Alien Apparatus has launched the latest version of its live performance software system to help control the show for solo musicians: Solo Performer Show Controller 4 is designed to play background audio, control MIDI effects, display lyrics, and to create and control lightshows, the set also comes with a foot pedal to enable hands-free controlling. With the update users can expect an improved interface, which includes a new way to look at a set list by using the "button view" that displays hundreds of songs at the same time.
Inedible Software has launched Air Guitar for the iPhone and iPod touch. Air Guitar uses the built-in accelerometer to work, and lets the player physically strum the device in order to play, with the added effect of strumming harder to play louder. To work the guitar, users can hold down a note and move their hand up and down to strum, or bend the wrist while holding a note to perform a pitch-blend. Some features of the game allow players to choose between guitar and bass, and to use either preset progressions or to make customized ones.
Gluon has announced that its ColorBreaker ID plug-in is now available for Adobe InDesign CS4. The program provides automatic color mark-up for documents by placing tags that contain necessary information, with SmartTag technology that is designed to increase effectiveness by using arrows that point to items and text blocks. When a tag is moved, the arrows automatically reattach themselves in the new orientation to enable easier editing following the automated process. The plug-in also provides a collision avoidance feature that determines whether to move a tag or designate a call-out arrow.
Craft Animations has announced that its Craft Director Tools is now available for users of Maxon Cinema 4D. The suite of animation plug-ins includes three primary groups; Craft Camera Tools, Craft Vehicles and Craft Accessories. A variety of camera functions can be used for automatic zoom, movements and simulated human interaction, along with real-time perspective and angle adjustments. Other features include a stabilizer for cameras attached to objects, a spherical path utility, spline speed controller and a zero-gravity environment replicator.
RedleX has released an update to its word processor for Mac, Mellel 2.6. The program is designed for creative and technical writing, providing tools to create and organize documents that include details such as footnotes, endnotes or a special citations palette. The latest version now supports QuickLook document previews that resemble PDFs, while a new "spread view" feature allows documents to be viewed as single page, two page, four page, or spread layouts.
Knight's Armament has released BulletFlight, a ballistic calculation app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The program processes information such as the ballistic coefficient of the bullet, specific rifle, angle to the target and range. Environmental factors including temperature, humidity, altitude, barometric pressure and wind speed are also factored into the trajectory. The target angle is automatically determined using the accelerometer if the iPod or iPhone is mounted to the weapon.
Midway has announced that five games from the TouchMaster series, including Spellwinder, Dice King, Prismatix, Combo 11 and Carpet, will be coming to the iPhone and iPod touch. Spellwinder is a word search game that requires players to use adjacent letters to make a word in any direction, without using the same letter twice. Dice King allows users to swap two adjacent dice in an attempt to form matching combinations of three or more dice. The goal of the game is to match the dice below with the combination displayed on the top portion of the screen.
M.O.C. Interior Design has launched Mark On Call, an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that lets users create and share detailed floor plans. The program offers the ability to create rooms in accurate sizes, add and place appliances or furniture, and lay down flooring. In addition, users can take pictures of any fabrics, rugs, or flooring with their iPhone, and "skin" them into any item or surface in the room currently being designed. Pictures stored in the library can also be used.
Today's deals at DealNN include external hard drives, GPS units, HDTVs and more. ZipZoomFly.com is offering a $10 mail in rebate on the Cavalry CAUM series 1TB external hard drive that drops the price to $89.99. The refurbished, 5th gen. 60GB iPod video is available at eCost.com for $148.99. Amazon.com is offering the Navigon 2000S GPS navigator for $106.94. For today only SecondAct.com has the Philips 47-inch LCD HDTV priced at $999.99 with free shipping. Newegg.com has reduced the price on the Kingston 4GB SDHC memory card from $8.99 to $5.99 for today only.
In brief: FastMac has announced that it is now offering a special line of Obama inspired T-shirts to celebrate his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States. iRingPro has announced that they will now begin to donate a portion of every sale to a charity that seeks to provide education, meals and medical cares to children in Nepal. Meanwhile, Adobe has started a contest where users must use Acrobat 9 to create a media rich PDF to be entered into a gallery. Adobe is looking for a wide range of entries from general to industry-specific, allowing users of any experience level to win prizes.
Currently the Apple store is offering seven refurbished Mac models, spanning from iMacs to unibody MacBooks, for $1,700 or less. First up is the 20-inch 2.4GHz iMac with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $999. Also priced at $999 is the MacBook Air with 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive. For $300 more (1,299) get the 1.8GHz MBA with 2GB of memory and 80GB solid-state drive. Another 20-inch iMac is offered with 2.66GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 320GB hard drive priced at $1,299.
A forthcoming operating system update for the BlackBerry Bold handset on AT&T's wireless network will bring with it visual voicemail capabilities, according to a Monday BGR report. There is no set date for the release of the update, dubbed OS 126.96.36.199, or whether all Bold owners and AT&T subscribers will get it. BGR has captured some screenshots of the software, however.
Taiwanese computer hardware manufacturer Albatron on Tuesday announced the prototype multi-touch display it showed off some seven months ago is now nearly ready for shipment, and will be made available for sale in a couple of months. The unnamed 21.5-inch LCD places the touch sensors in the monitor's bezel rather than the screen itself, allowing for a brighter and stronger displays. It is one of the first monitors that will allow at least Windows 7 users to enjoy the operating system's native support for multi-touch applications.
The T-Mobile G1 handset will soon be offered in more European countries, the wireless carrier's Chief Executive, Hamid Akhavan, announced on Monday. Thus far the phone is only available in the US and Britain, but by January 30th, it will be made available in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Austria, while Germany will get the Android OS-based handset on February 2nd, with Poland being added later on in February.
Soundbite ($2) allows users to record snippets of sound for playback. Sounds can be labeled with a name, plus images taken from an iPhone's camera or Photo Library. Soundbite also allows users to loop sounds for longer playback, and layer sounds to create a mash-up effect.
After Friday's one-day deal, Peek is now offering a different limited-time offer on account of Barack Obama's swearing in as President of the United States. The Peek Inauguration Day Special has the device selling for $44.44 for 44 hours, obviously meant to reflect that President Obama is the 44th President. As another incentive, buyers whose addresses have 1600 in them are eligible to receive the Peek device free of charge.
Wireless provider US Cellular is now offering a new LG clamshell, the UX280 Wine. The mid-range phone offers a 2.2-inch main display with 240x320 resolution along with a 1.3-inch external LCD. Users also get assisted GPS, Bluetooth and a 1.3-megapixel camera. Ease of use is another strong point, as there are four shortcut keys under the display for quick access to messaging, alarm clock, contacts and favorites menus.
A study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has just concluded that the net economic effects of file sharing for music, movies and games are positive. The resulting 142-page report, put together by research company TNO, doesn't narrow the results to strictly illegal content but argues that, as consumers save money on unnecessary purchases and spend it on more wanted content, they save much more in wasted spending than music production companies lose.
SkypeCap has announced its namesake program for the Mac, an audio recording application that works with Skype's VoIP software. With SkypeCap, users can record any audio conversations made through Skype. The title recognizes all Skype audio sessions, and can be used to automatically detect and save them.
Coupons Inc. has announced on Tuesday that it has hired Steven Horowitz as its chief technology officer. Horowitz will leave his position as Google's Engineering Director, a position in which he oversaw the development of the Android operating system and related software. Horowitz will oversee Coupons' global engineering, product management and technology efforts for its creation and distribution of coupons to retailers.
Microsoft through a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today said it has sold its shares in Comcast. The move pulls about 150.9 million shares out of the cable provider and practically cuts Microsoft's influence in the firm. Reasons aren't given to the SEC for the quick exit, though the news comes just as Microsoft has curbed real estate expansion in an attempt to reduce costs without shedding employees.
Google has done away with the special iPhone formatting once available for its iGoogle frontpage, accounts say. Visitors to the site were previously able to view a version specially tailored for the iPhone's Safari browser, with sections that could be inflated or collapsed to display web gadgets. In place of this, testing reveals, iPhone owners are now being redirected to the generic mobile site for iGoogle.
American iPhone sales fell and fell hard in the December calendar quarter, writes Morgan Stanley. The financial firm says that judging by survey results, Apple sold 1.75 million US iPhones in the period, a drop of 24 percent versus the 2.3 million sold in the September quarter. The figures are believed to be consistent with Street estimates, which call for 5 million in total iPhone shipments during the December span.
Home theater PC builder S1Digital today stepped out in front to become the first computer builder to launch a free upgrade campaign for Windows 7. The deal gives buyers of all of the company's systems save for the Media Center Mini Edition a free upgrade to the next-generation operating system if they buy a PC between now and March 31st. Buyers will have to cover shipping but are otherwise covered for the entire process, which includes not only the copy but the installation and supporting drivers.
A pre-production version of an upcoming Nokia handset, the 5730 XpressMusic, has received a hands-on review recently, revealing many specs on the QWERTY handset. Very similar in design and layout to the Nokia E75, the 5730 will sport a horizontally sliding keyboard with backlit keys. Its display, however, will be smaller, at 2 inches and with a 240x320 resolution. As the name suggests, the handset will have an emphasis on music playback, with dedicated external controls, including a button to engage Nokia's Say and Play voice navigation.
Sony today revealed that the PlayStation 3's version 2.6 update will add a major new photo management feature. The simply-titled Photo Gallery will give the console much more advanced control that can sort images down to the specific time window and choice of camera hardware but also less tangible data such as the dominant colors in images or visible smiles. Slideshows are also more advanced and let users create specific playlists, including ones set to the user's choice of music.
HP today quietly signaled availability of the Mini 2140 on its site and has confirmed the specifications of the netbook in the process. The stock $499 entry model is now known to be a relatively high-end offering with 1GB of memory, a 160GB 5,400RPM hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Windows XP Home. More advanced ready-model models add Vista Home Basic or Business, as much as 2GB of memory and a 7,200RPM disk.
Elgato has released an update to EyeTV 3, its Mac-based DVR software. Key to v3.1 is the addition of a TV Guide schedule for North America, which covers broadcasts up to 14 days in advance and provides associated cast, rating and genre information. A year of the schedule will be free for new and existing EyeTV 3 owners, but subsequent years will cost $20 each.
LG has just introduced two highly advanced plasma HDTVs for its home market of Korea, with the Xcanvas bobos 42PQ60D and 50PQ60D. The 42-inch model reportedly has an unprecedented 600Hz refresh rate that eliminates nearly all motion artifacts while the 50-inch model has a particularly high one billion to one (1,000,000,000:1) contrast ratio. Both TVs also sport a USB port that lets users plug in external flash or hard drive storage and directly play back compatible files that include WMV and DivX videos.
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has set out timing related to its forthcoming Application Center, reports say. Speaking at a music business conference in Cannes, co-CEO Jim Balsillie has announced that the company is currently accepting app submissions from developers, and will officially open the App Center in March as planned. It is unclear if submissions actually began in December, as first scheduled.
iWeb SEO Tool 1.1 (free) is a utility that can optimize a user's iWeb created website for search engines. iWeb SEO Tool allows users to add page title tags, meta tags and alternative image text without having to mess with the base HTML code. In the update the "Apply all" button allows users to apply saved optimizations to an entire iWeb website and several crashing bugs have been fixed. [Download - 9.4MB]
Apple should do fairly well in its fiscal first quarter results, set to be announced on Wednesday, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. While Apple -- like other companies -- has been hit by the ongoing global recession, Munster argues that the company will announce iPod shipments between 19 and 20 million. The figures are based on tracking by the NPD Group, and if accurate will substantially beat Street expectations of just 18.6 million.
Toshiba has expanded its early footprint in netbooks with updates to its fledgling NB100. A new model of the 8.9-inch mini portable, the NB100HF, adds a rare 64GB solid-state drive in place of the usual rotating disk. Besides potentially improving speed, the SSD gives the computer battery life normally off-limits to these systems. Toshiba estimates about 5 hours of run time for the system, which also comes in a champagne gold and comes with Windows Vista Home Basic instead of XP.
Elpida this morning set what it believes is a new benchmark for memory with the launch of the first 1-gigabit XDR RAM with 32-bit bandwidth. The storage not only makes large amounts of fast memory possible but is also billed as some of the fastest memory of any kind. A 7.2GHz clock speed along with the extra bandwidth gives the memory much more headroom: the new XDR chip has up to 28.8GB per second, or about nine times more than the fastest stock DDR3 memory and twice as much as Elpida's previous best.
Pankaku has released a new game for the iPhone and iPod touch, LightBike. Mimicking the movie Tron, players race a LightBike against opponents, leaving behind a solid wall of light behind as they travel. Players must avoid crashing into the walls, while turning them into a weapon where possible.
Multiple sources for Orbitcast and others claim today that Sirius XM is planning to charge for its Internet radio service on top of general hikes for its regular satellite network. Normally free for subscribers to the regular service, the online component is said by an alleged employee to be picking up a $3 monthly fee for individuals and $9 for families.
Online sales of refurbished Apple gear have begun in China, according to a company announcement. As in the United States and a number of other countries, the Chinese program takes products returned to Apple and submits them for quality testing; approved products are then resold at a lower cost. Reuters notes that prices for major refurbished products range from 308 yuan ($44) for an iPod shuffle, to more than 14,000 yuan ($2,047) for an iMac.
Microsoft will shave at least some costs during the economic downturn by scaling back its building plans, according to both the company and slips by internal sources to Seattle's Post-Intelligencer. The company is known to have delayed construction both at its own Redmond, Washington headquarters as well as at space bought from Nintendo until 2013 and 2014 respectively; it also plans to avoid renewing multiple non-essential leases, though some of these were already slated to drop before the financial crash.
Apple has removed a common security measure from its iWork '09 office suite, according to an official support document. Mirroring a decision taken with iLife, which is bundled with new Macs as well as sold separately, Apple has eliminated the need to enter a serial number when installing a retail copy of iWork '09. A number is still needed to unlock trial versions of iWork, unless users install a retail copy over top.
Korean electronics giant LG has overtaken Motorola for the third-place spot in world phone shipments this past year, tips reportedly passed on from within the company suggest. While no public tally is available, LG is said to have internally estimated that it has shipped about 100 million phones throughout the course of 2008, putting it just ahead of an estimated 99.9 million from its American rival. The number would also edge out Sony Ericsson's 96.6 million.
AMD on Tuesday said it has sold the core of its Imageon mobile graphics business to Qualcomm. The roughly $65 million deal gives the chip design company the intellectual property rights, the option of hiring related AMD workers, and other resources. It effectively puts AMD out of the handheld video category, leaving the company to focus on desktop and notebook graphics for its Radeon line.
Intel's next-generation Atom chip, nicknamed Pineview, will be less expensive than the current generation even as it improves performance, according to new leaks well ahead of the launch. The switch to a smaller 45 nanometer chipmaking process that lets Intel put the graphics core directly in the processor will reportedly cut the amount of necessary mainboard space by 60 percent, shrinking the overall footprint. The platform will also require a less complex circuitboard that can cut down to four layers from six and further drop prices for at least the manufacturers.
BenQ has quietly added to its G series LCDs with several new 16:9 aspect ratio computer displays that are said to lower prices and complement the 16:10 models that form the bulk of the line. The refresh starts off with the G2410HD and G2411HD/HDA, a round of 23.6- and 24-inch 1080p displays that tout an Advanced Motion Accelerator feature which the company claims improves both response time as well as brightness. Their input also ranges from just VGA on the G2411HDA to the addition of DVI on the G2410HD; these plus HDMI and stereo speakers are included on the G2411HD.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl