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HRL Technologies has released VoiceThis Voice Dialer for the iPhone, an application that enables users to dial anyone in their contact list by simply stating the name. The program provides customizable options for nicknames, pronunciation of names or presentation of contact pictures. Access to free 411 from Google can be initiated by stating "Goog 411." Other features include a toggle to cancel noise, an option to end calls by shaking the phone and the ability to call contacts in several languages.
Several founders and top executives at Sling Media are parting ways with the company, following plans originally established in 2007 when the company was acquired by EchoStar for $380 million, according to paidContent.org. Brothers Blake and Jason Krikorian will depart, leaving their positions as CEO and SVP of business development, respectively. Jason Hirschhorn and Ben White will leave vacancies for president and chief creative officer of the Sling Media Entertainment Group, while the VP of sales, Greg Wilkes, will also seek other opportunities.
Applicorn has launched the latest version of its multipurpose system-utility for Mac, Xupport 3.5.0. The program provides tools that allow users to increase system security and configure hidden Mac OS X and Unix features, while adding more system-cleaning and backup capabilities. The update features maintenance and performance improvements designed to increase application speed and enable faster launch on Intel Macs, while additional network-optimization settings can be used to enhance download performance.
Electronista at CES had a chance to try out Sennheiser's new HD 800, the company's latest flagship headphones geared for audiophiles. At first glance, the housing is clearly more modern and technologically-inspired than the relatively drab exterior of the predecessor products, the HD 600 and HD 650. More importantly, the company developed entirely new 56mm ring-shaped transducers that boast an incredible frequency response of 6 Hz to 51,000 Hz. The annular design is said to vibrate the entire air volume over the transducer to create a full-bodied sound with clarity at the low end, but without causing the high-frequency distortion found with large drivers.
In brief: Dates have been set for the 2009 FileMaker DevCon and potential attendees can register now to receive special early EARLY bird pricing. Comm-Unity Networking Systems has finished testing their FileMaker Pro plug-ins with FileMaker 10 Pro and found that most still function exactly as they should. The two plug-ins that are experiencing minor flaws are being addressed and updates are expected to release soon. Meanwhile, Mariner Software has announced that it has now acquired ReceiptWallet and will begin selling it from their website in the near future.
Samsung at CES unveiled the latest addition to its series of UMPCs, the Q1EX, featuring a VIA Nano CPU instead of the Intel processors that were chosen for the rest of the Q1 line. The device provides a 7-inch touchscreen that presents the Windows Vista operating system, while users can take advantage of an integrated GPS receiver and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. The ultraportable supports HSPA and WiMAX, while the company claims the battery life extends to 4.5 hours.
Apple has announced a discount upgrade program for iLife '09 that is available to certain Mac purchasers. The promotion is designed to satisfy owners that receive computers bundled with the older version of iLife. The company will allow any customer that purchases a Mac between January 6th, 2009 to March 28 to upgrade to the latest software for $10. The systems must have been obtained from an Apple Store or an authorized reseller, and the program is still valid with certified refurbished products.
Shuttle PC showed off its new X50 all-in-one PC. Users can interface with the X50 either via an attached keyboard or the 1366x768 resolution touchscreen. The pre-loaded OS on the 80GB hard disk is Windows XP Professional, while processing is done via a dual-core Atom CPU set into Intel's 945GC mainboard. Graphics are handled by the onboard GMA 950 processor. Virtual memory is set at 1GB.
Monsoon has announced upcoming iPhone support for its TV placeshifting hardware, HAVA. Designed to work through broadband Internet or a network-connected PC, HAVA allows users to watch and control live TV, including satellite and TiVo content. With the iPhone application, users will have access to an on-screen remote from which they can watch TV, pause, change channels, browse a program guide and launch recorded shows.
Google has narrowed the projected time-frame for a Mac release of its Chrome browser, according the CNET News. Owners of both Mac and Linux systems should be able to download the program by the first half of the year. "That's what we've been hoping for," said Brian Radowski, product manager for Chrome. "Those two efforts proceeding in parallel. They're at the same level of progress."
High-end customizable notebook and multimedia PC maker Velocity Micro announced at CES it will soon introduce its first netbook and portable tablet PC, with the 10.1-inch NoteMagix M10 and handheld 4.8-inch touchscreen NoteMagix M5. The former weighs just 2.6lbs, runs on Windows XP, and is powered by an Atom CPU. There is 1GB of RAM and 160GB of storage space. A Wi-Fi module is integrated, as is a 1.3-megapixel webcam. Connections on the netbook include three USB ports, a 3-in-1 card reader, VGA and audio outputs. The four-cell battery's life is rated at over five hours, which, along with the remaining specs, compares favorably to high-end netbooks from competitors.
MSI is planning on making a version of its 13.4-inch X-Slim notebook available with a faster Pentium chip than the current 1.33GHz Intel Atom CPU. The current X320 lightweight, sub-3lb laptop is meant to compete with the MacBook Air, and the faster chips would extend the range to make it more competitive with the Air, which is offered with Intel's 1.6GHz and 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo CPUs.
HDTV, digital camera and photo camera maker GiiNii introduced its Movit Mini Mobile Internet Device (MID) at last week's CES. The device comes with a 4.3-inch touchscreen that's good for 480x272 resolution. While it's not a cellphone and has no access to wireless data networks, the device ships with a Skype application that lets users make phone calls over the Internet. There is an option to connect to the web via a mobile phone's data access, though how exactly has not been defined.
Apple has announced the date for its next financial conference call, which will discuss the results of the company's first fiscal quarter of 2009. The call is currently scheduled for Wednesday, January 21st at 2PM Pacific, or 5PM Eastern time. Those not participating directly in the call will have to listen via a QuickTime webcast.
At CES, HP introduced its dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC, based on the current HP TouchSmart PC for home users. While the hardware is identical to the existing TouchSmart PCs, HP is already working with DNA Digital Media Group, GuestMVP, Interactive Multimedia Artists and Uniguest to develop business-oriented applications for the new PC. In the future, the computer-maker hopes to expand upon this group.
Apple could be making its rumored iPhone nano primarily for non-US markets, checks by analyst Brian Marshal of AmTech indicate. Despite the absence of the smaller, lower-cost device at Macworld, Marshal believes the device is still on track for an early 2009 release based on investigations but warns that AT&T isn't yet known to be testing the hardware, suggesting that any early release would launch outside of the US.
CTL has recently announced its 2goPC convertible educational notebook, modeled after the second-generation Classmate PC Intel officially introduced on Friday at the CES in Las Vegas. As one of Intel's partners in its Intel Learning Series initiative to create software and hardware products to enhance children's learning experiences, CTL is one of the first manufacturers to launch the PC, offering a first look at the detailed specs. The 8.9-inch 2goPC sports a 1.6GHz Atom chip, has a resolution of 1024x600, and a VGA output.
Noble Security says it has begun selling two new locks for Apple computers. The first is for the MacBook Air, which Noble notes lacks a traditional Kensington lock slot. The Noble lock is in fact claimed to be the only one available for the Air, and attempts to match the thin size of the computer.
Intel is developing a new Core 2-based processor that would bring ultraportable notebooks to non-premium prices, leaks from within the company at CES have revealed to CNET. The contacts say the processor will be faster than the Atom processors for netbooks but less expensive than the Core 2 Duo S or ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processors that currently inflate the prices of systems like Apple's MacBook Air and Lenovo's ThinkPad X301, which regularly start at prices of $1,800 or more.
Pinboard ($2) is an application that can help a user keep track of notes, reminders and other important facts. Users can drag the notes around the screen and "pin" them up where they want. This allows the information to be organized in a way that is logical to the user.
Sync'Em 1.2 ($50) is an application for syncing Exchange, Google and Apple contact and calendar information. The update has added extra options to the applications uninstaller which can be helpful with a later reinstall. Users will also find a few interface enhancements, a fix for a syncing issue that could cause the application to hang and a a work around for a problem with unhandled exceptions in OS X's Sync Services. [Download - 16.1MB]
Software-as-a-service company Servoy has released the iPhone Application Builder, a tool meant to simplify web application development for iPhones and iPod touches. The tool is said to run on any SQL database, whether local or hosted online, and support the creation of business-oriented apps without any necessary programming expertise, thanks to the use of a special mini-IDE. The Builder takes metadata from databases and tables and generates all forms and objects.
Palm could push as many as 1.5 million units of its Pre smartphone in a year, according to an investment note by Citi analyst Jim Suva. The researcher has upgraded the company's stock rating from "sell" to "hold" based on the technical abilities of the device, which has a more modern operating system than existing Palm phones and is also the company's first large touchscreen phone. The phone is seen as a direct factor in soften Palm's mounting losses and bringing its sales back up.
Graphic Remedy has launched a beta program for the Mac version of gDEBugger, its previously Windows- and Linux-only development tool. The software handles the profiling and debugging of OpenGL code, letting users track the causes of bad performance in OpenGL-based programs. Programmers can additionally tweak memory usage, fix redundant state changes and remove unrecommended OpenGL function calls.
Mio introduced four new Moov portable navigation devices in its booth at the recently-concluded CES, each sporting new Spirit software interface that is meant to be both simpler and more intuitive to use. Hinted at near the start of this year, the interface borrowed from the Navman line will offer more POIs, at 12 million, along with faster access, less cluttered map views and text-to-speech functionality. A 3D Junction View feature is added in the new flagship model, the S556, which has a 4.7-inch touchscreen display and Bluetooth support that allows for hands-free calling.
The timing of Microsoft's Windows 7 beta and its expiry dates provides a clue as to the actual ship date of the final product, according to info gathered by Microsoft observer Ed Bott. The software officially expires on August 1st but does so just a month after the believed July 1st start of a Windows 7 upgrade program for new PCs, effectively marking off July as the release month. Anonymous sources of Bott's have also suggested a similar launch window.
Among other product debuts at CES, Samsung has unveiled four new digital point-and-shoot digital cameras, including the 10.2-megapixel HZ10W which can capture 720p HD video at 30fps and in H.264 compression. The camera has a 24mm Schneider lens with a 10x optical zoom along with both optical and digital image stabilization and gives users full control over its settings, including shutter speed, aperture opening, exposure and focus. The HZ10W's Successive Recording mode lets users pause video recordings without breaking them up into separate clips.
HTC's upcoming phone list for 2009 has been leaked online, reports claim. Some 25 different devices are present on the list; prominent ones begin with the Topaz, a touchscreen-based phone branded for AT&T; it additionally appears to have basic music or calling buttons, as well as front- and rear-mounted cameras. The Willow W, meanwhile, is focused around a QWERTY keyboard, and may be slated to become known as the Excalibur or a 3G sequel to the T-Mobile Dash. Initial images, however, show a Sprint logo.
Senior officials from Australian carrier Telstra claims on Monday that HTC is developing a smartphone that would trump devices from Apple and Palm. The executives, who observed some of the competition at CES this past week, say HTC has a touchscreen device in the works which is "better and more functional" than either the iPhone or the just-unveiled Pre and should have both a larger display than existing HTC phones as well as custom software written by the phone maker itself; the inaugural T-Mobile G1 currently uses only Google's stock software.
Red Giant has released Magic Bullet Quick Looks, a new set of color-correction plug-ins for video editors. The software represents a scaled-down version of Magic Bullet Looks, which provides a full range of tools for tweaking visual styles. Quick Looks eliminates most custom options in favor of over 100 presets, based on the cinematography of famous films and TV shows.
Motorola could slash as much as half of the workforce in its mobile devices group very shortly, an apparent tip to Phone Scoop suggests. The company is reportedly set to start major layoffs this week that would drop 50 percent of the staff and is said to be dramatically scaling back its phone development as a whole. Most if not all development for smartphones is already believed to be switching exclusively to Android while Motorola's own phone introductions may scale back to as few as 12 devices per year.
Keynote is the oldest and most mature program of the iWork suite, which has regularly bested Microsoft PowerPoint in features and ease of use from its inception. With the latest version, Apple has continued innovating to keep Keynote '09 the star of the entire iWork suite.
Israeli touchscreen maker N-Trig today revealed that it has received a total of $24 million in funding from a group of investors led by Microsoft. The American developer is the largest contributor and says its undisclosed amount is there to encourage the use of multi-touch technology with Windows 7, which is the first desktop Windows platform to be built with touchscreens in mind.
The official iPhone carrier for France, Orange, achieved solid sales during the Christmas season, according to national newspaper La Tribune. People within Orange are said to be claiming triple the sales of December 2007, or approximately 210,000 phones. Between November 28th and December 31st of 2007, the company is known to have sold roughly 70,000 iPhones.
Rogers' sub-label Fido may carry BlackBerries after all, a new leak to BGR indicates. Multiple Fido staffers now say the provider is about to start training for sales and support this week and thus that a formal launch is a matter of weeks away. The tips also suggest the carrier will just begin service with now two years old, original Pearl 8100 and will likely omit the Pearl Flip 8220 for the initial debut, though this first model is discontinued and might both sell out quickly and require an OS upgrade.
Haier in a low-key introduction has revealed its second and third major players in the ibiza line. The ibiza Theatre is the company's first real touchscreen player and serves as a lower-cost alternative to players from Apple and Samsung; while it has a 2.4-inch, 320x240 screen and doesn't appear to include Wi-Fi, the device includes Bluetooth for wireless headphones, an FM radio tuner and a microSD slot to add more space. It also supports Real's Rhapsody to Go for loading the device with music from the unlimited subscription service.
LG Display on Monday said it has landed a deal with Apple to supply the company with displays for the next five years. The Korean firm has declined to provide the full financial terms of the deal but in a securities filing admitted that it will receive a $500 million up-front payment from Apple later in January, revealing a more substantial deal over the long term. The company has acknowledged the payment and refers to the new deal as a deepening of its agreements with the American company.
Palm is allegedly preparing a second webOS-based smartphone that would take up the Centro name, an alleged leak to PalmInfoCenter says. The claimed first-hand contact says the next model after the Pre would be a sequel to the current Centro that would occupy roughly the same size but would omit the hardware QWERTY keyboard in favor of a larger touchscreen that Palm's new OS depends upon. Whether the 3-megapixel camera, GPS or Wi-Fi would also be stripped from the device is unknown.
Canon launched its 2009 VIXIA line this year at CES with several storage options that range from pure flash to hard drives to MiniDV. The line-up includes the HF S10, a 32GB internal flash memory camcorder with an external SDHC slot, the HF S100, the HF S10's cousin which lacks the internal flash memory, using only an SDHC slot for storage, the HF20, offering 32GB internal flash memory and an SDHC slot, and the HF200 is similar to the 20 without the external SDHC slot. All four flash-based models get built-in face detection, which alerts the auto-focus mechanism to track people's faces and they all record at 24Mbps, the fastest bitrate possible for the AVCHD format.
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Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
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.