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iPerform3D has launched a guitar instruction application, iPerform3D. The software uses motion-capture and 3D animation technology to provide a visual aid that is designed to help an aspiring musician practice guitar. Full camera controls enable users to rotate and angle the camera to point in the desired direction, while the action and sound can be set to a slower pace without distorting the proper pitch. To help with practicing the music, users can also loop a riff or song section as many times as needed.
Research in Motion has announced the approval of a $92 million settlement between a group of current and former company officers and the Ontario Securities Commission, bringing closure with the Canadian government over a stock option investigation that dates back to 2006. The settlement combines $9 million in fines with $83 million in restitution to be paid back to the smartphone-maker, although company Co-founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have already paid a total of $15 million to offset the costs of the investigation.
Nickelodeon, in collaboration with Mobui, has launched SpongeBob Tickler for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app is based on the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon series and features a virtual SpongeBob character for users to play with in an underwater setting. Users can tap the screen to talk or blow bubbles, shake the device to jump, or tilt the iPhone to make SpongeBob hang onto the sides or to see Gary (SpongeBob’s friend) slide by.
Koingo Software has announced Digital Sentry, an application that monitors a user’s computer and performs a variety of actions based on specific events. As an organizational tool, the program can be set to speak a line of text at a particular point in time as a reminder of an important invent. The features can also be used for security purposes, such as a password watch that immediately captures a webcam image when an incorrect password is entered. The photo is then sent directly to a user's e-mail.
Nine-year-old Lim Ding Wen of Singapore has become one of the youngest iPhone developers, producing a application named Doodle Kids, according to Reuters. The painting program allows users to draw random shapes and sizes, in random colors, using a finger for input. Any creation can be saved as a screen capture or erased by shaking the iPhone or iPod touch. The app has already achieved over 4000 downloads from the App Store.
Game developers Phelios and EMV Software have launched Pixie, a new adventure game that requires players to take control of a small Pixie who has become lost and needs to find her way home. The character must be guided through levels filled with dangerous bugs, while using magical vines to block off areas of the map. The final goal of each level is to fence off or claim a majority of the playing field by either closing areas or turning the field into flowers or magical mushrooms.
CLC bio has released several updates to its genetics software, including a major overhaul to CLC Main Workbench and a minor update to CLC Genomics Workbench. Main Workbench 5.0 now supports both microarray- and sequencing-based expression data, along with new visualization options for expression analysis, including an interactive heat map and scatter plot views. Users can work with expression arrays and RNA-seq results at the same time, or import NetAffx arrays and add annotation to experiments.
AutoDesSys has released a free public beta of its NURBS modeling and drawing program, Bonzai 3D. The software is designed to allow users to quickly sketch ideas, while maintaining the capability to produce accurate and complex models that can be rendered, manufactured, or used in construction drawings. Classic modeling tools are provided, with real-time Booleans and NURBS curves and surfaces. Rendering of shadows, transparencies and textures is handled by OpenGL.
Wolfram Research has released Mathematica 7 Home Edition, the latest version of its computation and visualization software. The company has taken features from the professional-level program, with functions that can be used for astronomy, stock market analysis, image manipulation and a variety of educational purposes for age groups ranging from preschool to college. The software can also be used for casual tasks such as creating art, designing buildings or even decorating Easter eggs.
Iomega on Thursday announced the launch of two StorCenter Pro ix4-100 network storage devices for small business or remote offices. Available in 2TB or 4TB capacities, the enterprise-class drives can support as many as 25 networked users and are based on EMC LifeLine software that is a Linux operating system and suite of applications to oversee the operation of the devices. The four-bay Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives can be configured in RAID 5, RAID 10 or JBOD (just a bunch of disks) set-ups and have built-in UPS support.
QNAP Systems has announced its latest Intel-based network attached storage (NAS) system, the TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS. The device utilizes a 1.6GHz Atom CPU and provides up to 6TB of storage, with support for online RAID capacity expansion and RAID level migration without turning off the server. The NAS can be connected using five USB 2.0 ports and two eSATA ports. Data can be protected with 256-bit volume-based encryption, automatic policy-based IP blocking, and instant SMS or e-mail alerts to warn of drive problems or failure.
Jumsoft has released Keynote Themes FX 4.0, a package of motion themes for Keynote that combines five new themes with five themes from a previous version. Themes added in the update include Finance, Velvet Draft, Blue Cubes, Cinema '60 and Holidays; the earlier themes are Redsmoke, Brushstroke, Cells, Ocean, Vivacity and Autumn Tune. Each of the new themes consists of 14 master slide layouts, and allows for editing and formatting text, selecting colors, and placing images.
Taiwan's HTC will launch mobile phones in the second quarter of the year based on the ultra-fast 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, say market sources in the home country in a Thursday DigiTimes report. This news comes on the heels of Toshiba's announcement of its TG01 handset, also running the Snapdragon platform, which is said to begin shipping this summer in some European countries.
Boris FX has published Boris Continuum Complete 6 AE, an updated version of its filter collection for After Effects and Premiere Pro. The upgrade provides just under 200 extra filters for video editors, including 13 new ones, such as Extruded Text, Extruded Spline, Layer Deformer and DV Fixer. Users can now also import After Effects Mask Paths into filters, which help to control geometry.
Research in Motion today passed a symbolic barrier today by selling its 50 millionth BlackBerry device. While not tracking down the exact model, the achievement comes just a month after the 10-year anniversary of the first BlackBerries arriving from the Canadian company. The number is helped by the explosion of sales outside of North America and outside of its more familiar business market, with phones like the Curve, Pearl and Storm mostly targeting home use.
Thanks to a product listing from UK-based cellphone dealer Expansys, the latest handset from Samsung, the C6625, has been made public. The tri-band GSM phone also supports the 2,100MHz WCDMA band and will connect to 3G data networks. Users interface with the device via a QWERTY keyboard and 2.6-inch, 320x240 display on the Windows Mobile 6.1-driven device.
Hitachi on Wednesday announced the upcoming release of the CinemaStar C5K500 2.5-inch hard drive available in capacities up to 500GB that sports a halogen-free design and low read/write power consumption which, at 1.4W, represents a 22 percent reduction than the older drives. The small form-factor drive is meant for use in DVRs, set-top boxes and video surveillance systems. The 160GB, 250GB, 320GB and 500GB drives feature 5,400RPM speeds.
Nikon is expected to release a new D400 digital SLR camera some time this summer, according to a Wednesday NikonRumors report. The popular website points to a German Amazon listing for what promises to be a user's guide for the new product, though no specific details about the book were released. The author has published numerous other camera manuals from Canon, Nikon and other manufacturers, as well as guides for photo editing programs such as Photoshop, giving the leak credibility.
Canon today followed up on promises made at CES by setting out launch details for its 2009 camcorders. The VIXIA series HD line has been pushed back slightly and will see the flash-based HF S100 and HF S10 sell for $1,100 and $1,300 respectively when they ship in early March. The HF200 and HF20 will sell for $750 and $900 but are now set for early April despite using partly older technology. The lone DV tape entry, the HV40, arrives last and sells for $1,000 in early June.
Mac owners searching for a faster version of Firefox may be able to turn to a custom-developed build, an independent coder claims. While the current official build of the web browser is v3.0.6, Mozilla is presently seeding a beta of v3.1, sometimes known as Shiretoko. The Mac beta is said to be unoptimized for Intel processors however, which has led to Chris Latko's creation of a custom version under open-source rules.
Lenovo on Thursday announced its detailed third quarter financial results, posting a pre-tax loss of $90 million. The fiscal quarter ended December 31st, and the company's worldwide PC shipments declined five percent compared to the same time last year. At the same time, the company's board of directors announced a number of changes to senior management that primarily restore leaders from the company's home country of China.
Industry contacts have purportedly said Fudzilla today that NVIDIA's next mainstream video chipsets will primarily be manufacturing refinements of existing hardware built on a smaller 40 nanometer technique. Despite a new name, the GeForce GT 225 should be a shrunken version of the GeForce 8800 GS (and 9600 GSO) that runs cooler and potentially faster. The GeForce GT 220 would in turn apply the 40nm process to the GeForce 9500 to boost the clock speed without affecting heat or power use.
Ergodex and Polymicro Systems have announced that the DX1 customizable input tool is now available for the Mac platform. The device allows users to configure key arrangements to suit a variety of needs. The keys can be reassigned or reoriented as needed, with support for applications including browsers, e-mail clients, graphics software, word processors, games and video editing software. The keys feature an adhesive that attaches to a pad, without the need to connect each individual character using wires or battery power. Customers can also purchase pre-printed labels.
Microsoft and Netflix on Thursday announced a milestone in their co-operation to bring Netflix movies to the users' homes via the Xbox 360 gaming console, saying one million Xbox Live Gold members downloaded and activated software that lets them access Netflix' library of movies and TV shows. This number was reached in just three months since the service was offered in November, with the equivalent of 1.5 billion minutes of movies and TV episodes consumed by the subscribers.
The graphics processor in Sony's widely-expected PlayStation 4 console will be designed by Intel, a new report claims. The information is said to come directly from Sony staff at CES, who also indicate that the company is not happy with the way NVIDIA has treated it with regard to supplying PS3 technology. Intel by contrast is said to be a more reliable corporation, which should not only around for the introduction of the PS4 in 2012 but armed with plenty of cash.
A research note today from Broadpoint AmTech claims that Microsoft is planning to release a smartphone of its own. Analysts Mark McKechnie and Rob Sandserson cite "multiple industry sources" who say a phone is the works that would be released in the second half of 2009 with the goal of tightly integrating hardware and software, much like Apple's iPhone or RIM's BlackBerry line. No other details are given outside of an additional note that backs previous rumors of the phone possibly using NVIDIA's Tegra chipset to provide advanced 3D and HD video support.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard should implement software support first produced for the iPhone, developers claim. The latest pre-release build of the operating system is said to include the CoreLocation framework, used to tell iPhone and iPod touch applications where a user is in relation to other people and places. While Macs are not expected to include GPS receivers anytime soon, software creators should still be able to tap into Internet triangulation to get a rough gauge of where a computer is sitting.
amBX technology, originally developed with Phillips and used in some of the company's TVs, is coming to gaming consoles with a software kit for the Sony PlayStation 3, the technology's namesake company has announced. amBX will light up, shake or send airflow via supported peripherals depending on what is happening in a game, movie or song and has been compatible with many PC games, potentially enhancing the experience by altering the mood.
Samsung is developing a handset that would more conspicuously target the iPhone than the Omnia or any other model, a leak to Gaj-it shows. Known alternately as the Acme and the i8910, it would have the full touchscreen and familiar hardware call buttons of other Samsung touch phones but would be extremely thin and have rare or unprecedented features like an 8-megapixel camera with HD video recording and HDMI video output.
Developer XChange has released an updated XTension for the QuarkXPress publishing suite, Duplica 4.0. The plug-in allows users to sample text and object attributes, and apply them to QuarkXPress documents by way of multiple clipboards. Once attributes are selected, eyedroppers reproduce styling in chosen parts of a document.
A US patent filing published today suggests Apple is considering universal battery formats that could be recharged outside of the device or familiar power outlets. The application describes the battery packs as having a potentially replaceable core and fitting into one of multiple yet standard formats that could have chargers in multiple hosts rather than require its own proprietary charger or adapter. A computer, keyboard or other device could have multiple slots that either charge batteries, including from other devices, or else use them to power the device itself.
Disc Cover 2.3 ($35) helps users create CD and DVD labels, covers, tray inserts, folding booklets, and more. The application includes over 250 professionally made designs that users can customize with their own images or with some of the included images. Along with several performance enhancements and fixes the update includes support for DiscT@2 which allows to etch text and graphics on the data side of DVD discs using a LabelFlash-enabled drive. [Download - 52.3MB]
Skooba Design has announced the Checkthrough Messenger, a new notebook bag made to go through airport X-ray screening with the computer still inside. A slimmer version of company’s original checkpoint-friendly bag, the Messenger nevertheless comes with over a dozen compartments, pockets and organizers. The notebook section of the bag holds a variety of sizes, including 15 to 15.4-inch models, most 16- and 17-inch machines, and all Apple portables.
q : flame ($6) allows users to work with flame fractals on their iPhone or iPod touch. The application uses several unique rendering algorithms that allows the fractals to be workable on the iPhone. Multiple transform flames have been includes along with several topologies, seeds and gradients.
Sources allegedly familiar with the situation tell the Wall Street Journal that EchoStar is taking steps that may lead to a buyout of Sirius XM. The satellite TV provider has reportedly bought up some of about $300 million of Sirius XM debt that must be paid back on February 17th, with the possibility of buying out more debt that would be owed in May. EchoStar would potentially use the sudden influence to either get equity in the target company or else sit in a position of power that lets it force a deal should Sirius XM go bankrupt or otherwise need help from its bank.
Apple has already begun its retail store expansion plans for 2009, with photos emerging of construction in Greensboro, NC, along with a building approval for a long-awaited Georgetown location and several international locations, including Brighton in the UK, and Ottawa, Canada. A tipster who observed workers building the Greensboro store notes that the workers were standing on what appeared to be a palette with a railing made from 2x4s.
TRENDnet has announced Mac compatibility for its Wireless N USB Adapter (TEW-644UB) and 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter (TEW-624UB). To make this possible, TRENDnet has written its own drivers that lets either work with Mac OS X Leopard and Tiger. The adapter supports MIMO technology to improve its wireless range and connects both in a client-to-client mode between computers as well as traditional links to access points.
The first Windows Mobile 7 devices may ship significantly ahead of Microsoft's typical release schedules, say sources for reporter Mary Jo Foley. Adding to recent observations from Motorola executives, Foley understands from sources that Microsoft plans a relatively quick turnaround from its Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade. Although the modest refresh to 6.1 now isn't expected to arrive on shipping devices until September -- seven months after an expected introduction this month -- testers should already have 7.0 by November, with shipping hardware due in April.
T-Mobile today quickly silenced rumors by launching its version of the Samsung Memoir. The full touchscreen phone is one of the first 8-megapixel cameraphones with an official US carrier and aims to overcome most of the flaws of cellphone cameras, including the addition of a Xenon flash, autofocusing and five shooting modes. Its photo features also debunk late rumors and involve 3G data on T-Mobile's 1,700MHz band, giving it enough speed for out-of-the-box photo uploading to sites like Flickr and Photobucket.
HTC will begin shipping the Android-powered HTC Dream handset to wireless provider SingTel which will offer it to subscribers in Singapore. In Australia, the phone will be sold by Optus, a carrier owned by SingTel. The first Android handset in either region, the Dream is identical to the T-Mobile G1 currently available in North America and therefore represents the G1's first official launch in a market other than the US and UK.
Digital Video has launched two new tools for creating graphic storyboards with text, Story Planner and Story Planner Pro. Both versions of the software are designed for cinema, advertising, animation, and video games industries, by trying to help simplify the creation process of storyboards. Users will be able to create sketches, make and format text, and import images or sketches into a series of panels that are numbered to help with organization.
iPresentee has released Keynote Motion Themes 5, the latest update in its line of themes designed for Apple’s Keynote presentation software. Each motion theme is a moving background that works with Keynote’s transitions and special effects, and enables users to add, edit and format text, or add photos and movies. Bringing the company’s collection of Keynote themes up to 62, the new version provides an Earth, Bubble, Mind, Snow and Earth Theme. On top of the new themes, iPresentee is also offering a free Winter Keynote Motion Theme that can be downloaded.
Apple has released an latest update to the recently released GarageBand '09, its music creation and recording application for the Mac. GarageBand '09 was announced at Macworld Expo in January as part of the iLife '09 suite and began shipping in late January; the software works as a recording studio to help users create music, play an instrument, or record a song. The software features tools for learning how to play songs with a guitar or piano, shown by the artists who made them. In the newest version of GarageBand, improvements were made to the overall stability of the program, along with addressing specific issues regarding downloading lessons from the Learn to Play Lession Store.
Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak has taken a lead position at storage company Fusion-io, according to the New York Times. "The Woz" has worked on the company's advisory board, but will now serve as the chief scientist. Salt Lake City-based Fusion-io specializes in high performance storage devices, including solid state technology that is designed to offer cutting-edge capacity density and data transfer speeds.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k