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Electronista has taken a closer look at the Pre smartphone unveiled at CES. The device is noticeably smaller in person than it seems in previous images. Despite the smaller screen, the display still appears crisp and vivid. The company matched the 480 by 320 pixel resolution of the iPhone, while reducing the overall screen size to fit the smaller housing. Video playback seemed smooth as the Pre played an H.264-encoded movie trailer. Reaction time and flow of the menu items was also clean, without any choppiness or apparent delay.
Microsoft will be producing at least three different versions of Windows 7, including ones specific for netbooks, sub-notebooks, one for consumers, and one for enterprise users. Following the introduction yesterday at the CES keynote, a new report by CNET UK says that the software giant confirmed the multiple variants in a one-on-one briefing at Microsoft's London offices this week. The publication notes that the netbook version likely would not be made available to consumers, but would likely only be made available to OEM manufacturers of such devices.
At its CES press conference on Wednesday, LG unveiled a pair of Blu-ray players with a world-first NetCast entertaintment Access, featuring access to streaming HD movies from Netflix, the CinemaNow library and YouTube videos. While both can bring the videos to users’ living rooms, only the BD390 sports 7.1-channel audio support, Wi-Fi connectivity and 1GB of built-in memory. Either can access online Blu-ray features such as BD Live and BonusView content and users can connect their thumb flash and external drives via USB connections for playback of MPEG4, JPEG, MO3 and WMA formats.
Targus is demonstrating new products at both CES and Macworld Expo. In San Francisco, the accessory maker unveiled a new line of "eco-friendly" laptop cases and bags for the Aluminum MacBook Pro and at CES, Targus is touting a new line of laptop cooling devices for PCs and Macs.
Sony Ericsson has staked out a position at CES with three new phone launches. Leading the field, the W715 is an improvement on the older W705 that adds GPS to the Walkman slider and thus support for both turn-by-turn directions and finding points of interest on the ordinarily music-centric phone. It continues to offer a 3.2-megapixel camera, 3G and Wi-Fi with DLNA media sharing along with signature music functions like shake-to-shuffle control over random play and smart playlists based on moods.
Sony has based its BRAVIA introductions at CES around three core series that each promise a different focus. The company's attention centers on the VE5, a new line that pushes low power consumption above all. A new hot cathode fluorescent lamp, or HCFL, lets Sony illuminate the screen but consume 40 percent less power on average than a cold cathode lamp TV. The screen also has a true power-off switch to avoid draining energy on standby and has both motion and light sensors to automatically dim the screen when no one is watching or night allows a darker picture.
We have some photos from the show floor in North Hall. The hit of the day was the Pulse Smartpen, a pen capable of recording audio, writing and drawings on specialized paper, then redrawing it on a desktop application. The smartpen won a best of show award. Cases from Incipio, which also won a best of show, were popular and Topaz photo software was attracting attention. iPod accessories and cases were being shown at numerous venders throughout the hall.
Excel Software has released DocProtect 1.0, an application for protecting rights and access to files, from actions like drag-and-drop copying to exporting and saving. The software wraps a protective license around the document to limit use by non-licensed users. It also works with HTML projects, offering the above protection and password protection for image collections, video and audio files, PDFs and Excel spreadsheets. Developers can design trial period access for the software, which works with files like CAD and .mov, .mp3, .avi and others.
NCsoft has launched City of Heroes for the Mac, a massive multiplayer online (MMO) game where users create either a villain or hero, and do battle against creatures, giant monsters, and other players inside player-versus-player zones. Previously only available as an open beta, players can now receive the full copy as a digital-only Mac Special Edition. With the edition, users can expect access to the full City of Heroes and City of Villians game, twelve possible character slots to choose from, and exclusive in-game-items including a mission teleport power and a Valkyrie themed costume set.
In brief: Toon Boom has now reached an agreement and acquired Intellectual Property from Cambridge Animation Systems. Apple has released a new iLife up-to-date program for customers purchasing a new Mac in the next couple of months. If the computer does not include iLife ’09 customers will be able to upgrade to the new software for $10. Meanwhile, nova media has released the latest update to its iSync plugins that add Mac OS X support for cell phones that are currently unsupported by Apple’s iSync.
Cloud Engines has announced Pogoplug at CES, a small device that connects a user’s external hard drive to the Internet. The device is designed to make network-attached storage simple and only involves attaching the Pogoplug to a home router and the drive in question to the plug. A web front end lets users then gain access to all the information on the drive regardless of the location. The plug itself is compatible with any USB 2 hard drive or memory stick, while the Pogoplug website can be used with any web browser.
NVIDIA's appearance at CES comes with the launch of new flagship desktop graphics cards as well as new mobile chipsets. The dual-chip GeForce GTX 295 and GTX 285 are both built on a more efficient manufacturing process that lets the company either ramp up clock speeds (on the 285) or double the number of chips (on the 295). The 285 is now NVIDIA's fastest single-GPU card and comes with a 648MHz core and 1GB of memory at 1.24GHz while the 295 behaves as though it were two GTX 260s with a 576MHz core and 1.79GB total of 1GHz memory. NVIDIA claims the 285 is about 30 percent faster on average than the Radeon HD 4870 it competes against.
Continuing a bevy of electronics announcements, Sony has debuted three new Cyber-shots, beginning with the W220 and W210. Both are rated at 12.1 megapixels, and equipped with 4x optical zoom. The cameras are also able to reach ISO 3200 sensitivity, and have options for automatic face, smile and scene recognition. The one distinguishing aspect is image stabilization, as only the W220 uses true optical stabilization instead of digital.
Nokia's turn at CES saw the company launch American versions of two of its phones. The E63 is surfacing in the US as an unlocked device and adds support the 850MHz band for 3G on AT&T, with GSM and EDGE supported on both AT&T and T-Mobile. Like the reference version, the E63 is considered a budget counterpart to the E71 and uses a plastic shell, a lower-resolution 2-megapixel camera and the absence of GPS to reduce the price. A 3.5mm headphone jack partly compensates for the difference.
Sony has announced a a variety of new camcorders, divided into hard drive-, flash- and DVD-based models. The hard drive models consist mainly of the HDR-XR520V, 500V, 200V and 100. Equipped with a CMOS sensor and a supplementary Memory Stick slot, each is capable of recording 1080p video and 12-megapixel stills; the 520V incorporates a 240GB hard drive, able to hold as much as 101 hours of video. The camera additionally includes a built-in GPS receiver for geotagging, and optical image stabilization.
Matais has come up with a simple solution to a minor annoyance that affects every iPod and iPhone user -- the unwanted sync. Tune Blocker allows users to charge their devices through USB, without having to sync through iTunes. The cable comes with a built-in switch, so users can choose whether or not to sync.
Addressing an important gap, Sirius XM today introduced the MiRGE. The radio fulfills a promised update and is the first to support both Sirius and XM channels in one device. It can switch between either on the fly gives either network the same features, including as many as ten presets and a dual view display that shows both the currently playing station as well as the channel browser. A buffer caches up to 60 minutes of programming for pausing and skipping.
TOM BIHN, a designer, manufacturer, and retailer of notebook bags, has announced nine backpacks, messenger bags, and briefcases for Apple's 17-inch aluminium MacBook Pro. Three of these designs include the Checkpoint Flyer, the Size 1 Brain Cell, and the Super Ego. The Checkpoint Flyer is a bag designed to allow users to send their notebook through the x-ray machine at an airport checkpoint, without worrying about damage to the computer inside. The bag is made from 8mm-thick thermo-molded closed cell foam that surrounds a notebook and protects against bumps and scratches, though not water.
Palm at CES launched the Pre (pronounced "pree"), its latest smartphone featuring a touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The device runs on the new webOS operating system which supports third-party app development and takes advantage of the touch interface. It also pushes the high-end of smartphones with a 3-megapixel camera, EVDO Rev. A, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, GPS, 8GB of storage and a new TI processor that offers notebook-level performance. The 3.1-inch touchscreen offers a 480x320 resolution, while a separate gesture area below the screen is used for several controls in addition to a center button.
Speck has released several new products, including hardshell, iPhone cases, two new lines of iPod nano and iPod touch cases, AftPack lightweight backpacks, CorePak Notebook Messenger bags, PortPak Notebook shoulder Bags and the basic TuckPack Notebook Sleeve.
Epson has launched its latest tool for scanning photos, documents, and 3D objects, Epson Perfection V30. The scanner features 4800x9600 DPI optical resolution, and a high-rise 180-degree lid for 3D objects. In addition, the Easy Photo Fix software will automatically restore color restoration to faded pictures. Four one-touch scanning buttons on the side provide quick e-mail, copy, automated scanning, and create PDF abilities. Epson Perfection V30 requires no warm-up time and offers lower power consumption by using Epson's energy-efficient ReadyScan technology
The official announcement has yet to be made, but Feral Interactive is giving MacWorld gamers a first-hand look at the Mac OS X version of Lego Batman.
Continuing its efforts in Las Vegas, Dell today released the G2210 and G2410. The 22- and 24-inch screens are both LED-backlit and focus on eco-friendliness. While the lighting is their point of distinction and roughly halves the amount of power consumption at just 20W, the body itself is made partly of recycled material and is about 20 percent smaller, using less material. Image quality also sees a distinctive benefit and sees the contrast ratio jump from 1,000:1 in static mode to 1,000,000:1 when the LEDs' dynamic lighting is invoked.
JVC is promoting three new home theater systems at CES, the TH-G31, G41 and G51. All three feature 5.1-channel surround speakers, with power rated at 1,000W; these attach to a receiver which decodes DTS and Dolby Digital input, while providing HDMI video output and 1080p upconversion. A front-facing auxiliary input allows additional connections. The G31 is the simplest of the three, providing no extra improvements.
Sony on mid-Thursday crowned its Cyber-shot news at CES with the DSC-G3. The camera is both one of Sony's few Wi-Fi equipped cameras but is the only one to include its own web browser. The addition not only allows for basic web use on the 3.5-inch touchscreen but also streamlines photo and video uploading; users can post images to Flickr, movies to YouTube, and other similar actions without having to return home to a computer. A streamlined landing page improves the experience in particular for sites like Picasa.
iBearMoney ($13) allows users to record and track their money flows. All financial transactions can be inputted and connected to certain categories. The data can than be analyzed with various financial reports that can focus on payments, expenses or assets. The application can support multiple cash accounts for separating spending with a debit card, cash or cheques and also includes a series of predefined expense categories.
CyberDuck 3.1 is an open source FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser licensed under the GPL. The application features integration with external editors, as well as support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain, and AppleScript. Version 3.1 has added support for both Amazon CloudFront (in conjunction with Amazon S3) and Cloud Files from Rackspace. CyberDuck also now features pre-configured protocol settings for MobileMe iDisk and can send rbitrary commands over SSH using the "Send Command" interface. A list of additional features and fixes are available in the softwares changelog. [Download - 10.3MB]
Korea's Samsung has introduced two new LCD monitors at CES, the P2370L and the 2233RZ. The former is a 23-inch display, whose main feature is a white LED backlight instead of the flourescent type used in most LCDs. This is claimed to produce better color results, as well as contrast, which is listed as an extremely high 2,000,000:1. The monitor additionally sports a 2ms gray-to-gray response, and resolutions up to 1080p; input comes in the form of DVI-I, which supports both DVI-A and DVI-D sources. The display should ship in the first quarter of the year for $399.
Dell today used CES to launch its first gaming desktop to use AMD processors in place of Intel's. The XPS 625 mid-tower shares the same custom-lit aluminum case as the XPS 630 but switches to an AMD 790FX-based mainboard and can be equipped with one of several overclockable Black Edition processors up to and including the 3GHz, quad-core Phenom II just introduced at the same time. All video card picks are equally AMD-based and scale up to dual Radeon HD 4850 cards in CrossFire mode.
ViewSonic today ventured into relatively unknown territory for itself by launching its first, full-fledged computers. The VieBook (content to come soon) is its take on the netbook and carries specs similar to most other models using a 10-inch display, with a 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, a 1.3 megapixel webcam and Bluetooth rounding out its feature set. The system will ship in February for $429 and comes preloaded with Windows XP.
Feral Interactive (booth no. 2530) on Thursday announced it will release the Mac version of Rome: Total War Gold Edition. Due in March, SEGA’s top-rated strategy game will be released by Feral as the second in the series of Feral Legends titles: "Encompassing three centuries of warfare from the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire, Rome: Total War is regarded as one of the best strategy games ever with a seamless integration of strategic and tactical modes and featuring a 3d graphics engine that is capable of rendering over 10,000 soldiers on a single battlefield."
Cisco this week announced that it extending its web conferencing and collaboration capabilities to the Apple's iPhone 3G with a new iPhone application: the new Cisco WebEx meetings iPhone application is available for free download from the AppStore and allows users to click to join and actively collaborate in CiscoWebEx meetings. Using Cisco WebEx Meeting Center application on the iPhone, users can view what's being shared, see the meeting participant list, see the active speaker and chat with other meeting participants. In addition, users have the ability to take advantage of simultaneous web and audio conferencing capabilities from Cisco on both the 3G mobile and 802.11 wireless (Wi-Fi) networks.
Creative on Thursday announced its Sound Blaster for iTunes is being displayed at CES (booth 30651). Designed for use through the iTunes interface, Sound Blaster plugs into the USB connection on a PC or Mac, and plays back music through Creative wireless speakers or headphones while enhancing the quality. Sound blaster also works in users pre-existing speaker systems equipped with Creative Wireless Receivers. Users can select up to four different receivers for music playback.
LG has announced a host of new LCD monitors at CES, concentrating on the M237WD, a new 23-inch display. The panel is unusual in that it doubles as an HDTV set, mainly through the inclusion of 1080p resolution and an ATSC tuner. It is designed in the cinema-standard 16:9 ratio instead of 16:10, and features built-in stereo speakers as well as a bundled infrared remote. Dynamic contrast is rated at 30,000:1, and response time is pegged at 5ms.
Apple has posted an online edition of its 2009 proxy statement, as required by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The document lays down the plan for the company's annual shareholders' meeting, which is scheduled for February 25th at 10 AM Pacific time, inside Building 4 of the Cupertino headquarters. Investors are being asked to re-elect Apple's current board of directors, which aside from CEO Steve Jobs includes seven others such as Al Gore and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
NVIDIA on Thursday took the wraps from GeForce 3D Vision, its first stereoscopic 3D setup meant for home users. The add-on combines a set of glasses with a USB-attached IR emitter and certain new displays to generate 3D imagery for games, movies and videos without the blur or flickering that often creeps up in many stereoscopic setups. It also supports more common gaming setups and works with two-card SLI without special configurations.
Disk Doctor Labs has announced its new Disk Doctors Mac Data Recovery software. Compatible with Mac OS X Leopard and Tiger, the stand-alone software solution supports both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs and provides recovery from hard drives, camera/flash cards, FireWire drives, and USB drives. The software features a user interface that the company claims allows even a novice to handle complex recovery, support for both HFS+ and HFSX file systems, and an advance volume scanning option that helps in variety of unique situations, including recovering formatted volumes, volumes when not getting mounted, volumes having damaged partition map, volumes having corrupt catalog file or any kind of corruption in B-Tree.
Creative today finally confirmed the nature of the Zii. The one-time mystery device is now known to be a processor platform based on the notion of very generalized, software-based cores known as Processing Elements: the "stemcell" element from earlier teasers refers to an ability to repurpose any of the cores for a particular task. The process mimics the unified shaders processors of current video cards and is said to provide supercomputer-like acceleration without needing a large processor or a large amount of energy.
Verbatim has announced three of its latest products, ExpressCard SSD, Store 'n' Go Micro USB drive, and the Speaker Keyboard. The ExpressCard/34 is a solid-state drive (SSD) that provides plug-in storage at 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. With read speeds up to 125MB/s and write speeds maxed at 30MB/s, the storage device also comes equipped with NTI Shadow 4 to enable automatic backup every time a change occurs.
SanDisk on Thursday unveiled the third generation of its Solid State Drive lineup with an emphasis on making them available to the public. The company promises drives that are both inexpensive and fast through a combination of cheap multi-level cell (MLC) memory, a new memory controller and its ExtremeFFS file system. Even in flash memory's historically weak performance with sequential data, SanDisk estimates 200MB per second reads and 140MB per second writes. That's about five times faster than a 7,200RPM hard drive, the company believes.
T-Mobile this morning volunteered to use CES as the venue to introduce a trio of new phones for its network. The company's long in progress Shadow update completely reworks the design but continues to embrace the same basic philosophy of a jogwheel for control and a slide-out, SureType keyboard. The new model, however, builds in Wi-Fi with HotSpot Calling and carries a faster 260MHz processor to help drive its Windows Mobile 6.1 platform.
The way Serguei Beloussov sees it, a lower price isn't the key to winning over Mac users with its Parallels Desktop virtual machine software. In an interview with MacNN, the CEO said he's now taking a cue from Apple, positioning Parallels as a premium product with improved quality and service. What he says he won't do, is get in a price war with close competitor VMWare Fusion.
SERank 1.9 ($60) can monitor search engine rankings for any number of keywords and display the changes of a sites rankings over time. Users can track search engine rankings in over 50 different search engines world time and can graph changes in their personal sites ranking over time. The application can also create customized PDF reports reports for clients. Version 1.9 can now export data to CSV or tab delimited files for use with Excel or Numbers and can also customize reports by setting table column widths. [Download - 14.4MB]
RadTech has announced numerous new products at Macworld 2009 (Booth No. 1043 S). Among the new gear is the ARC case for iPod touch and iPhone, a two-piece polyurethane case that clasps on the rear of the iPod and provides access to all ports. It arrives in black, silver, red and blue and ships for $15. Also shipping for the iPhone is the SLAM for iPhone, a clip-based case that holds an iPhone face in or face out with full port access and a 180-degree clip that supports the iPhone as a horizontal video stand. It is available for the iPhone 2G for $8 and the 3G for $15.
Kerio Technologies says it is seeing significant -- even surprising -- growth in iPhone users of its MailServer products for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Worldwide Marketing VP Dusan Vitek tells MacNN says the introduction of the iPhone 3G led to a significant increase in demand in recent months.
Griffin (Booth No. 1902 S) announced a slew of new of new iPod and iPhone products at Macworld today, launching twelve new items, including its new sound-isolating bluetooth headset, covered earlier today on MacNN. Launched today were the TuneFlex AUX, an iPod car system with a steering wheel remote, an iTrip for iPod nano 4G, TuneBuds Fit, a new headphone set, and the new PowerBlock Reserve and PowerJolt Reserve, which power iPods via home outlets and car power, respectively, and include an external battery for mobile use with the iPod. Also announced were the SmartShare USB, a USB Splitter, the Noise-Reducing Audio Cable, TuneJuice, a AAA-battery powered iPod charger, the Charge Converter FireWire-to-USB cable, Navigate, an FM transmitter for the iPod that can control both iPods and iPhones so they can be stored during travel, and Elan Form Chrome, a chrome-plated iPhone case.
AMD marked the start of CES with the formal debut of the Phenom II, its first mainstream 45 nanometer processor. The upgrade is based on the same core "Shanghai" architecture as recent Opterons and gives a roughly 20 percent speed boost over the previous-best 2.6GHz chip through changes that involve an optimized design with more instructions handled per clock, 4MB of total extra cache, and support for up to the same 1,333MHz DDR3 memory as rival systems from Intel. The design is also now much more tolerant of high clock speeds and will run up to 3GHz in stock trim.
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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
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko