Dell may be edging much closer to its emergence into the smartphone market, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although earlier speculation indicated a tendency toward the Windows Mobile platform, the latest report suggests the company has been experimenting with Android as well. The move could serve to hedge against difficult conditions in the PC market. The company will allegedly focus on high-end smartphones which would compete in the segment dominated by the iPhone and BlackBerry devices.
Iconfactory has released Twitterrific 3.2, an update to its Twitter client for Mac. The latest version increases the number of posts (or "tweets") that can be read in a userís timeline to 200, while a menu is now available on the Dock icon if enabled through the settings. The update also automatically marks all old tweets as read when the application is opened. All communications are now encrypted using HTTPS, while the HTTP authentication has been improved for added reliability when accessing through a proxy.
Archiware has released PresSTORE 3.1, the latest version of its data management software. The update claims to offer considerably faster synchronization speeds, especially with data transmitted over a WAN. Users can now establish an expiry date for data, enabling the software to automatically purge unneeded documents to clear space for new data. Another new feature allows the software to detect whether data resides on separate disks and file systems, then feeding the tape drive by reading the data concurrently even with a single job.
QuickPWN has already managed to release a jailbreak for the iPhone 2.2.1 firmware. The program does not yet provide a solution for owners of unlocked 3G phones, however, as the latest Apple firmware will revert any of the handsets back to a locked state. Nonetheless, the QuickPWN program will jailbreak the iPhone, iPhone 3G and first-generation iPod touch, but currently requires Windows for installation. The developers are likely working on a Mac version, although a confirmation or date have note yet been provided.
Quark has released the latest version of its publishing software, QuarkXPress 8.02. The update adds user interface localizations for Danish, Norwegian, Czech, Portuguese and Finnish. The program also now supports the latest Pantone Goe color libraries, while offering an improved installation process for large workgroups. Users can also take advantage of a streamlined activation process that allows a transition from the 60-day trial version to the full version without requiring a second software installation.
KavaSoft has released the newest update to its web-photo downloading tool, HyperImage 2. Designed to help users download online pictures onto their computer, people can simply place a website address into HyperImage and the program will find and retrieve all the pictures on that website. The new version includes an image browser that contains infinitely resizable thumbnails, and allows users to browse through all their pictures from a particular page or website.
R.P.A Tech has released an application that turns the iPhone/iPod touch into a wireless remote for the computer, Air Mouse Pro. The program lets users surf the web, browse pictures in a photo library, and control music or movie players while sitting away from the computer. Air Mouse uses the built-in accelerometer to translate hand motions into mouse movements on the screen. With the applications notification system, information is sent to the iPhone that allows Air Mouse to know what program is currently being used so it can provide the proper keys necessary.
ShaggyMac has launched a new screen protector for the 17-inch Unibody MacBook Pro. The ShaggyMac lays on the keyboard surface and cushions / protects the screen while the lid is closed, preventing scuffs and marks on the screen surface. The screen protector is made from an optical polishing cloth and will keep the MacBook Pro's screen & glass trackpad clean and free from smudges. It is available in five colors, silver, black, blue, yellow and tan.
Pinch Media has provided more details surrounding the 'iPhone 2,1' device that could represent the next-generation iPhone. The first time the handset popped onto the Pinch Analytics radar occurred early in October 2008. The devices appeared occasionally until mid-December, when usage escalated. A few dozen unique 'iPhone 2,1' phones have been logged, using a combination of Wi-Fi and AT&T connections. The geolocation-enabled hits came "almost exclusively" from the South San Francisco Bay Area and most phones ran larger applications.
Xnet Communications has released Captain FTP 6, the latest version of its file transfer and automation program. The update adds support for Amazon's S3 backup service, along with synchronization scheduling and WebDav editing for remote documents. Users can now automatically e-mail a URL link to a remote file or folder, or add duplicate entries in the address book. The program also allows offline browsing and file listing from Amazon or WebDav. Several bugs have been fixed, including a cache issue that would crash during browsing and a problem that caused the application to use 100 percent of the processor resources.
Acer Thursday updated its Ferrari notebooks with the Ferrari 1200. The 12-inch portable is the third generation of the notebook and keeps the carbon fiber, F1-themed shell but updates to a newer AMD Turion X2 Ultra processor and gets a newer mainboard platform that includes faster Mobility Radeon video. It continues to sport an LED-backlit display and holds as much as 4GB of DDR2 memory in higher-end trim.
SanDisk on Thursday announced that it and Toshiba have changed up the terms of their joint venture agreement to manufacture 300mm flash memory chips. Under the new agreement, more than 20 percent of the venture's output capacity will be transferred to Toshiba, with SanDisk receiving about a third of the deal's $890 million worth in cash and the rest going to reduce SanDisk's leases for equipment involved in manufacturing the chips.
Nintendo on Thursday announced it expects to post a 2008 profit 33 percent lower than it originally expected due to the slowing economy. The predicted difference comes despite the video game maker selling about 1 million more Wii systems than it originally predicted by the end of 2008. When the fiscal year ends at the end of March, Nintendo is expecting to post a profit of $2.5 billion instead of the $3.8 billion it predicted in October.
Intel plans on dropping the price it charges computer makers for some of its Core 2 Duo mobile processors in the second quarter of the year, according to a Thursday NotebookItalia report. The chipmaker's 2.8GHz T9600 CPU with 6MB of L2 cache will reportedly cost $309 per unit, a 40 percent discount from its current $517 price. Meanwhile, the slower 2.53GHz T8700 CPU's price will be reduced by 17 percent, from $236 to $197.
Tension Software has released Calcboard 1.0, a Cocoa-based application for mathematical calculation in technical fields. The document-based software pairs equations with lists of variables and constants, and allows the substitution of values for generating new outputs. It can solve equations within any nested level of parentheses, and is said to work with most mathematical functions.
Toshiba has quietly added four new, lower-cost models to its business Satellite Pro S300 notebooks. Common to all is the S300's 15.4-inch screen, a DVD burner and an eSATA/USB combo port. The EZ1511 and EZ1512 models share the same hardware specs, with a 2.16GHz Pentium dual-core CPU, 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive, with the only distinction being the operating system, with Windows Vista Home Basic in the former and Vista Business in the latter. They also get Wi-Fi and an integrated GMA 4500MHD graphics chipset.
The slowing economy is the main reason for electronics maker Sony announcing its first annual loss in 14 years, along with announcing a preliminary fourth quarter loss of nearly $199 million, according to a Thursday report. It was the third time this business year that Sony cut its annual forecast, and both it and the estimated near-$2.9 billion annual loss come after last year's respective profits of $2.6 and $5.3 billion. It's a similar story at Toshiba, where fourth quarter numbers are down about $1.8 billion compared to a $466 million profit last year, while forecast annual profits are nearly $3.1 billion in the red, the first time in seven years.
Apple has removed a graphics update from support pages only days after release, browsing shows. The NVIDIA Graphics Update 2009 patch was intended to fix cursor movement when using the Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter. It was also said to improve HD video playback on unibody MacBook Pros, equipped with NVIDIA's GeForce 9600M card, as well as on older Macs utilizing the GeForce 7300 GT.
Sharp is due to release its SH001 handset in Japan for use on KDDI's CDMA 1X WIN 3G network. The clamshell handset's notable features consist of an 8-megapixel CMOS camera and a dual-hinged design that allows the 3-inch, 480x854 pixel LCD screen to rotate out to face the user while being folded into the handset. The camera has an integrated autofocus and face recognition capability, while its ISO rating can be set as high as 2,500 for capturing images in low-light environments.
Intel will give its first public look at an 8-core Xeon processor in less than two weeks at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the show's schedule (PDF) reveals. The unnamed chip will double the core count of existing Xeons and is based on the same 45 nanometer manufacturing process and Nehalem architecture that underpins the Core i7. The shift adds Hyperthreading and will let even a single-socket Xeon processor theoretically address as many as 16 simultaneous program threads at once by putting two threads on each core.
Maingear is following a different tack on high-end PCs Thursday by releasing the Remix, a mid-tower PC built specifically as a creative workstation. The system is tailored most towards visual editors and can come with a Quadro CX video card to accelerate filters, H.264 video encoding, and other features in Adobe's CS4 suite as well as other apps that recognize NVIDIA's CUDA acceleration language. Musicians are also catered to with sound insulation to cut down on fan noise and a built-in M-Audio PCI interface for recording instruments.
There are plenty of options for creating webpages. Professionals typically opt for editors like DreamWeaver, while hardcore designers may choose to dive into the HTML code. It's theoretically possible to use ordinary word processors, but the resulting pages are often too simplistic. For the average person who wants to create professional-quality pages without taking design classes -- or learning the vulgarities of HTML code -- Apple offers the much simpler iWeb '09, a part of the new iLife '09 suite.
Acer's recently announced 10-inch netbook, the Aspire One D150, will be offered with a solid state drive and a Linux-based operating system after all, according to a company conversation with ZDNet on Thursday. When the PC maker originally introduced the netbook, it said the only available operating system would be Windows XP and has so far only mentioned a 160GB rotating hard drive where the 8.9-inch model has had variants with Linux and SSDs since its introduction last year.
Helio's long-delayed Ocean 2 is due to ship in just two weeks, MobileCrunch says in a pre-announcement hands-on. Supported in part by Helio parent company Virgin Mobile's own mention of the phone for a concert promo, the slip confirms that the phone will be available on February 12th. The phone continues to share the original's two-way QWERTY and number pad sliders but adds a new optical pad for navigation, 2GB of built-in storage, and improved software that includes a tabbed web browser, threaded SMS and Google Talk messaging.
Apple has met and pushed past its target of 1 percent of world cellphone market share in 2008, according to an ABI Research study. iPhones now represent 1.1 percent of the entire cellphone market and grew in dramatically from just 0.3 percent during 2007, when the iPhone was only available for half of the year and only in a limited number of countries. The number puts Apple on par with phone veteran HTC and slightly ahead of Sharp.
Charter Communications recently announced it will launch the one of the fastest widely available Internet services in the US, capable of delivering 60Mbps download speeds and 5Mbps uploads. Called Charter High-Speed Internet Ultra60, the service will initially be released in downtown St. Louis before expanding to other, unnamed markets. At the same time, the Internet provider says it will upgrade its Charter High-Speed Internet Max service to give subscribers 20Mbps download speeds instead of the current 16Mbps without increasing their monthly rates.
Makeshift Games has released a new puzzle title for the iPhone and iPod touch, Chuck the Ball. The player's goal is to guide Chuck the Ball around the screen while avoiding obstacles, in an attempt to collect all of the lost stars before time runs out. In order to direct Chuck, players simply swipe their finger along the screen to tell him where to go. Some of the obstacles include spikes, rocks, and metal blocks.
Japan's Lancerlink and Taiwan's GRANDTEC have released the Grand HD Cinema, a unique video converter. Meant for computers, the device feeds PC video into a USB port, which is then converted into HDMI output. Owners can thus watch PC content on an LCD, OLED, laser or plasma TV, or simply connect to an HDMI-capable monitor.
Smartphone maker i-mate today sparked attention in its lineup by claiming that it will use Mobile World Congress next month to introduce a "revolutionary mobile device" in its lineup. The company has little extra information in its teaser but suggests it will be "unlike anything else." The company has historically produced only Windows Mobile smartphones, however, and so may use Windows Mobile 6.5 and its improved interface as a centerpiece of the design.
UtiliTouch has released a new musical application for the iPhone and iPod touch, TappyTunes. Designed to react whenever a user taps anywhere on-screen, each press will result in the next note in a song being played until it is finished. Users have access to 70 built-in songs, and can play as fast or as slow as desired.
Despite arriving months later, Research in Motion's BlackBerry Storm is ultimately more expensive to make than its competitor from Apple, iSuppli says in a breakdown of the component costs of the two phones given to Business Week. The research group estimates that the Storm's pure manufacturing costs come to slightly less than $203, or more than the $200 asking price for the phone online. By contrast, the iPhone 3G cost $174 as of July, less than its official $200 price.
Palringo has announced Palringo Instant Messenger 1.2.4, an update to its app for the iPhone and iPod touch, which now allows users to see how far away their contacts are from them. The change can be found under the contact list section of the app, and makes it possible for users to see both the town and distance of users. The company notes that in a subsequent update, it will enable users to see the location of any Palringo contact on a map extending up to a six-mile radius.
Apple has introduced album-level upgrade options for iTunes music libraries, experimentation shows. When users previously attempted to upgrade tracks bought at the iTunes Store to the DRM-free iTunes Plus format, they were presented with only two options: single-track upgrades, or conversion of all protected files. Users can now choose the intermediate album step, though there appears to be no special discount over upgrading tracks individually.
Microsoft has submitted a US patent filing this week that could lead to smartphones serving as full computers. The application for a "smart interface system" proposes a dock that would support display output, Ethernet or wireless networking, and a USB hub for peripherals like keyboards or external hard drives. Rather than depend on the phone to support all the features, however, the dock would include a processor and embedded software that abstracts support and would offload some of the processing work from the phone.
Hawkscope 0.4 (free) is a tool that allows users to access their hide drive contents from a dynamic menubar item. The update has added HTTP proxy authentication for update checks, features better handling of resources and smaller memory consumption, has added the possibility to use operating system icons if they are available and is now Java 5 compatible allowing it to run on Mac OS X 10.4 and up. [Download - 1.4MB]
Apple is laying the groundwork for a high-end gaming section at the App Store, sources claim. In the current organization of the store, bigger-budget games such as Sega's Super Monkey Ball are sorted no differently than the many low-cost clones of puzzle titles. Under the suggested arrangement, a special section at the store would contain only games costing $19.99 each.
As part of a sweeping update to KDDI's phone lineup, Sony Ericsson has launched a pair of handsets that both have features often left out of non-Japanese cellphones. The Cyber-shot S001 has the 8-megapixel camera still rare for the company but centers on an extremely sharp, 854x480 OLED display with enough color saturation to help previewing photos or watching 1Seg digital TV. The camera itself also has features closer to dedicated cameras with shooting up to the equivalent of ISO 1,600, image stabilization and detection of both faces and smiles.
Touch Dial Emoji ($4) is a touch dial/SMS icon for the iPhone. Users can assign a phone number to the application and it will then dial the assigned number on launch. The application also can unlock the Japanese Emoji icons on the iPhone without having to jailbreak the phone. After enabling Emoji icons in the applications settings users can have access to 461 system wide icons.
AT&T will soon pick up a premium equivalent to the Samsung Propel that will serve as a full-fledged smartphone, BGR has discovered in a leak. The Propel Pro would switch from the feature-limited basic OS of the original to Windows Mobile 6.1 with according support for third-party apps. Samsung should appropriately give the slide-out QWERTY phone a black-and-chrome look and a more exotic optical joystick for control.
Nokia hoped to raise the bar for mid-range phones today by launching three models that provide features normally left out of their price classes. The 6700 classic has features borrowed from Nseries smartphones and carries a 5-megapixel camera as well as GPS mapping. It also has HSPA-based 3G access that Nokia claims can download as quickly as 10Mbps. The metal-clad candybar phone is due to ship in spring for 235 Euros ($308) before carrier discounts and will work in the US thanks to quad-band GSM/EDGE, though its 3G is currently Europe-only.
An engineer in Japan running the Electronics Live Mfg (ELM) website has built an MP3 player shaped like Apple's Power Mac G4 Cube. The MP3 Cube comes with no buttons or dials to control the device and instead requires physical movement. By using the built-in acceleration sensor instead of mechanical switches, the device is able to detect motion which allows users to tap, tilt and move the player, in order to designate commands such as the volume, which song is being played, and if the device is on or off.
Casio, together with KDDI, has recently unveiled the CA001 handset, equipped with a 3.1-inch, 854x480 resolution touchscreen display among many other features. It's the first Casio handset to run on KDDI's 3G CDMA 1X WIN network, allowing download speeds of up 2.4Mbps. The flip phone is double hinged, allowing the screen to be rotated towards the outside and fold back into the handset, similar to a tablet PC's operation.
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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