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Gmail available offline
Google has announced plans to make the company's Gmail service available for user's offline through the Gmail Labs Settings tab. By using the Google Gears offline application technology, people will be able to browse their e-mails from a web browser when no internet connection is available. Once the application is activated, a new "Offline" link will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the user's browser window allowing them to click and view all or most of their Gmail messages, depending on the size of the mailbox. In order to do this, Gmail synchronizes messages in the starred folder to a local cache.
Radar: iphone photo sharin
Tiny Pictures has released an iPhone app for its Radar photo sharing social networking site. The app lets users share their daily lives with friends by posting pictures and notes on Radar.net or through Facebook and Twitter. The free app allows users to upload photos from an iPhone camera or photo library with privacy controls that restrict who sees each post. The home screen shows the latest postings from friends and daily content feeds from various providers. The app uses caching techniques to quickly load low-resolution versions of photos while the full-sized versions download in the background.
Verizon sells 1m Storms
Following up with its quarterly financial disclosure, Verizon representatives have finally confirmed that the company has sold more than 1 million BlackBerry Storm handsets, according to Computerworld. Unofficial estimates last month suggested the company had sold 500,000 of the devices in the first month since its release. If the number was accurate, the achievement of 1 million units points to a sustained distribution through the second month of availability.
iPhone Developer Training
In brief: Mariner Software has announced a new social networking site that allows writers to post their own work or read and comment on material from other users. MacNN has recently taken a look at a device that holds an iPhone or iPod touch on a desk. The Just Mobile Xtand is stylized to complement the design of the iMac and Cinema Display, while holding the device in either the portrait or landscape orientation. Intrinsic Development Corp. has announced that it will offer another iPhone developer training course, as its previous series received a strong response.
CLC Genomics Workbench 3
CLC bio has released Genomics Workbench 3, the latest version of its analysis and visualization software for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data. The application uses an SIMD-accelerated assembly algorithm to analyze NGS data, with a 15-fold speed improvement compared to the previous version, the company claims. Once analyzed, the visualization tools allow users to spot genetic changes such as inversions and duplications. The update also features digital gene expression and expression analysis of micro arrays and RNA-seq data.
Aspire goal planning app
Unifiq has announced a public beta of Aspire, its new life-goal planning application for Mac. The program is designed to help create, prioritize, review, and track long-term goals and plans, while enabling users to combine any created ideas into a goal map. Instead of working as a daily planner, the focus is placed on weighing major decisions and organizing items that may take a long time to accomplish. Aspire avoids using specific time-frame scheduling, but rather prioritizes the items with phrases such as now, soon or later, in an attempt to avoid nitpicking about the fine details.
Apple refurbs: new iPods
The Apple Store now offers a new variety of refurbished Apple products that include several current-model iPods as well as aluminum-unibody MacBook and MacBook Pros at reduced prices. The latest-generaton 1GB iPod shuffle is available in silver, blue, pink and green colors for $39. The current iPod nano is available in 8GB ($129) and 16GB ($169) configurations with a multitude of colors choices such as black, yellow, pink, blue, green and purple. Apple TV in 40GB and 160GB configurations are available for $199 and $279, respectively. The 2.4GHz unibody MacBook has 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive for $1399. The unibody MacBook Pro model is offered with a 2.53GHz processor, 4GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive for $2149.
Beijing Apple store floods
An Apple Store located at The Village in the Sanlitun area of Beijing on Saturday suffered a flood that spread water across part of the ground level of the tri-level retail space. One manager claimed the water was from a fire hydrant malfunction, although the incident is currently still under investigation by the property management team. The store did manage to keep two levels running as normal through the flood, with access only blocked to the affected area.
Yahoo posts Q4 loss
Amid the flurry of financial disclosures this week, Yahoo has posted a net loss of $300 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to a $205 million profit for the same quarter in 2007. The company achieved revenue of $1.81 billion through Q4, marking a drop of one percent from the same period a year earlier. International sales seem to have been hit harder, with a revenue drop of 10 percent, while domestic revenue was up 2 percent. Despite the effects of the weakened economy, revenues rose 3 percent to $7.21 billion for the whole year, while net income surpassed $424 million.
Zevris Instant Backup
Zevris Solutions has released Instant Backup, a data backup application that allows users to save selected files and folders both online and locally. The program is designed for users who wish to make an extra copy of important and sensitive active projects. Though not designed to replace complete backup systems such as Time Machine, it offers users the ability to have an additional password protected copy of the information on an FTP site, or if they wish to back-up files more than hourly.
Skype to add versions
Skype will introduce new applications for its VoIP software at next month's Mobile World Congress in Spain, Pocket-lint maintains in a Monday report citing a statement from the company. Specifics are unknown, but the company has said that the new software versions will be made for various mobile operating systems and the company will announce partnerships with major handset and mobile technology vendors.
Bill to ban silent cameras
Earlier in January, Republican Congressman Pete King introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would remove the capability of camera phones to take silent photos. The Camera Phone Predator Alert Act would require a mobile phone equipped with a digital camera to make a sound whenever a photo is taken and not allow users to disable or silence the tone. Many current camera phones allow users to turn off the sounds when photos are captured, with the iPhone letting users do it at the flip of a switch. The Consumer Product Safety Commission would enforce the bill.
LG CF360 now on AT&T
An entry-level sliding candybar from LG,the CF360, has popped up on AT&T's webstore without much fanfare recently. The quad-band GSM handset sports a 2-inch, 240x320 resolution display and access to AT&T's 3G data network that allows it to use the provider's Navigator turn-by-turn driving directions, real-time traffic alerts and maps. Users will also be able to download music via AT&T's Mobile Music Service, upload videos via Video Share or check the news, weather and more via AT&T's CV service.
HP Mini 1000 gets 6-cell
Despite not officially announcing a higher capacity battery for the HP Mini 1000, HP does indeed offer a solution as a six-cell battery has reportedly been found online. The battery on the online HP Parts Store is compatible with the 8.9- or 10-inch netbook. The six-cell lithium-polymer is rated at 2.4Ah and 53Wh and costs nearly $154, not including shipping.
Timepost 2.6 update
colovo has posted v2.6 of its time tracking utility, Timepost. The program logs the beginning and ending of various work tasks, with options for editing and rounding off records as necessary. An unlimited number of timers can be generated, and then used to post work hours to tracking and billing websites such as Basecamp, FreeAgent and FreshBooks.
Memoir spotted at T-Mobile
First spotted late last year, the Samsung Memoir cellphone with an 8-megapixel camera is all but confirmed as coming to provider T-Mobile thanks to these photo leaks. While the news and price in the photo is still unofficial, the handset is expected to appear at T-Mobile in the very near future. The apparent release date for the handset is February 25th, with pricing set at nearly $300 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.
Sony updates Vaio G3
After leaving its VAIO G notebook line-up alone for nearly two years, Sony has finally announced it will update it with four new models with the third-generation G3 range. All four share a 12.1-inch, 1024x768 resolution LCD, with the entry-level model sporting a Centrino 2-era, ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU; it also comes with 2GB of RAM, 120GB hard drive and Wi-Fi. A mid-range model receives a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo chip and a 64GB solid state drive.
Motorola leaks new phones
Motorola has unintentionally revealed four upcoming handsets by apparently posting them on their website ahead of an official announcement. Phones revealed in just such an uncommon fashion include the VE465 flip phone, the ZN300, QA4 Halo and VE66 Lux Edition. The VE465 is an entry-level handset with CDMA and EVDO network support, along with digital music playback capabilities and a 1.2-megapixel camera.
Orbicule has announced the latest version of its theft recovery software, Undercover 3. The update features integration with Skyhook Wireless for obtaining Wi-Fi positioning data. In the event that a Mac is stolen, the software will automatically transmit screenshots from the missing computer. iSight images are also uploaded, potentially uncovering the thief's identity. The program can be used to simulate a hardware failure that could lead the device back to an Apple Store for repair, where it can be recovered.
DealNN: bargain prices
DealNN deals for today include a variety of deals on Apple products, storage devices and more. Currently MacConnection.com is offering the unibody 15.4-inch, 2.4GHz MacBook Pro for $1849 which is already $150 off the MSRP of $1999, and for a limited time a mail in rebate offer is available that drops the price down to $1699. Apple's online store is offering deals on refurbished white MacBooks starting at $849. Two refurbished iPod videos are being offered at eCost, the 30GB model for $119.99 and the 60GB model for $146.99. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 is available at Amazon.com for $189.99. For today only Newegg.com is offering the Western Digital My Passport Essential 160GB external hard drive for 49.99.
HoudahSpot 2.4 ($25) allows users to create detailed queries to pinpoint the exact file they are searching for. HoudahSpot 2.4 has added a new text preview feature. This allows users to preview any text files that are found while searching without having to open the file in its default application. The preview automatically highlights searched strings within the text allowing users to quickly locate the portion of the document they are looking for. [Download - 2.6MB]
Mil. data found on iPod
(Updated with correction) A used iPod bought by a New Zealand man, Chris Ogle, has been found to contain critical US military data, according to reports from the region. While unable to play music, the $15 iPod was found by Ogle to contain 60 pages of material related to US personnel, mission briefings and equipment deployments. The information mostly dates back to 2005, but contains names and personal data that remain relevant.
Panasonic Lumix FX48
Panasonic today added one more camera to its roster in the Lumix FX48, its newest ultra-compact model. The camera is relatively slim at about 0.85 inches deep but carries a 12-megapixel sensor and a 5X, 25-125mm equivalent wide-angle lens that makes it better-suited both to close-ups and to landscape shots. It also adds a newer face detection system common to most 2009 models that can recognize individual faces and prioritize those over others in the same scene.
Papermaster going to Apple
Despite the legal battle between Mark Papermaster and IBM, Apple has announced that he will start his new job on April 24th as senior VP of Device Hardware Engineering, which centers on the iPhone and iPod. The conflict between Papermaster and his former employer began last year when he took a position at Apple, a move that IBM considered a violation of the non-competition agreement that would have barred him from defecting to a competitor for a period of a year.
Sketches ($5) is a tool for iPhone and iPod touch users that can be used to jot down quick notes, create finger paintings or to annotate photos. The application allows users to draw freehand or use predefined shapes that can be resized and rotated. Sketches also features its own image hosting service, which can be used to store pictures that users want to share via twitter or email.
Alternate iPhone browsers
Recently-introduced "alternative" browsers for the iPhone are mostly weak, and not truly separate from Safari, reports allege. Though
General Mobile DSTL1
General Mobile has provided an early glance at a high-end smartphone that may be the first of its kind for Google's Android platform. The DSTL1 has cosmetic similarities to HTC's Touch Diamond but will have a 5-megapixel camera with flash as well as twin SIM card slots that will let it run on two separate providers as is often the case in Eastern Europe and Asia. The 3-inch touchscreen is lower resolution at 400x240 but is countered by a faster, 627MHz processor versus HTC's slower offering.
Canon 1D Mark IIIn Leak
Canon may use the upcoming PMA expo to introduce an upgraded variant of its EOS-1D Mark III flagship, according to a German store catalog entry. The listing purportedly shows an EOS-1D Mark IIIn already in the system with a price tag of 4,240 Euros ($5,603) but with other text blurred. No release dates or other specifications are included in the leak, which was initially thought to be fake but has since gained additional credibility.
MyRacer OLED MP3 player
Korea's MyRacer has recently introduced its pocketable digital audio player, the Lisse S10. Available in 2GB and 4GB capacities, the device sports a 126x64-pixel OLED screen that responds to a tilt in one of four directions for navigating through its menu. Features include MP3, WMA and WAV file playback with ID3 tag support, and there is an FM radio tuner built-in. Users will also be able to squint at e-books on the four-line display as well.
iPhone 2.2.1 firmware
Apple is now distributing an incremental firmware update for the iPhone, v2.2.1. The software is so far known only to contain bug fixes, including improvements to the stability of the Safari web browser. Also resolved is a problem in which images saved from Mail messages would not display properly in the Camera Roll. The upgrade applies to both the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G, and can be downloaded through iTunes.
Panasonic FS25 compact
In addition to its new TS- and ZS-series cameras, Panasonic has announced the Lumix FS25, the next top-end model in the FS series. The camera is rated at 12.1 megapixels, and is equipped with a 29mm Leica lens capable of 5x optical zoom. The model is also capable of ISO sensitivities up to ISO 6400, and can blow up images using 3x digital zoom.
PSP 2 to sport touchscreen
One Monday claim by IGN suggests Sony's portable gaming system, the PSP, is close to being replaced by a successor that would be totally redesigned, unlike the two comparatively mild updates the gaming system received in its lifetime. Fitting in with the possibility of a touchscreen PSP-branded cellphone, the report suggests the next PSP will have a widescreen multi-touch interface similar in execution to Apple's iPhone.
Savant OnPar GPS unit
Navigation specialist Savant has announced the OnPar, a new entry into the realm of GPS units for golf. The device is similar in concept to Garmin's Approach G5, making use of a large touchscreen to provide information such as distances and an overview of course layout. The unit similarly provides club recommendations and score tracking, as well as statistics for shot history. It is unknown how many players the unit supports.
Sirius XM Price Hike
Sirius XM today confirmed rumored price increases with notices for subscribers to the individual Sirius and XM networks. Either satellite radio station will no longer offer its Internet streaming component for free and will instead charge $3 per month extra for individuals listening to the stations. Sirius XM justifies the move by noting that the audio quality will go up by March 11th and is giving existing users a chance to "lock in" free listening before that date.
SMART Utility 2.0 released
Volitans has published v2.0 of SMART Utility, a diagnostic tool for hard drives. The software taps into the SMART monitoring technology built into hard drives, and presents status information in a more convenient and legible form. The app additionally attempts to warn users about impending disk failures, with the aim of allowing time to transfer material to a different location.
ToughBook 19 and 32 Update
Panasonic today updated its most hardened Toughbooks to make them both faster and more usable. The Toughbook 19 tablet and Toughbook 30 notebook are both based on Intel's Centrino 2 platform and use both faster and more efficient low-power Core 2 Duo processors that Panasonic estimates can get up to 10 hours on a single battery. They also get new, much brighter 1,000 nit LCDs with anti-glare, anti-reflection and circular polarizer filters that improve their viewability even in direct sunlight.
HOTorNOT for iPhone
The creators of HOTorNOT have released what is billed as the first-ever mobile dating application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The app provides access to the long-standing social networking site, aimed at singles between 18 and 34. Users can can browse through profiles, rate other singles and send virtual gifts.
Amazon Feb 9 Event
Amazon today said it would hold a press event on February 9th at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. The online retailer doesn't provide details as to what will appear at the event but is widely expected to be launching the second generation Kindle at the gathering given the location and timing; the original sold out in late 2008 and isn't set to come back on sale until the early part of 2009.
Star Walk 1.2 for iPhone
VITO Technology says it has added meteor shower data and other updates to its iPhone stargazing app. Star Walk 1.2 now includes links to Wikipedia articles on planets, stars and other celestial bodies. The company says it has also improved the way stars are displayed, so that larger, brighter stars appear more distinct in comparison to smaller ones.
NPR Mobile 1.2 update
Pass Time Software has updated its NPR Mobile app for the iPhone and iPod touch to v1.2. The app provides users with a browsing interface, enabling them to find and listen to radio programs, read summary text, and view any available images. In the newest version, users can expect added access to browsing and listening of all of NPR's podcasts, and changes to search capabilities that allow finding NPR affiliates using cities, states and zip codes, or GPS in the case of the iPhone.
Panasonic Lumix ZS
Panasonic on Tuesday rolled out sweeping changes to its Lumix cameras that include firsts both for itself and the whole industry. The Lumix ZS3 is the first compact camera to hold a 12X optical zoom lens and so has range comparable to an ultra-zoom in a smaller size. The 10-megapixel camera also has a wider 25mm lens that can capture more of the scene as well as face detection for portraits.
Apple wins iPhone patent
Apple has won the rights to a patent critical to the iPhone, documents show. Measuring some 358 pages, the patent covers much of the base software for the iPhone, including the operating system and various modules for functions like contacts, stocks, the camera and media playback. The patent also describes hardware components inside and outside of the device, such as the accelerometer, the audio subsystem and the proximity sensor used to judge when a person's head is near the earpiece.
Verizon Q4 2008 Results
Verizon this morning said it had continued to significantly grow in the fall despite the US economy. The company notes that it had a net boost of 1.2 million new cellphone customers even after factoring in the loss of some customers to Rural Cellular and without including the acquisition of Alltel, which is expected to give Verizon the lead among US carriers. The company has a total 72.1 million users as of the end of 2008 and is up 9.9 percent compared to the year earlier.
WD Caviar Green 2TB
As promised, Western Digital today launched the Caviar Green 2TB, the world's first desktop hard drive to cross the 2TB milestone. The 3.5-inch SATA drive takes advantage of the 500GB per platter technology behind its 1.5TB drive to reach the record capacity but uses intelligent seek patterns and on-the-fly changes to spin speed, reducing the amount of power used in certain loading situations or in low demand.
Zune Drop Explanation
Microsoft in an interview published today pins the company's large drop in Zune sales year over year on its model line. The music player division's marketing chief Adam Sohn tells the Post-Intelligencer that late 2007 was going to be strong both because of its then-new second generation players as well as discounted sales of the original Zune 30, which boosted Microsoft's numbers as it was cleared out of stock.
Fujitsu Quits HD Head Biz
Fujitsu on Tuesday said it would exit manufacturing hard disk drive read and write heads by the end of March. The move follows a "broader strategic review" of its overall hard drive business and will send employees working specifically on the drive heads at the Japanese company's Nagano plant towards other factories. The plant itself will also continue running as it makes boards for servers and telecoms equipment.
Netbooks '09: huge growth
Social and technological factors have conspired to make 2009 the year of the netbook, according to analysts. ABI Research expects a "perfect storm" to form this year, leading to a market explosion in the netbook category, calling for 35 million units to ship in '09, with an estimated 139 million units shipping by 2013. The convergence of PDA functionality, the data-hub theory of smartphone technology and the mobility of ultramobile PCs find a home in netbooks at a time when low-cost, low power processors and light-weight form factors have arrived.
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