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Steve Wozniak, in an interview with NBC, voiced his opinion regarding Apple's immediate future in the absence of Steve Jobs, while an Alabama television news network, WKRG, had a chance to talk with the parents of the company's interim leader, Tim Cook, about their son's ascension in the business world. Wozniak defended the CEO's withholding of detailed personal information. "We should just trust him, what he says is what we ought to accept," he said, noting that people would want more and more information regardless of any explanation.
iSobre has debuted its latest sleeves for MacBooks and iPhones, plus the re-design of its Manila Mac case. The MacBook cases are designed to fit all Apple notebooks and come in three different styles, Vintage, Urban, and Minimal. The new iPhone cases come in the same three styles as the MacBooks. With the Vintage, users can expect the original iSobre sleeve made out of cowhide. The Urban is a new white leather sleeve with three different finishes, blue, fuchsia and green. Lastly the Minimal comes with a black leather outside and green nubuck leather inside to provide extra security and padding.
In brief: An Apple community member has created a new website where people can leave comments for Steve Jobs. MacNN has taken a look at an application for Mac OS X that aims at turning large piles of unorganized receipts into a well organized database. Meanwhile, US residents can enter a new sweepstakes for a free flight to a destination of their choosing by downloading and using an iPhone application.
Ironic Software has announced OpenMeta, an open source document-management standard for Mac OS X. Companies can use the standard as a way to organize the storage of files a system, with metadata including tags, dates, ratings, people or other attributes. The Spotlight search tool can then be used to search for the stored documents. The company has also developed several free OpenMeta tools including Tagger, an application that allows tagging and rating of documents, and Omtool, a command line utility.
Talegent Systems has announced the TLG2300, its latest component for bringing TV functionality to portable devices. The CMOS chip works as a TV and FM receiver, with support for digital DVB-T signals in addition to analog standards including SECAM, PAL and NTSC. The company claims that the power consumption and small size of the chip will allow integration into smaller devices such as netbooks. The system also offers 2D comb filtering, dynamic multi-path fading and Doppler compensation for use in mobile applications.
Satimage software has announced the latest update to its data visualization and automation software, Smile 3.4. The program allows users to initiate data processing tasks, visualize information in a variety of forms, and extract data from files. Version 3.4 adds the ability to copy, paste and resize graphic views, or browse data files located in the same folder from a single plot. For data processing, performance of both the "evalformula" and "particles" commands has been improved.
Palm's Pre will try to claim an edge over its rivals by using its built-in GPS to provide relevance to the calendar and contacts, company investor and Elevation Partners co-founder Roger McNamee tells Yahoo. The inaugural webOS smartphone can directly compare a user's schedule against the location of an event, warning owners that they will be late if the drive time is too long. The Pre can optionally e-mail affected contacts automatically instead of prompting the user.
After introducing the Phenom II family of 45nm CPUs at this year's CES, AMD will reportedly release the fastest version of the chip, the Phenom II X4 950 rated at 3.1GHz, sometime in the second quarter of 2009. The CPU would include 8MB of cache which supposedly could be split up to 6MB for L3 cache and 512KB of L2 for each core. The CPU will also support DDR3, 1333MHz memory and have a 4GHz HyperTransport interface speed, along with a 125W thermal envelope.
Nokia is planning on introducing its Comes with Music service into Singapore and Australia by March, according to a weekend report. Currently only available in the UK, Nokia is also working on introducing the unlimited music subscription service both in the previously mentioned near-term launches as well as to the US and Latin America sometime later in 2009.
The Austrian division of T-Mobile has cut pricing on the iPhone 3G, the company's website reveals. The 8GB version of the phone now costs just €1 when paired with a €45 monthly subscription. Under the same subscription terms, phone pricing was previously set at €99.
LG on Monday introduced a pair of DVD players, including the stylized DV4S and DV4M meant for fans of digital music. The former has a flat-mounted optical drive that's covered by a motorized sliding glass cover and will upconvert DVD movies to near HD quality. DivX HD media can be played back on the DV4S as well. Its slim chassis sports touch-sensitive controls as well as USB ports for connecting external media.
Ten One Design has launched the SoundClip, its quality-enhancement attachment for the iPhone 3G's speaker. Designed as a conical deflection chamber that reflects volume towards the user instead of away, the device is said to amplify sound by 10dB between the 5kHz and 20kHz frequencies. The SoundClip fits in the iPhone's 30-pin dock, and also helps prevent users from blocking the iPhone speaker with their hand when playing a game.
Sony has announced that owners of a compatible Bravia TV can purchase the BRX-A320 DVR, which has a 320GB HDD for recording up to 27 hours of HD video and 55 hours of SD, or up to 249 hours of content in LP mode. There is just one HDMI port in the device, though users can still record SD content thanks to one of four selectable recording modes. In the name of space efficiency, the DVR can mount on the back of the compatible Sony TVs thanks to a mount purchased separately.
Apple has become involved in yet another lawsuit, adding to its lengthy list of ongoing legal battles, with a patent infringement case filed by Information Protection and Authentication of Texas (IPAT) and Global Innovation Technology Holdings (GITH) that accuses several different computer-makers of using protected technology for determining software permissions. The patent holder and exclusive licensee demand a jury trial and hope to achieve monetary compensation, legal fees and an injunction.
A larger, 10-inch version of Acer's Aspire One netbook, rumored back in November, is now said to have more complete specifications. The Aspire One 103 should be powered by a 1.6GHz N270 or N280 Atom CPU. Standard RAM is expected to be set at 1GB, while a 160GB hard drive should be preloaded with Windows XP. Upgrading either piece of hardware will be made easier thanks to the integration of access doors.
Steinberg has announced the impending release of Cubase 5, the latest version of its professional music production suite. The software incorporates a number of new features, such as the LoopMash virtual instrument, and the Beat Designer drum pattern tool. Vocal editing and pitch correction tools have been integrated, along with a central automation panel, and a VST3-based convolution reverb processor.
TechRestore has announced an upgrade service that will convert the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro to a matte-finish screen. The company replaces the entire LCD screen, instead of just adding a film over the existing glass. Screen specifications remain the same, including the resolution, color depth and LED backlight. A black bezel is also added around the edge of the surface, with holes for the iSight camera at the top of the housing.
After an FCC leak back in October, it is all but confirmed that Verizon will soon bring a femtocell to market with the Wireless Network Extender, according to an Engadget report. Like Sprint's similar AIRAVE, the Wireless Network Extender can support up to three simultaneous calls and leaves a channel open for emergency calls. The device hooks up to the Internet to let Verizon subscribers make VoIP calls from their cellular CDMA-compatible handsets from up to 5,000 feet away.
Maker of fingerprint sensors, AuthenTec, announced on Sunday that Fujitsu has started shipping the F-01A handset, the world's first with IPX5 and IPX7 waterfproof specifications and a fingerprint scanner. The handset is being offered by Japan's NTT DoCoMo wireless provider, and can remain submerged under up to nearly 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The phone is also the first to utilize AuthenTec's TouchStone packaging, which includes AuthenTec's TrueNav technology that lets the AES1711 fingerprint scanner double as a touchpad for navigating the phone's controls.
Cellphone maker HTC today told the Taiwan-area newspaper Commercial Times that the company would be scaling back its expectations for 2009. Despite having predicted a spike of 20 percent for revenue from smartphone sales, company chief Peter Chou now says HTC has had to lower its predictions in light of the current economy. He declines to provide new specific figures but believes that the company will still achieve "double-digit" improvement over 2008.
Belkin's Business Development Representative, Mark Bayard, has reportedly been paying Internet surfers to post fake positive reviews or poorly selling Belkin products on Amazon.com, according to a Friday report. Bayard has posted on Amazon's Mechanical Turk website, which pays users to perform tasks computers cannot, paying them on a per-task basis. At the time, Bayard offered 65 cents for every positive review posted, urging users need not own the product they are reviewing. The practice has both been challenged for its ethics and violates Amazon's Terms of Service.
Comcast is not treating VoIP traffic as fairly as the law demands, the FCC alleges. In a letter issued by general counsel Matthew Berry and wireless competition bureau chief Dana Shaffer, the FCC notes that whereas Comcast's Digital Voice VoIP service is unimpeded, third-party VoIP technologies remain subject to supposedly "protocol agnostic" bandwidth throttling. The cable provider has an obligation to explain why the disparity was omitted in earlier filings, according to the letter.
Microsoft is poised to use February's Mobile World Congress to unveil a set of online mobile services that would be its own equivalents to Apple's Internet components for the iPhone. In addition to confirming the existence of SkyMarket, a dedicated app store for Windows Mobile devices, alleged sources for Neowin claim Microsoft will use the phone show to introduce SkyBox, a mobile sync service to backup and share calendars, contacts, e-mail and photos between devices not unlike Apple's MobileMe.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been renominated to serve on Disney's board of directors, in spite of medical problems, according to the company's 2009 proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jobs is the largest individual shareholder in Disney, with 7.4 percent of stock, which came as a result of his former role in charge of Pixar. The Toy Story studio has since been absorbed by Disney.
ASUS is claiming a pair of firsts for notebooks with two new models and pairs the systems with a new network router. The F70 is the first notebook to have a 17.3-inch display and gives the desktop replacement-sized system a 16:9 ratio, 1600x900 display better-suited to movies. It accordingly gets a Blu-ray combo drive as an option which is unusually made external rather than built-in. ASUS gives the system a GeForce 9300M GS video chipset to offload HD video decoding work from the main processor.
Crazy Drops ($3) is a fast-paced puzzle game, in which the player's objective is to keep the game area clear of drops. As the drops multiply, players can arrange them into groups of four, which causes them to evaporate. The title features three different modes including single-player, a network option and a solitaire game. Twelve levels of increasing difficulty are present, each with their own original music.
Sprint on Monday launched its own version of the Sierra Wireless 598U, its replacement for the earlier 597. The USB stick like its predecessor gives computers access to Sprint's EVDO Rev. A and legacy 1xRTT data networks, with real-world downloads hovering between 600Kbps and 1.4Mbps while uploads reach between 350Kbps and 500Kbps. A microSDHC slot also lets the modem keep as much as 32GB of flash storage.
SintraWorks has posted v3.5 of PDFClerk Pro, its multi-purpose document utility. The software allows the creation of new PDF documents from raw graphics and text, and various modifications to existing PDF files. Documents can be arranged with basic or more complex layouts, and customized with a host of different page markups.
Google's video site YouTube has started rolling out downloadable versions of its video clips as well as newer viewing options for set-tops. The former lets viewers of freely available clips, such as from Barack Obama and home-made movies, download permanent copies of those clips in their higher-quality but standard definition 480x270 versions in an H.264 format playable on modern portable devices such as all modern iPhones and iPods, Sony's Walkman line and Microsoft's Zune series.
Google has begun seeding a developer preview of Quick Search Box for the Mac. The utlility is said to be related to the Google Mobile App for the iPhone, but more complex. Users can for instance search for information on their own computer as well as the web, and access experimental functions that should eventually propagate elsewhere.
Intel has quietly made sweeping changes to its desktop processor line that lead off with its first high-efficiency quad-core chips. The 2.83GHz Core 2 Quad Q9550s, 2.66GHz Q9400s and 2.33GHz Q8200s all use just 65W of power versus the 95W of their predecessors at the same speed. Dropping the energy output is not only eco-friendly but also more space-efficient, letting system designers fit full-speed desktop chips into smaller enclosures.
The iWork suite may be good, but it's not the most popular office suite for the Mac; many Mac users are forced to use Microsoft Office to maintain file compatibility with Windows counterparts. To improve iWork's file sharing capabilities, Apple is now beta-testing an online sharing site dubbed iWork.com.
Taking a two-prong approach, Acer this morning has introduced both a new range-leading 23-inch computer LCD as well as a mini desktop built partly with that display in mind. The 23-inch H233H stands as one of Acer's most upscale displays and replaces the usual hardware buttons with backlit, touch-sensitive controls. It importantly produces a more TV-like 1080p picture with a dynamic 40,000:1 contrast ratio and carries both HDMI input and a 3W stereo speaker array to take in video from Blu-ray players and consoles.
News site TechCrunch today revealed that it's much closer to launching a promised low-cost, touchscreen Internet tablet. Referred to now as the CrunchPad, the device has a 12-inch, 1024x768 touch display but includes netbook-grade components to keep the price and size down: the nearly button-free device will use a VIA Nano processor, 1GB of memory and a 4GB flash drive that are just enough to hold an interface that boots directly to a custom WebKit-based browser in Ubuntu Linux.
Papaya 1.3 ($27) a tool for quick filesharing with distant parties. It operates as a web server, automatically producing URLs that can be sent to peers; once configured, users need only drag files to the program's Dock icon to enable sharing. Version 1.3 includes improved scaling, support for secure HTTP, an improved dock menu, better network performance, hot-key shortcuts for taking and sharing screenshots and several other enhancements and fixes. [Download - 2.4MB]
Intel's budget ultraportable processor has more details, a more specific timeframe and some specific launch partners, tips from notebook builders indicate. Now referred to as the Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) design, the chip is specifically meant for the $699 to $899 price range occupied by AMD Athlon Neo-based systems like the HP dv2 and should be an alternative for systems with screens between 11 and 13.3 inches.
AMD has begun the week early by launching a new mainboard chipset it hopes will bring gaming even to the lowest-cost systems. The 760G platform is designed to be mated with the Athlon X2 7000 and is pitched as one of the least expensive chipsets to be capable of DirectX 10 and full OpenGL 2 graphics. It comes with a Radeon HD 3000-era core that the chipmaker claims is much faster than Intel's own GMA 4500 architecture: an AMD run through of World of Warcraft has it running at 31 frames per second even at 1280x1024 with high detail, or about 63 percent faster than Intel's 19 frames per second.
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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