Today's DealNN deals include a variety of products at discount prices from iPod docks to XServes. TigerDirect.com is offering the Centon 4GB MicroSD 3-in-1 kit for $9.99. Two Kingston 8GB flash drives are currently being offered at Buy.com for less than $15. Amazon.com has reduced the price on the Toshiba 15.6-inch LCD TV with built-in DVD player from $299.99 to $199.99. The Lexmark workgroup monochrome laser printer is priced at $94.99. PowerMax.com is offering the refurbished XServe with two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel processors for $2,499.
Macgamestore.com has released a digital download of its Wheel of Fortune Super Deluxe game for the Mac, created by Encore Software. In the game, players can "spin the wheel" to make money, guess letters, and buy vowels in an attempt to solve the word puzzle on the board. With the super deluxe version, users can play over 2500 puzzles while they compete against computer contestants or other players. Customizable characters are also included in the game.
ScriptFire 1.1 ($40) is a script-triggering and scheduling plug-in for FileMaker. ScriptFire can trigger scripts to check user input after leaving a field or record, or at an absolute/relative point in time. The software can control FileMaker windows by executing a script when a specific window comes to the front, while offering options to schedule the power management of the user's system. The update now offers compatibility with FileMaker 10. [Download - Register]
Currently Apple's online store is offering a range of refurbished Apple products from iPods to the new unibody MacBook Pro. The previous generation 8GB iPod nano is available in green, blue, black or pink for $99. Three iPod touch models are offered: the 8GB model for $179, 16GB for $219, and 32GB for $319. The white MacBook with 2.1GHz processor, 1GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive is priced at $849. Two MacBook Air models are offered: the 1.6GHz model with 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive and the 1.8GHz model with 2GB of memory for $999, and a 64GB solid state drive for $1,299. A selection of MacBook Pro models include the previous generation, 17-inch model with 2.33GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive for $1,799; for $1,899 is the 2.5GHz model with 2GB of memory and 250GB hard drive; and finally is the new unibody MacBook Pro with 2.53GHz processor, 4GB of memory and 320GB hard drive for $2,149.
Where To? ($3) uses the iPhone's ability to track a users location to point them to places of interest nearby. The application can find food, shopping locations, or fun things to do, with driving directions available for each location. All of the destinations have been organized into categories and subcategories to make finding the desired location simpler. Locations can also be added to a favorites list, allowing users tag a location for future reference.
Jumsoft has released Keynote Animations 6, the latest update to its animated objects package for Keynote presentations. Keynote Animations allows users to add moving pictures with transparent backgrounds onto their desired presentations, which are played through QuickTime. With the update, users receive 25 new motion objects such as Aquarium, Mouse, World, and Curve of Growth, to provide a total of 125 animated objects to choose from. The objects are compatible with all Keynote and Pages to offer animated text capabilities.
Sonic Reality has announced Konstruction, a virtual instrument plug-in that provides an expandable loop workstation powered by Kontakt and Infinite Player. Konstruction features thousands of 24-bit Rex files mapped across the keyboard as song-style "construction kits". Loops instantly follow the tempo of the sequencer and can be triggered simultaneously in any combination. The plug-in comes with rifts, grooves and effects with samples from acoustic and electric drums, percussion, bass, guitars, vocals, horns, strings, and keyboards. Two editions are available for Konstruction, the DL edition and the Gold edition.
What sounds like a frivolous lawsuit was filed in a California court at the start of this year against retail giant Walmart and online video rental company Netflix. The lawsuit alleges that, by letting Netflix take over its struggling online DVD rental business nearly four years ago, the two companies have created a monopoly and have driven Blockbuster to raise its subscription rental prices by $3 to match Netflix' pricing scheme.
Freeverse has launched its latest game for the iPhone/iPod touch, SlotZ Racer. Designed to resemble the old-time slot cars and racing tracks, players can compete against both friends and the computer as they play through a variety of locations and tracks. With up to four people capable of racing at once, the game provides several modes including competition laps, time attacks, quick races, and endurance races that simulates night and day. The game also comes complete with a track editor which enables players to design how they want the course to look and how many cars can drive on it. A series of unlockable features were added as well to offer new circuits, cars, track locations, and championship challenges.
The health problems that led to Steve Jobs' leave of absence from Apple may still be connected to cancer, despite attempts to reassure the public, say doctors quoted by Reuters. While Jobs has described the issue as just a "hormonal imbalance" with simple treatment, the doctors suggest that symptoms could indicate a recurrence of pancreatic cancer. Jobs briefly stepped away from the company in 2004 to cope with his illness.
For one day only, Friday, January 16th, the maker of Peek device is offering the hardware along with a lifetime subscription that allows sending and receiving e-mails as well as text messages for nearly $300. Before this limited-time offer, the Peek cost just shy of $100 and a monthly subscription to the mobile data service that would allow users to receive and send e-mails that cost $20.
While at the debut of the Palm Pre smartphone at CES, one of the things the company kept under the radar was the battery specs. On Thursday, the company revealed the device's battery looks identical to the one used in the current Palm Centro and Palm Treo 800w, potentially giving it the same 1,150mAh rating. There is also the possibility the new smartphone will have a 1,350mAh power pack, just like the extended battery used in the Centro and 800w. Another report has the battery listed at 1,200mAh, so the final rating is still up in the air.
EastWest has announced the latest versions of its Quantum Leap virtual-instrument software, StormDrum 2.0, and the Play 2.0 software for programming the instrument collections. SD2 includes several new instruments, such as the mridgangam which is sampled from a two-headed Indian drum that offers a variety of tones. The Khamak represents another drum from India, while the Persian Daf features high-pitched sounds. Ten additional drums have been added, each played with a variety of brushed techniques.
At CES, automotive car audio hardware manufacturer Blaupunkt and Australian-based Internet radio website miRoamer, showed off what they call is the world's first Internet radio-capable head unit for vehicles. The challenge of getting an Internet connection in a moving car is solved by relying on a Bluetooth-connected, data-enabled cellular phone. The phone connects to miRoamer and has access to more than 16,000 stations from around the world.
Phidgets has launched its 1019 PhidgetInterfaceKit 8/8/8 w/6 Port Hub for USB sensing and control, to provide a way for users to interface their computer with various devices that aren't already set to recognize the input. Featuring eight analog inputs, eight digital inputs with hardware noise filtering, and eight digital outputs, the device also comes with six on-board USB ports, each with a maximum current supply of 500mA.
Alleged sources have claimed late yesterday that Sony may have sabotaged plans for its Sony Ericsson partnership to make a PlayStation-branded phone. The electronics firm is said to have directly denied Sony Ericsson's requests in December to use the PlayStation brand and that it would only ever produce a PlayStation phone if the device was made by Sony itself. The statement is characterized as distancing Sony from its relationship with Ericsson.
A dedicated Ustream app is in development for the iPhone, according to company head John Ham. The app will let users tap into the main features of the site, which allows visitors to not only watch live video broadcasts, but participate in chat with others. Most other details of the app are unknown, but it is likely to require a 3G or Wi-Fi connection, and Ham suggests it will be available "in a matter of days."
At the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) expo, Akai showed the APC40 MIDI control surface it has developed in conjunction with Ableton, making it the first such device to be ready to run out of the box with the Ableton Live music editing software. As there is no need to load drivers, users simply plug in their notebooks via a USB port and can begin mixing or otherwise modifying their music using Ableton Live. The APC40 is being touted as the simplest, most direct hardware interface with the popular software, yet still allows advanced users to assign the board's 40 buttons, knobs and fader controls to any virtual controls in the software.
Microsoft recently provided testers with the alpha builds of its latest work suite, Office 14; as a result, screenshots have been leaked to the public, a report indicates. The images are specifically attributed to a Russian tester from wzor.net, and list a host of applications: Access 14, Excel 14, Groove 14, InfoPath Designer 14, InfoPath Filler 14, InterConnect 14, Outlook 14, OneNote 14, PowerPoint 14, Project 14, Publisher 14, Visio 14, Word 14 and SharePoint Designer 14.
Microsoft today said it has received a Statement of Objection from the European Commission that finds the software developer has violated European competition law by tying Internet Explorer to Windows. Though preliminary, the message tells Microsoft that the forced bundling is unfairly excluding competitors from Windows PCs. It adds that the changes made to open competition as the result of a US antitrust ruling in 2002, such as letting PC vendors bundle non-IE browsers and change defaults, aren't enough to avoid violating European law.
In its third round of recent cutbacks and job cuts, computer chipmaker AMD will cut 9 percent of its global workforce, amounting to about 1,100 jobs, and lower the pay of existing employees, according to a Friday report. The company announced today 900 workers will be cut, while the remaining 200 or so are a result of attrition and the sale of AMD's business unit. Existing employees will suffer what are called temporary pay cuts, with CEO Dirk Meyer and executive chairman Hector Ruiz getting 20 percent lopped off their salary, while vice presidents and other top management get 15 percent reductions. Salaried workers will make 10 percent less, with hourly workers getting a 5 percent wage cut.
Nintendo late Thursday claimed an industry record by pointing to NPD Group data revealing that it sold 10.17 million Wii systems in the US for 2008, making it the first video game system of any kind to crack the 10 million mark. The achievement tops Nintendo's own previous best of 8.52 million for the Nintendo DS in 2007; the handheld itself topped the older record this year with 9.95 million trading hands. The console creator further observes that about 132 million games were sold just for its platforms in the same year.
Apple has announced that the App Store has achieved over 500 million downloads so far. The company in December launched past the 300 million mark, while apparently still gaining momentum through the holidays. The number of unique apps has also jumped significantly, rising from 10,000 titles last month to over 15,000 releases at this point in time.
Apple is working on a larger version of the MacBook Air, a Taiwanese site claims. Though the current 13-inch Air is focused on being as thin and small as possible, Apple is said to be building a 15-inch model as a companion. The system would be based on Intel's "latest" ultra-low voltage Core 2 processors, but no other specifications have been proposed.
According to a Friday report, HP will soon launch more model to add to its Mini family of netbooks. Most recently, the computer maker launched the Mini 2140 at CES, which replaces the Mini 2100 and brings with it an Intel Atom chip instead of a VIA C7-M as well as bumps up the screen size to 10.1 inches from 8.9. The report claims a Mini-note 2150 is the next model due for release, adding integrated 3G data network access to the specs.
As the 'I'm a PC' and 'Get a Mac' ad campaigns continue to battle, Microsoft appears to have presented a MacBook Pro in an online promotion for its Songsmith software. The notebook is cleverly disguised with flower stickers, including a decal placed over the Apple logo, although part of the fruit's white stem can still be seen. Although MacBooks can run Windows, the intense rivalry between the two companies would seemingly encourage the ad agency to choose amongst other computer manufacturers.
MVNO carrier Helio may ship its second Ocean smartphone as early as February, according to a company representative. The phone is at least due this quarter, which would put a release date no further than the end of March. The current Ocean is Helio's signature phone, a messaging device with many iPhone-like features such as a YouTube client and a built-in GPS receiver. The Ocean 2 is expected to have similar features, such as a microSD slot and a two-megapixel camera with flash.
Circuit City today revealed that it has decided to liquidate all its assets and effectively shut down the company. The retailer says the move comes after it was unable to strike a deal with its creditors and other moneylenders to fund the company's business following its move for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November, which gave it an opportunity to reorganize its business. It also warns that there is unlikely to be enough money left from selling its stores and other resources to pay equity holders.
The Australian division of Apple has been destroying broken Macs which could nevertheless be repaired or recycled for parts, claims an individual involved in the process. An anonymous worker at a Sydney warehouse alleges that he was asked to help destroy some $200,000 worth of Apple gear, including iMacs, Xserves, MacBooks and Mac Pros, along with Mighty Mice and a copy of Final Cut Studio. The worker's crew is said to have used hammers and screwdrivers for the task, and gone to the extent of tearing up manuals. Everything, eventually, was crushed using a forklift, in response to complaints about it being visible over a dumpster's edge.
Intel could push back the formal launch of its mainstream, desktop Core i7 processors by at least a month, say claims from mainboard producers. Chips based on the quad-core Lynnfield design, which are expected to bring Core i7 below its current high-end focus, are reportedly now being pushed back from late July to at least late August along with the P55 mainboard chipset meant to run it. Poor economic conditions are said to have created significant overstock problems that will require mainboard firms to continue selling existing hardware for longer.
Sanyo on Friday announced the upcoming release of what it says is the brightest projector in its class, the dual-lamp PLC-XF71, rated at 10,000 lumens. It has a native resolution of 1024x768, and sports a 3,000:1 contrast ratio. To keep the light output uniform from the two lamps, Sanyo uses a three-mirror system that at the same time is said to reduce color irregularities. The 4:3 aspect ratio professional-grade projector has Sanyo's in-house Durable Inorganic Optical System (DIOS) that has heat- and UV-resistant optical components to keep it running longer.
Apple has decided on a location for its first Apple Store in Philadelphia, a claims a MacNN source connected to the planning of the project. The company has allegedly signed a lease to take over the location of the former Brasserie Perrier restaurant, situated at 1619 Walnut Street. The surrounding portion of Walnut is said to be a high-end shopping and eating district, ideally suited to Apple's strict aesthetics.
Samsung this morning said it would take the major step of reorganizing itself into two major divisions in a bid to improve its competitiveness. The Korean electronics giant says it will divide itself into a consumer group, which will produce the company's fully-assembled products such as appliances and cellphones, as well as a second group for its strictly part-related businesses such as displays and flash memory.
Ableton has announced the next version of its professional sequencing software, Live 8. Upgrades include a new groove engine, able to extract grooves from audio or MIDI elements, and apply patterns or quantize in real-time. A new warping engine, meanwhile, allows control of effects through the timeline, and incorporates a new Complex Warp Mode.
Australia's Kogan on Friday delayed its Agora smartphones for an indefinite amount of time due to a conflict between their designs and Google's Android mobile operating system. Company namesake Ruslan Kogan explains that production had just started but that Android's standards for app resolutions may render a significant number of apps incompatible with the resolution of the Agora's 2.5-inch screen. Redesigning the phone is necessary to avoid unnecessarily limiting users, Kogan says.
Sony Ericsson finished its week on a low note with word of significant declines in the last quarter of 2008. The cellphone maker reports having shipped 24.2 million phones in the three-month span, a 6.2 percent drop versus the summer and a 27.3 percent plunge versus the same period a year ago. Its phone shipments for the year also registered a decline and fell to 96.6 million phones for all of 2008 compared to 103.4 million in 2007.
Panasonic on Friday stepped out of its usual update schedules with three new Lumix pocket cameras that all add live autofocus tracking absent in most previous models. The leading model, the 12-megapixel FS15, can not only use this to maintain focus even as the subject moves but has a new auto-exposure function to avoid blowing out highlights or to bring out detail in darkened areas. The FS15's 29mm wide-angle lens also contributes to a better image and comes optically stabilized and with a 5X zoom.
Native Instruments had announced two of its latest products, the Guitar Rig Mobile and the Audio 4 DJ. Guitar Rig Mobile is a portable bus-powered USB 2 audio interface. The device is equipped with a selection of three amps, 12 speaker cabinets, and effects from its Guitar Rig 3 LE modeling software including time-based, distortion and overdrive, modulation, and filter effects. Roughly the size of a cigarette box, the interface contains 24bit/192 kHz Cirrus Logic converters. Amps provided are Twang Reverb for the sound of classic amps, Bass Pro to deliver a more gritty sound, and Lead 800 which gives lead sounds with flexibility options.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R