SanDisk, in collaboration with Toshiba, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference announced its latest memory technology that combines X3 and 32 nanometer manufacturing processes. The multi-level cell NAND flash is designed to offer 32Gb capacity with three bits of memory per cell, all in a package small enough to fit the microSD memory card format.
THQ Wireless has released SpongeBob Atlantis Treasures, an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that features characters from the Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. Atlantis Treasures takes place in five different rooms in the Atlantean fortress. Users must solve puzzle challenges by matching up falling objects, eventually discovering the hidden treasure. To match the objects, the 3D game board can be spun with a finger swipe.
TeamViewer GmbH has announced the availability of TeamViewer 4, its browser-based sharing application. The program can be used to transfer files, train employees, collaborate with team members or view presentations, with support for up to ten people. Users can access a partner list to store information, view the online status of each member, or enter an unlimited amount of users into the account. All users have the ability to connect with any other online partner.
Luxology is now previewing modo 401, the next major revision of its 3D software, at the SolidWorks World 2009 show in Orlando, FL (booth #1207). Along with the announced SolidWorks importer, initially a Windows-only feature, the software will also feature updated capabilities for modeling fur, volumetric lighting and replication. Fur technology allows users to build hair or fur from fiber models that can also be built as grass, roots or tinsel. Controls are provided for the texture, displacement and various attributes of the fibers.
People aware of the situation have told the New York Times that satellite radio provider Sirius XM is readying itself for the possibility it may declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although still solvent, the company is believed talking with experts in bankruptcy cases and restructuring and has made enough progress in the necessary documents that it could make its declaration "within days." No official signals have been given regarding a potential collapse.
Apple's App Store offerings this week exceeded the 20,000 mark, as the number of daily releases seems to follow an exponential curve, according to tracking statistics charted by Apptism. The company reached 15,000 titles less than a month ago, up from the announcement of 10,000 apps on December 5th. In comparison, the App Store only contained a few hundred apps when it was opened for business seven months ago.
Barclays' analyst Ben Reitzes has suggested that Apple can rely on the success of the App Store to add "stickiness" to the iPhone and iPod touch. He uses the term in reference to the lock-in effect that is likely to prevent the majority of current owners from switching to products offered by competitors, a concept he believes is a "key differentiating factor."
Vertus has released a new photo-taking and photo-editing application, Play With Pictures. Designed to help provide a simple way to create custom photos, the program lets users cut out an unlimited number of people or objects from various pictures and combine them into a preferred background. Once users have placed their desired pictures in the background, an automatic blend tool is used to help smooth out any hard edges and makes the picture fit more realistically with the background.
ASUS has announced the N81Vg notebook, featuring the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 120M GPU. The device offers a 14-inch LED-backlit display that supports 1080p video playback. Customers can choose from a variety of Intel Core 2 Duo processors, while available hard drive capacities range from 160GB to 500GB. Two DDR2 SO-DIMM slots allow RAM expansion up to 4GB. The DVD Super Multi drive can also be used to play Blu-ray discs.
The hot-selling Nokia 5800 XpressMusic that sold more than one million examples in the UK in about two months will be coming soon to North America, according to a slip by a reseller. The full touchscreen handset will reportedly be available on February 26th in the US in a version with 3G using HSPA on supporting North American networks. The phone will tentatively cost $399 as an unlocked, unsubsidized device rather than receive a discount through a tie-in with AT&T.
A new cell phone from Sony Ericsson has been uncovered at the same time as the company's pre-MWC launches. The C901 has a 5-megapixel camera like the C903 and likewise sports 3G data network support and quad-band GSM for voice. The camera's functions are similarly high-end and involve an LED flash, autofocus, face and smile detection and geotagging using built-in GPS.
Earlier reports that forecast paid applications will become available in the first quarter of the year at to the Android Market have held true, as a Monday report from the Wall Street Journal says developers will be able to charge for their software very shortly. While the report focuses on Microsoft's strategy, it mentions the paid applications are coming later this week, citing unnamed sources close to the Android Market. The application store is hosted and operated by Google, having been launched at the end of October.
Sony is about to release its latest geotagging accessory for its Cyber-shot line of digital still and video cameras, the GPS-CS3KA. The device is available for pre-order via Amazon and is the long-awaited successor to the Sony CS1, itself released in 2006. The device can add the location of photos and videos captured by users' cameras as well as their date. It is powered by a single AA battery rated at 15 hours of life and can accept both MS and SD memory cards.
A new, previously unseen handset, the Samsung Instinct Mini, is coming to wireless provider Sprint, BGR says in a new leak. Little is known about the new phone, other than that it will be sold alongside current Instinct models and will be available in two colors: copper or graphite. The phone will only support EVDO Rev 0 data networks, however, and is due for a release at the carrier on April 19th. More information about the new phone is expected soon, and may surface as early as next week at Mobile World Congress in Spain.
Psyclops has launched an iPhone app based on its website and iPod cases, Psyclops Dance Mixer. The program lets users create their own music video using a selection of characters, beats and animated movies. In order to create a video, users simply pick a character, combine a variety of instruments in a 30-second four-track mix, and choose from a list of dance moves.
An Amazon spokesperson said the Kindle 2 e-book reader officially announced just yesterday will be launched in countries outside of the US, says a Tuesday Reg Hardware report. While there is "ambition" for an international introduction, no specific dates for the widespread launch were mentioned. The original and popular Kindle was only sold in the US via Amazon.
Currently Apple's online store is offering six refurbished Mac models for $1,399 or less. Three MacBook Airs with different configurations to chose from lead the list. The first of the three is only $999 and has a 1.6GHz processor with 2GB of memory and 80GB PATA hard drive. Next up is the 1.8GHz model with the same storage and memory options as the first, priced at $1,099.
Accessory maker Mophie has announced the Juice Pack air, a revised version of its earlier battery pack for the iPhone 3G. Both Juice Packs latch onto the back of an iPhone, supplying extra power without dangling any cords or protrusions off of the dock connector. The batteries extend operational time by several hours, eliminating the need to recharge as frequently or avoid using functions to conserve energy.
Today's deals at DealNN include a variety of deals on electronics from iPods to external hard drives. Most notable today is the Western Digital My Passport Studio external hard drive. This hard drive is pre-formatted for Mac users and offers FireWire, and USB interface options. It is currently priced at $99.99, which is a price reduction of $55 off the original price of $154.99, and includes FREE shipping after mail in rebate from MacMall.
LG's KM900 Arena should beat out the Palm Pre to be one of the first non-Apple phones to support multi-touch input, LG Korea's press site shows. The interface, known as S-Class, will let users pinch to zoom in the web browser and while viewing photos. While its main home screen has a conspicuously iPhone-influenced design, the 3D aspect divides the front end into core phone tasks, apps, media playback and a section for widget apps like clocks and calculators.
MonkeyBread has launched v9.1 of the MBS plug-ins for REALbasic, said to add over 50 new capabilities and bug fixes. Changes include fixes for REALbasic 5 compatibility issues, a UniMotionMBS module to detect the movements of a Mac, an updated dynaPDF version, and more scripting functions. The plug-ins extend the REALbasic development environment with some 1,500 classes and over 28,000 functions.
Nisus has released an update to Writer Express, its stripped-down companion to the Writer Pro word processing app. The v3.2 release introduces several new features, most notably customizable document properties, which allow users to to assign attributes like authorship, company and copyright. The software has also been expanded with per-language control over smart quotes, and extra backup options.
Intel at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference today provided some of the first concrete details of Westmere, the codename for its 32 nanometer processor family. The design is primarily a smaller, more efficient adaptation of the Nehalem architecture in the Core i7 but, in the dual-core desktop (Clarkdale) and notebook (Arrandale) offerings, will include both a two-channel DDR3 memory interface and an integrated but switchable graphics core. Like NVIDIA's Hybrid SLI mode or AMD's Hybrid CrossFire, the technology will let systems with dedicated graphics chipsets revert to Intel's own core in low-demand situations or when on battery.
MachineWorks Northwest has developed an iPhone version of the Human Head game Prey, according to IGN. Published by Hands-On Mobile and based off of the Xbox 360 version, Prey is a first-person shooter that follows Tommy, a Cherokee who must rescue Earth and his girlfriend after an alien invasion. The iPhone game starts with Tommy crash-landing in a canyon covered in ancient writings. Equipped with only a wrench by default, Tommy must kill the aliens around him to secure better weapons.
Sony Ericsson as part of its launches on Tuesday unwrapped the AB900 Bluetooth speakerphone. The device serves as a typical speakerphone for the desk or car but can pick up stereo Bluetooth audio and pipe it through FM radio to send it through the car's speakers. Incoming calls work on the more ubiquitous hands-free Bluetooth standard and switches both to and from music on the fly.
Google today said it's making efforts to bring more information about home energy use to homeowners, in an effort to save energy and therefore help reduce pollution as well as slow the waste of natural resources. The company is developing a PowerMeter program in conjunction with the US government and public works companies who supply energy to homes. The software would let users view their exact power consumption in real time by teaming smart meters with software to automatically relay how much power is being drawn by a given device at any one time or over a certain period.
OEMs should not expect price drops on Intel notebook hardware until at least June, according to industry sources. Cuts had been rumored after a drop in the company's net income for the fourth quarter, as a means of boosting sales. Simultaneously, however, it was worried that a reduction would cause significant damage to notebook builders, who in some cases may be carrying large inventories of full-priced components.
EasyiShop is taking pre-orders for Griffin's new version of the iTrip FM transmitter, now designed to fit the iPod nano 4G. The device allows iPods to stream audio to a nearby FM receiver; users simply plug an iTrip into an iPod, and tune to the nearest radio. A distinguishing feature is SmartScan, which hunts automatically for the cleanest frequencies. LX and DX modes can be used for further quality adjustments.
After teasing the device at CES, Dell today launched its Wasabi PZ310 printer. The handheld, 7-ounce design is a companion to digital cameras that support PictBridge over USB as well as most Bluetooth-equipped devices, letting users print away from home. Dell uses a relatively new ZINK (zero-ink) technology borrowed from Polaroid that relies on a layer in the paper itself to print an image without having to use either an inkjet tank or a laser toner cartridge.
CLC bio has released a new set of tools for high-performance computing-based analysis of next-generation sequencing data, CLC Science Server and CLC Genomics Server. The software is geared for enterprise use and offers three-tiered functionality including Workbench clients for individual users, a database and a server for completing complex calculations and integrating third-party tools.
A cheaper iPhone will debut sometime this summer, according to RBC analyst Mark Abramsky. Citing checks, Abramsky says the device will not be a rumored iPhone nano, but instead a pared-down regular iPhone. The model could omit 3G and GPS functions, reduce camera resolution, and impose a cap on data usage; the tradeoff, however, would be a $99 entry price, attached to a lower-cost data plan, worth approximately $15 per month.
First appearing late last year, the Nokia E63 is now available for purchase in the US, the handset maker announced on Tuesday. Marketed as a less costly option to the company's E71 smartphone, the E63 has support for North American 3G data networks using HSPA and includes a Wi-Fi module for even faster access. The QWERTY device has a full HTML web browser and can access multiple e-mail accounts with Mail for Exchange support.
Dell's Inspiron Mini 10 could ship as soon as the end of this month, a conversation with a Dell online sales rep may show. UK blogger Paul Synnott has posted a chat log which suggests Dell agents have been told the Mini 10 will be available on the 27th, or the last Friday of the month. Publicly, the company has remained uncharacteristically vague on the release date for the 10-inch netbook and has provided only a small degree of information at a CES press event in January.
Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini on Tuesday announced the chipmaker will make its biggest ever investment for a manufacturing process for its 32 nanometer chips. The plan is to spend $7 billion on retrofitting existing production plants to build the new chips in the US over the next two years. The manufacturing plants due for the upgrade are based in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico and will create about 7,000 jobs across the three states.
Apple is mostly recession-proofed, claims Kaufman Brothers' Shaw Wu. The analyst agrees with recent views that Apple may not be as dependent on Steve Jobs as has sometimes been thought, and that the company's real threat at present is simply the global recession. Even then, the company should be mostly immune to any serious impact, says Wu.
Sony Ericsson's pre-MWC efforts have begun with the launch of two sliders in its Cyber-shot and Walkman lines. Topping the list, the C903 steps up the quality of the company's mid-range cameraphones with a 5-megapixel sensor, flash and a sliding lens cover like on some of Sony's dedicated still cameras. It also includes face and smile detection, TV output and built-in GPS that can geotag shots in addition to locating the owner's position.
Along with Toshiba, SanDisk at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference today announced plans to ship an ultra-dense form of NAND flash memory that promises a breakthrough in storage. Called X4, the technology uses a special memory controller that maintains data traffic speed while still fitting four bits of data per cell. The approach lets SanDisk and Toshiba place 8GB of memory on a single chip, twice as much as before, and while still maintaining a transfer speed of 7.8MB per second.
An iPhone version of The Oregon Trail is in development, says IGN. No information on pricing, release dates or even many specific features is available, but the title is being developed by Gameloft, and represents a significant cosmetic upgrade over the famous Apple II version of the game. Players assume the role of a family traveling across the US by wagon, and learn about some of the basic realities of 19th century life.
Preparing itself in the run-up to next week's Mobile World Congress, Nokia today launched the 5630 XpressMusic. The new mid-range phone in the company's media-focused lineup centers around a rare voice recognition system that will play artists, songs and other music content just through speaking its name. Its visual interface also borrows from the N97's social component by including a new Contacts Bar on the home screen that provides quick access to the recent calls, messages and photos from as many as 20 favorites.
(Updated with pricing) Dell as promised has launched the Latitude XT2 as the second-generation of its convertible tablet PC. The new version comes with multi-touch support out of the box and uses pinches, swipes and other gestures to zoom and scroll through apps that support the features, such as web browsers and photo viewers. It also continues to carry a second digitizer and will work with a bundled stylus for more precise control or for drawing.
Google may have consciously stripped multi-touch input from its Android mobile operating system solely to avoid a conflict with Apple over patents, a member of the Android development team claims. The iPhone maker reportedly asked Google not to use multi-finger input and, according to the source for VentureBeat, was granted its wish. The exact reason isn't known, though Apple has both the incentive of an early competitive advantage as well as patents that might have forced it either to negotiate a patent license or else challenge one of its closest partners in court.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX