noise isolation. The earbuds ship with three pairs of silicone ear cushions that conform to the shape of a wearer's ear to isolate them from ambient noise.
Canon this morning unveiled a complete overhaul of its camcorder line starting with its VIXIA HD camcorders. The HF S10 and HF S100 are both the first Canon video cameras to sport the new DIGIC DV III chip and produce better overall image accuracy while adding support for live face detection, an improved auto exposure system and the ability to capture 8-megapixel still photos. Either can also record 1080-line AVCHD (H.264) video at up to the maximum 24Mbps supported by the spec.
Ending a beta period, App4mac has released the final version of CheckUp 2.0, its system monitoring tool. The software tracks CPU, memory and network usage, as well as processes; alerts can be triggered whenever a resource hits a particular value, such as when a hard drive fails. CheckUp can also be used to determine compatibility with Leopard, and monitor a Mac remotely via LAN or Internet connections. The app is free as an upgrade or $40 new, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Freescale began its year today by introducing a new i.MX chip it hopes will gain a foothold in netbooks. The i.MX515 is based on the same ARM architecture shared by many smartphones and set-top boxes but is tuned for the higher performance of the mini notebooks, with clock speeds ranging between 600MHz and 1GHz. It also touts rare support for DDR2 memory and an integrated OpenGL graphics core capable of both 3D as well as accelerated 2D, such as video in Adobe's Flash Lite.
Responding to recent rumors, as well as long-standing concerns, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has admitted in an open letter that his pullout from the annual Macworld keynote can be partially attributed to health matters. "Unfortunately," writes Jobs, "my decision to have Phil [Schiller] deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed. I've decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow."
Seagate today preempted CES by launching a major update to its Barracuda drives. The 7200.12 is the first desktop hard drive to fit 500GB of data on to a single platter and manages to hold 1TB by using just two platters versus as many as four on other disks. Condensing the data improves reliability by reducing the points of failure and also improves performance through sheer density. Seagate itself estimates sustained transfer speeds of 160MB per second and thus competes more closely with some solid-state drives.
Lenovo today abandoned its traditional business desktop focus with its first all-in-one IdeaCenter PC. The A600 is billed as a home entertainment computer and comes with a rare motion-sensitive remote similar to the Nintendo Wii remote or Gyration offerings: users can play games or otherwise control the onscreen cursor by gesturing at the PC rather than using a directional pad or mousing on a flat surface.
LG on Monday marked a first for TVs by saying that it will unveil a line of TVs at CES this week that have built-in support for Netflix viewing. The feature will let anyone with a $9 or higher Netflix subscription stream an unlimited number of movies from their Watch Instantly queue, including HD; while creating the queue is dependent on web use outside the TV, the set can rate movies and otherwise has full control over playback. Each of the relevant sets will have an Ethernet jack built-in to make the connection.
Intel and Adobe today said they have struck a deal to optimize Flash for the CE 3100, Intel's system-on-a-chip design for TV set-top devices. The processor's combination of graphics and processing is deemed fast enough to run both a full desktop-level version of Flash as well as the traditionally cellphone-oriented Flash Lite and is meant to bring the animation and interface technology to networked media hubs, Blu-ray players and TVs themselves that previously would have had to go without the format.
While some details were leaked last week, Samsung offered some more insight into its CES announcements. On Sunday, Samsung said it has developed the "world's thinnest" TV and expects to unveil several ultra slim HDTVs at CES. According to a new report, the new HDTVs are expected to be only 6.5mm thick - about 2mm thinner than the firm's last product; the HDTV's will range from 40-inches to 55-inches and will support Samsung’s Motion plus technology (240Hz) and Samsung’s LED backlight technology; however, Samsung's newest model does not have a built-in tuner or receiver within its unit, but said it comes with a separate external tuner device. [via Akihabara News]
Lenovo on Monday debuted its latest midrange "multi-touch" IdeaPad Y Series laptops that are smaller, thinner and lighter than the previous generation as well as its first 16-inch widescreen laptop, the IdeaPad Y650 built from Carbon Fiber. The IdeaPad Y Series, which also includes Y550 and Y450, focuses on HD entertainment and shares the same "modern soft black design" with an interlocked hexagon pattern on the top cover along with a discrete copper accent around the perimeter of the laptop. The carbon fiber-based IdeaPad Y650, allegedly the thinnest and lightest laptop in its class, weighs less than many 15-inch laptops -- only 5.6lbs and is just one inch thick at its thinnest point.
Despite the rumors of an iPhone "nano" and a tablet sized iPod touch, Apple is more likely to use the Macworld expo to announce updated versions of several existing products, according to a variety of sources. Analysts' forecasts have focused on a new line of iMacs and a refreshed 17-inch MacBook Pro utilizing aluminum unibody construction. The company could also be prepared to launch a new Mac mini and Apple TV, along with the latest versions of Time Capsule and iWork.
Sonic Solutions' Roxio has updated its stalwart Toast Titanium and Titanium Pro disc burning and media conversion software, adding enhanced iPhone streaming, TIVo support, an audiobook creation tool and archiving support for AVCHD video. The Pro version comes bundled with a plug-in for Blu-ray support, SmartSound Sonicfire Pro, BIAS SoundSoap, LightZone and FotoMagico. Both versions of Toast are available now.
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HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc