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iTunes Consolidator, Today
MacVide 3gp Converter 2.1 ($30) allows the conversion of most popular video files to 3gp mobile video. MacVide 3gp Converter provides options for setting different options for your video files allowing users to change the bit rate, frame rate, resolution or crop the video. Version 2.1 includes enhanced support for AppleScript and Automator actions. [Download - 10.4MB]
Tennis Trakker Pro
Portapple has launched Tennis Trakker Pro, an iPhone and iPod touch application that enables users to track and receive details of tennis matches. When following a tennis match, the program will keep track of the player's shots, as well as provide full statistical reports that can be viewed at any time. In addition, the application includes features for customization of player's names and events, the ability to view and e-mail existing reports, a scoreboard display, and an edit games mode available.
Mac sales up nine percent
Apple today announced that it has sold 2.5 million Macs in the December quarter of 2008. The number marks a nine percent increase from the same period last year, while the overall PC market contracted. Although the MacBooks introduced in October contributed to an impressive 34 percent growth for portables, shipments of desktop Macs dropped by 25 percent year-over-year. CFO Peter Oppenheimer explained that desktop sales saw a jump of 53 percent in 2007, driven by the launch of new iMacs, while the company's notebooks drew more attention in 2008. He also acknowledged a general market shift toward portable devices.
Apple Store report
Apple has provided additional details regarding its retail stores, with information included in the Q1 financial reports. Total revenue for all locations set a new record of $1.74 billion for the December quarter, with an average of $7 million attributed to each store. The volume of foot traffic followed the same trend, with a total of 46.7 million visitors for the quarter and over 14,000 people passing through each store every week. Despite the impressive numbers, the segment margin was down to $353 million from $405 million last year, while average revenue per store also suffered because of the difficult retail environment.
Exec addresses rumors
After Peter Oppenheimer's initial presentation of Apple's Q1 financial information, investors had a chance to talk with executives about topics including the possibility of a scaled-down iPhone "nano," plans for a Mac netbook, and competing with the Palm Pre. "You know us, we're not gonna play in the low-end voice-phone business, that's not who we are, that's not why we're here," COO Tim Cook told an analyst, responding to a question alluding to a low-priced iPhone variant. "We'll let somebody else do that. Our objective is not to be the unit-share leader in the cell phone industry, it's to build the world's best phone."
Axiom Pro Series Keyboards
M-Audio has announced Axiom Pro Series Keyboards, its latest series of USB MIDI keyboard controllers designed for professional musicians. Building off of M-Audio's previous line of USB MIDI Keyboards, the Pro series offers more enhancements for realistic play and comes in three different key models, 25, 49, and 61. The Axiom Pro provides software integration to digital audio workstations such as Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic and Reason. Also, the M-Audios HyperControl technology automatically maps keyboard controls to commonly accessed parameters in software instruments and DAWs.
Apple TV sales jump
During Apple's Q1 financial conference call, COO Tim Cook noted that sales of Apple TV devices have surged three-fold from last year's quarter. The company plans to continue investing in the technology, despite the suggestion that it is still considered a "hobby." Cook also credited the rental movie business with boosting the strong performance. "We are going to continue to invest in it because we fundamentally believe there is something there for us in the future."
Apple Q1 financial call
In a conference call following Apple's release of its first-quarter financial information, several of Apple's executives elaborated on the company's current strengths and its values in the absence of Steve Jobs. Peter Oppenheimer started off the presentation with a run-through of the record numbers for the company, including overall revenue, iPod sales and net profit. Mac sales showed a nine-percent increase in shipments, despite an overall market contraction. He cited the new iPod nano and Touch as driving strong iPod sales, along with the "amazing breadth and popularity of content on the App Store."
Eon calendar display
GossTech has announced Eon, an application that enables users to display their iCal events directly on the Mac OS X desktop. Equipped with four different calendar types, month, day, single event, and birthday, users can customize the properties of each type individually. With the month calendar, a skin editor can be used to change the appearance to the user's desired preference; it also comes with a skin repository that contains pre-made skins available for download.
Executives on Q1 call
[Update 5] - Peter Oppenheimer reiterates numbers behind strong quarter, including 9% unit growth for Macs despite overall market contraction.
iPods up, iPhones down
In announcing the results of its fiscal first quarter, Apple has revealed that it sold a record 22,727,000 iPods during the period, a 3 percent growth year-over-year. The number is particularly unusual in light of estimates from analysts, which suggested that even 20 million units would be a positive and optimistic number. Many observers called for figures between 18 and 20 million.
Apple's best quarter ever
Apple today posted record revenue of $10.17 billion and record net quarterly profit of $1.61 billion, or $1.78 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $9.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.58 billion, or $1.76 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 34.7 percent, equal to the year-ago quarter and international sales accounted for 46 percent of the quarter's revenue. Apple sold 2,524,000 Macs during the quarter, representing nine percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold a record 22,727,000 iPods during the quarter, representing three percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone units sold were 4,363,000, representing 88 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.
Corsair enter SSD market
Computer memory manufacturer Corsair recently unveiled its first solid-state drive with the S128. Meant for the mainstream user, the S128 has a 128GB capacity and relatively average read speeds of 90MBps and write speeds of 70MBps. What differs the S128 from similar drives, the company claims, is its use of a Samsung controller instead of the more common JMicron 602 controller used in MLC SSDs such as OCZ's Core series of SSDs.
RocketRAID 2684 controller
Storage gear maker HighPoint has unveiled the RocketRAID 2684, its newest SATA/SAS-based RAID controller. The hardware uses an internal SFF-8087 connector, paired with an external SFF-8088 one. It supports SATA drives up to 1.5TB in size, and SAS drives spinning as fast as 15,000rpm.
Comes with Music expansion
Nokia on Wednesday officially confirmed an earlier report that it would expand its Comes with Music service to multiple European countries. The world's largest cellphone maker has signed pan-European licenses with various national collecting societies that will allow it to soon offer the music service in Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Finland, and Norway.
Leica intros DLP projector
German photo camera manufacturer Leica has recently introduced its Pradovit D-1200 DLP projector at the Photokina show, the first product of its kind for the manufacturer. The 16:10 aspect ratio projector sports a 1920x1200 native resolution along with a 2,000 lumens brightness and a 2,500:1 contrast ratio. The D-1200's magnesium body houses a 0.98-inch DarkChip sensor sourced from Texas Instruments and a six-segment RGB color wheel. Setting up the D-1200 is made easier thanks to a vertical lens shift feature, and minimum projection distance is rated at nearly 3.3 feet.
Ericsson announces cuts
Swedish network hardware maker Ericsson on Wednesday announced it will cut 5,000 worldwide jobs as its profits in the fourth quarter dropped by 31 percent, or about $202 million. The decline is said to be caused by restructuring charges and weaker handset sales, as its Sony Ericsson partnership last week announced its own fourth-quarter losses, shipping 6.2 percent less phones than in previous years. Ericsson said the joint venture had a fourth-quarter loss of $243 million.
Rogers adds rugged phones
Rogers Wireless on Wednesday announced it has added a pair of rugged handsets to its offerings, with the Samsung Rugby A836 and ZTE Rock F165. Both are exclusive to Rogers in the Canadian wireless market with each offering unique features. The Rugby has a large external speaker, the ability to access 3G high-speed data networks and is compliant with the US military's 810F specification for resistance to rain, shock, altitude and temperature extremes.
Court Rebuffs Porn Law
The US Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by the Justice Department to uphold the Communications Decency Act. The law, first put into place in 1998, was intended to force adult-oriented sites to use logins or payment to prevent unintentionally exposing children to sexual material. The Supreme Court has ruled the law unconstitutional for violating free speech rights by dictating too broadly how site owners present their content.
Acqualia has announced the latest version of its image beautifying application, Picturesque 2.1. The update features an improved interface, new saving options and a variety of bug fixes and enhancements. The program can be used to add effects including 3D perspective, reflection, glow, shadow, curve and stroke. Users can also batch-edit groups of images, with controls for resizing, cropping or adding affects. Commonly used styles can be saved to presets, while tasks can also be automated using AppleScript.
iPod pavilion at CES
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has announced the iLounge Pavilion, a unified iPod and iPhone section for the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. The pavilion is co-sponsored by CES and iLounge.com, which originally called for a space at CES for iPod and iPhone vendors, and will feature a special exhibition area for both the manufacturers and retailers of iPod- and iPhone-related products.
WM 6.5 coming by mid 2009
Microsoft is set to introduce Windows Mobile 6.5 at the Mobile World Congress expo in mid-February but won't actually ship the product until the middle of 2009, according to a report that cites unnamed sources at Taiwanese handset makers. Despite announcing early in the year, the first devices using the new software will allegedly be made available only in summer, or roughly half a year after the introduction.
BMO Q109 preview
Apple may not do well at all following its Q109 financials, says Keith Bachman of BMO Capital. Though holding to an "Outperform" rating, the analyst has reduced his price target from $108 to $100, and his projected EPS for FY09 from $4.60 to $4.58. Mac shipments are predicted to be 10 million for the upcoming year, instead of 10.4 million.
FCC Investigates Comcast
FCC chairman Kevin Martin this week launched a formal investigation into whether Comcast's policies on voice-over-IP telephony are anti-competitive. Making the move the evening before the Obama presidency and his own resignation takes effect, Martin intends for the regulatory body to determine whether Comcast has been favoring data traffic for its own VoIP phone service over that from competitors. Concerns have been raised that the cable provider's service-independent throttling technique is still interfering with third-party VoIP services and reducing their call quality.
QT 7.6 security fixes
Apple's QuickTime 7.6 update addresses seven security issues. The first issue involved accessing a maliciously crafted RTSP URL may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution Description: A heap buffer overflow exists in QuickTime's handling of RTSP URLs. Accessing a maliciously crafted RTSP URL may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. Version 7.6 fixes the issue by performing additional validation of RTSP URLs.
QT 7.6 announced
Apple has launched QuickTime 7.6, addressing seven security issues. The update increases reliability, improves compatibility and enhances security. It is recommended for all QuickTime 7 users. The 75.1MB download (via software download) will work with Mac OS X 10.4.9-10.4.11 and Mac OS X 10.5 and later. It is available for Windows Vista, XP SP2 and SP3 as well.
Sanyo Xacti 2009 US
Quickly following up on its Japanese plans, Sanyo this afternoon has already detailed the US plans for its 2009 Xacti camcorders. The FH1 (pictured) is the American rebranding of the FH11 and is one of the first conventional-layout Sanyo camcorders as well as one of the first 1080p60 cameras from the company, recording H.264 video to 8GB of internal memory or SDHC cards; it carries a 10X zoom lens and shoots still photos up to 8 megapixels.
Q109 results call preview
Mixed expectations are in place for Apple's fiscal first quarter results call, set for Wednesday at 2PM Pacific time, or 5PM Eastern. Those not participating directly in the phone call will be able to listen in via a QuickTime webcast, and hear rebroadcasts for the next several days.
AVerMedia visual presenter
AVerMedia on Wednesday introduced the AVerVision VP-1 Portable Visual Presenter that allows users on a budget to put up larger images of documents or 3D objects on a connected TV or PC screen or a blackboard using a connected projector during presentations. The document camera has a 2-megapixel camera with an 8x digital zoom and auto focus. Weighing in at just 2.7lbs, the VP-1 folds up for travel but can still project A4-sized sheets or images.
Fido to get BlackBerries
While it is still unofficial, last week's rumors of Canadian wireless provider Fido, a sub-brand of Rogers, starting to offer BlackBerry handsets seem to be true as Fido staff has been trained on the RIM-made devices. As of February 4th, Fido will reportedly offer at least the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 to customers.
Briefly: app discounts
Briefly: For a limited time MacMall.com is offering VMware Fusion 1.1 software for a reduced price of $29. A free downloadable upgrade to Fusion 2 is available for all current owners of Fusion 1.X and will work with existing serial numbers making this an affordable alternative to buying Fusion 2 at the suggested retail price of $70.
MOTU Volta plug-in
Audio company MOTU has announced Volta, a new AU-based plug-in for music production suites. The software is specifically intended to control hardware based on CV (control voltage) inputs, such as modular synthesizers. Regular input from the likes of MIDI controllers is translated into DC output, which then drives connected CV gear.
Intel 320GB SSDs in Fall
Intel plans to double the capacity of its solid-state drive within the space of a year, a note sent to its partners reveals. The company has only just released 160GB flash drives within the past month but is telling PC builders and others to expect 320GB models in the fall. The boost would be made possible by Intel's 34nm flash process, which lets it pack much more storage into a given space.
Taiwan Phone Market Share
Retailers in the Taiwan area have provided data that notes Apple's first cellphone for the island is already the sixth most popular in the region. The handset launched last month on Chungwa Telecom but now represents 2.2 percent, or 12,012 units, of the 546,000 phones sold in the area during December. Whether or not Apple took share away from competitors isn't known, though three out of the top six lost significant share with second-place Sony Ericsson (18.1 percent), third-place Samsung (17.6 percent) and fifth-place Motorola (8.3 percent) all having lost more than one percent of their share versus November.
BlackBook Mobile Guides 2
BlackBook has posted v2.0 of its Mobile Guides app for the iPhone. The app is focused on providing entertainment information, and covers businesses such as restaurants, shops, nightclubs and hotels in 28 cities scattered around the world. The iPhone 3G's GPS receiver can be used to pinpoint the closest attractions; new to the v2.0 update are several features, such as keyword searches.
NVIDIA low-profile GPU
NVIDIA on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of the Quadro NVS 420 graphics card, the first low-profile professional graphics card that fits into small form-factor desktops. Meant for use in business applications, the card can support up to four 30-inch external displays with resolutions as high as 2560x1600 but has a maximum 40W power consumption friendly to compact systems, while a variable-speed fansink manages heat and noise levels accordingly.
T-Mobile G2 Photo Leak
HTC's next Android phone for T-Mobile may more directly compete against its rivals from Apple and RIM, a photo leak shows. Gizmodo has obtained shots it believes may be of the G2 that reveal a much slimmer, rounded design that drops the sliding QWERTY keyboard but keeps a 3.2-megapixel camera, a directional pad and hardware buttons. Typing will instead hinge on a virtual keyboard update Google plans to release for Android this year.
Apple probed by SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating complaints of Apple not being forthcoming about Steve Jobs' health, according to a source for Bloomberg. The source -- who has refused to be identified, because the investigation is not public -- notes that no particular evidence prompted the investigation, but rather concerns that Apple may be misleading investors. Jobs recently described his illness as a "hormonal imbalance," but a little over a week later took a six-month leave of absence, only elaborating on his problems as "more complex" than he originally thought.
Dell Adamo Foxconn Rumor
Dell's ultra-thin Adamo notebook may not be available until the second half of the year, a leak from alleged sources of Digitimes says. The ultraportable is purportedly already in sample production by well-known Chinese manufacturer Foxconn but won't enter volume production until the second half of 2009, when about 400,000 of the systems should be made.
Sanyo Xacti 2009 in Japan
Sanyo today gave an early look at its camcorders for the year with a slew of new updates in Japan, all of which are HD models. The FH11 is one of Sanyo's first horizontal camcorders in recent memory and captures its 1080p video either to 8GB of internal memory or to Class 6 SDHC cards. It now supports the full 24Mbps bitrate and 60 frames per second of the H.264 codec. This and the vertically-oriented but SDHC-only HD2000 also shoot still photos at 8 megapixels
Plastic MacBook 9400M
Apple has without fanfare updated the white plastic MacBook to use NVIDIA's 9400M platform. The upgrade gives the least expensive portable the same graphics performance as the aluminum model and upgrades the processor to the same 2GHz Core 2 Duo and 1,066MHz system bus as the mid-range version. It also doubles the amount of minimum built-in memory to 2GB.
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