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PhotoTools 2 update
OnOne Software has announced PhotoTools 2 Standard and Professional Edition, updates to its Photoshop plugins that provide a wide range of image enhancing tools. Features in the newest version expand the range of photographic effects, offer an improved effects-library, and adds masking capabilities directly within the PhotoTools 2 program. The update also provides users extended abilities to apply the hundreds of PhotoTools 2 effects to video files within Photoshop CS3 and CS4.
Vista Suit Denied Class
A late ruling has been made today in the lawsuit over Microsoft's allegedly misleading Vista Capable logo that may hand a win to Microsoft. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman has removed the class action status from the lawsuit under the claim that plaintiffs haven't demonstrated that a "specific shift" in demand was created for Windows Vista PCs by giving underperforming systems the logo; they therefore can't prove that Microsoft intended to mislead all PC buyers rather than just the individuals who began the suit.
Hulu pulls content
Hulu has pulled all of its streaming videos from Boxee and CBS Interactive's TV.com. Boxee's blog expressed disappointment with the situation, especially considering the 100,000 Hulu streams it generated just last week. The problems reportedly began a few weeks ago when Hulu's content partners began asking for the service to be removed from Boxee. Despite Boxee's pleads to keep the streaming videos, the company will remove the content on Friday.
Offline Gmail and Pre Maps
Google held an event at Mobile World Congress to demo several of its latest technologies, including Maps for the Palm Pre and offline Gmail for the iPhone. The Maps webapp is coded completely in HTML5 and uses the integrated WebKit engine instead of working as a native app, while retaining the same functionality, according to Pre Community. The interface supports multitouch input and offers the standard features of the desktop-browser variant.
Mac sales drop in Jan
Despite Apple's recent best-ever quarterly financial report, research-firm NDP Group claims that Mac sales dropped six percent in January. The analysts blamed the trend on a growing tendency for buyers to base purchasing decisions on price while the economic recession continues. "What we're seeing is that consumers are not buying based on value, they are buying based on price. Apple is selling value," Stephen Baker, NDP vice president of industry analysis, told Macworld.
Fliq 2 update
Mark/Space has released Fliq 2.0 for Mac, the latest version of its social networking application that allows users to transfer images, contacts and notes to other members. The update now allows tasks and files to be shared or sent directly to contacts. Files or documents can be dragged and dropped onto the Fliq window to be automatically sent to the selected person, while a notebook feature offers an interface to view, save, sort, search or organize notes.
3G hardware development
In brief: Gameloft is currently working on a new iPhone game that is based on the Apple II classic "The Oregon Trail". The game has been updated for the iPhone platform and will have several new features to take advantage of the devices capabilities. No release information has been detailed yet but several screen shots have been released. The WebObjects Community Association has started conducting their annual survey for collecting information from its community. The collected information is used to plan ahead for next year and also to help plan for the next WOWODC. In other news, nova media has released a new hardware development kit for 3G devices based on a 3G embedded wireless module.
HP quarterly financials
Amid the economic woes, HP's fiscal Q109 financial results indicate declining revenue in the majority of its corporate divisions. The company saw a drop in revenue of 25 percent for desktop PCs, while notebook revenue was down 13 percent. Sales of printers, enterprise products and software followed a similar path. Overall net revenue showed a modest increase of 1 percent over last year, although net earnings dropped by 13 percent.
DealNN: Fusion 2
A variety of deals, at discounted prices, from MacBooks and external hard drives to digital cameras, are currently being featured at DealNN. The most prominent deal today is on VMware Fusion 1.1 with free upgrade to version 2 at MacMall.com. This software, that allows Mac users to run Windows based programs on their desktop, was reduced in price from $69.99 to $29.99. A mail in rebate further drops the price down to $19.99. VMware Fusion 2 is a free downloadable upgrade for all VMware Fusion 1.x users and will work with the included serial number. That makes this around $37 less than buying Fusion 2.
HSPA+ in Italy, Germany
Ericsson on Wednesday announced it will partner with wireless provider Telecom Italia to bring wireless data speeds as fast as 28Mbps when downloading and 5.8Mbps when uploading thanks to HSPA+ technology. Milan will be the first Italian city to offer the fast speeds in June, with a nationwide rollout due for the second half of the year. At the same time, Telefónica O2 Germany has said it will launch its HSPA+ network for cellphones and computers in the second half of the year in Munich.
AMD approves spinoff
Shareholders of chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on Wednesday approved a spinoff of the company's manufacturing operations, reports WSJ's Wednesday edition. The move, approved by 94 percent of the shares at the vote, will improve the company's financial situation and have it concentrate only on designing chips rather than manufacturing them. AMD will enter into a joint venture with Advanced Technology Investment Co., which is an Abu Dhabi investment fund. The joint venture was first announced last fall.
T-Mobile unlimited plans
Wireless provider T-Mobile is reportedly planning to offer a number of plans to its existing loyal customers starting on Wednesday, says a Tuesday HowardForums post based on leaked company documents. The $50-per-month Single Line Unlimited Anytime Minutes plan reportedly includes unlimited anytime minutes across the USA with long-distance, voicemail, three-way calling and caller ID services. Those same customers who add a line and port a number to T-Mobile will also receive a $135 credit.
New Keynote Quartet ships
Jumsoft has released Keynote Quartet FX '09, which includes Keynote Animations FX 6.0, Keynote Themes FX 4.0, Keynote Backgrounds FX 3.0 and Keynote Objects FX 3.0. The upgraded Keynote Quartet includes 110 new items, and Keynote Themes 7.0 as a bonus. Among the new items for Apple's Keynote software are 25 animations, 10 moving backgrounds, five moving themes and 50 objects. Keynote Animations FX 6.0 incorporates 125 animations in total, while Keynote Themes FX 4.0 consists of 10 motion themes.
Cricket outs A100 candybar
Wireless provider Cricket on Wednesday announced the immediate release of its A100 handset to customers in its greater Chicago market and said the handset will soon be available to Cricket customers in all of the provider's markets. In addition to tri-band CDMA, the 1,700MHz AWS frequency-compatible handset features a 1.8-inch LCD display with 128x160 resolution.
BenQ nScreen AIO PCs
BenQ on Wednesday announced it has developed two all-in-one PCs, part of its nScreen range, with the 18.5-inch i91 and 21.5-inch i221. The two PCs sport 16:9 aspect ratio displays and built-in 1.3-megapixel webcams. The i221 can display 1080p resolution images, while the i91's maximum resolution is fixed at 720p, or 1366x768. BenQ is touting ease of use for all members of the family, including seniors, as the PCs' strong suit. The large, radio-like knob on the bottom corner of the diplays allows users to power on the machine, adjust its volume, brightness and other functions.
Composer 7 shipping
JAMF has launched Composer 7, updating its software package creation utility to produce installation packages for computers within Mac-based networks. Composer creates packages tailored to end-user configurations in enterprise environments, and supports point-and-click navigation during the setup process. Packages can be deployed in PKG or DMG format, and the app can be set to monitor and record filesystem events.
Dell Studio gets ATI card
A new page on Dell's support site has revealed that the PC maker's Studio 15 notebook will soon be available with a new, yet unreleased graphics card from ATI first announced at CES, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570. The support page lists a support driver for the new GPU as well as the existing GMA 4500MHD processor, both dated as of Tuesday, for a new notebook model called the Studio 1555. This suggests the new HD 4570 GPU will be offered as an option on the new notebook.
Nokia 8208 CDMA handset
Nokia on Wednesday officially confirmed its dual-sliding 8208 handset first spotted last summer. The music phone is not coming to the US, but it one of a handful of Nokia devices that operates on the 800MHz and 1,900MHz CDMA frequencies and supports EVDO data networks. The phone runs Symbian S40 on its 2.2-inch screen with 240x320 resolution.
Treasure Island goes gold
Coladia has announced gold status for Destination: Treasure Island on the Mac. The game is a point-and-click adventure title, claimed to have photo-realistic graphics and inspiration from the Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Gamers encounter numerous puzzles playing as Jim Hawkins, who is hunting for the treasure of Long John Silver on Emerald Island. The game is set four years after the book's end, with Hawkins in a race against Silver's enemies.
Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Spec
Dell this afternoon provided official details for the Inspiron Mini 10, including its final release details. The 10-inch netbook's trim levels mostly match those of earlier leaks and will carry a 1.3-megapixel webcam, 3-cell battery, a 160GB hard drive and HDMI output in all models. The system's 1GB of memory will be fixed in place, but users will have the pick of either Ubuntu Linux 8 or Windows XP Home as the operating system.
Gridiron Flow Mac beta
Gridiron software has released the public Mac beta of Flow, a workflow tool that helps creative professionals manage projects. The software creates a "big picture" look for each item in a project, as it moves through various applications used in the creative process. Gridiron says it has worked with Adobe, Apple and other vendors to provide integration with applications such as Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Office and others.
Intel on Lawsuit vs NVIDIA
Intel today responded to NVIDIA's complaints in the dispute over chipset licensing with signs that it may be willing to partly soften its stance. Discussing the case, which has since been revealed as a non-punitive lawsuit against NVIDIA, Intel spokesman Chuck Malloy tells Bit-Tech that he "wouldn't rule out" his company negotiating a new license with NVIDIA that would let the latter produce mainboard chipsets for Core i7-era processors, even if Intel wins its suit and bars NVIDIA from using its existing license for the technology.
Sygic iPhone app
Slovakian company Sygic at the Mobile World Congress demoed an iPhone app that provides turn-by-turn directions, according to The iPhone blog. The native app also provides voice prompts, points of interest, international support and local map storage on the device. Content for Europe weighed in around 2GB, using Tele Atlas data for the map information and points of interest. The interface is very similar to stand-alone navigation systems, with options to enter multiple route points, view text directions, search POIs, choose alternative routes and browse the map.
AMBER Alert for iPhone
AMBERalert.com's notification system is being turned into an iPhone application. AMBER alerts are intended to help recover missing children by notifying the public; the app will provide users with a real-time feed of recent alerts, including photos and descriptions of victims, suspects and vehicles wherever possible. The app will also come with a reporting feature, enabling people to report sightings so as long as an Internet connection is available.
Puzzlicious ($1) downloads random images from the Internet and breaks them up into finger-sized jigsaw puzzle pieces or if players don't have an active internet connection they can use images from their Photo Library. Players can set a timer and then race the timer to finish the puzzles of pictures they have never seen before.
Intel Lynnfield 65W Coming
A tip to Fudzilla indicates that Intel is preparing a Core i7-based equivalent to its new Core 2 Quad S chips. The processor would be an adaptation of Intel's upcoming Lynnfield design for mainstream, quad-core processors and, like the current designs, would reduce the thermal peak power to 65W and render the design small enough to fit in all-in-one PCs and compact desktops.
Canon SELPHY printers
Canon on Tuesday released a new compact photo printer in three colors, the SELPHY CP780. The new portable printer is faster and reportedly has better image quality than the model it replaces, while the new colors mimic some of those on the also newly released SD1200 IS digital camera. Users can crop and preview their images on the CP780's 2.5-inch LCD screen.
Meizu M8 ships to stores
Chinese maker Meizu has at last officially launched the M8, a phone widely seen as an attempt to clone Apple's iPhone. Though technically already available for a short space of time, the M8 has only now left testing status, losing Wi-Fi support, likely in accordance with Chinese law. An 8GB model is selling for 2,380 yuan ($348), while a 16GB version costs 2,880 yuan ($421).
Rogers Q4 08 and iPhone
Rogers on Wednesday revealed that smartphones are becoming a large part of its business. The Canadian telecoms company says that its cellphone business in the holiday quarter was buoyed by selling 400,000 smartphones, most of which were either Apple iPhones or one of RIM's BlackBerry devices; about 40 percent of these were those new to Rogers, while the remaining 60 percent were for those replacing phones or upgrading to smartphones in the first place. About 49 percent of the 158,000 new, subscription customers were moving to the devices.
KavaMovies 1.2 ($35) is a movie database application that allows users to organize the movies they have seen, the ones they want to see and those that are a part of their collection. The application also connects to the internet to obtain extra information about each movie such as actors, directors, genres and more. Version 1.2 includes new import options, and features a new import wizard to step you through finding the right movie for each title. [Download - 3.3MB]
New iPod touch ad
Apple has posted an online version of its newest TV commercial for the second-generation iPod touch. The spot carries over motifs used in several previous ads for the Touch, such as overlapping hands and iPods, and a focus on accelerometer controls. The greatest emphasis remains on the games available from the App Store, here advertised with the slogans "More Games" and "More Fun."
NVIDIA Intel License Fight
NVIDIA today revealed that it's involved in a dispute with Intel over a license to make mainboard chipsets for current and upcoming processors. Filed on Monday in a Delaware court, an Intel claim seeks to prevent NVIDIA from making mainboard chipsets for any of Intel's newer processors that use an integrated memory controller; the change in design means the old license doesn't apply, Intel believes. The move would effectively stop NVIDIA from producing any reference designs that support Nehalem-architecture chips, particularly Core i7 processors.
iPhone refurb discount
AT&T has resumed an earlier discount made possible for the iPhone 3G. The carrier is once again selling refurbished iPhones with a $100 price cut, bringing the cost of the 8GB model down to $99, and the 16GB version to $199. A fresh two-year contract is also required, and AT&T warns that some phones could be marred by "minor scratches."
Stacks 1.0 launched
YourHead Software has launched Stacks 1.0, a page-style plugin for RapidWeaver. Stacks 1.0 brings layout editing to the website creation software, allowing for flexible web page design using a drag and drop interface. Stacks arrives with a library of simple building blocks for creating complex layouts. Users build web pages using Stacks by placing elements from the Stacks Library anywhere onto a web page layout. Each element can be moved, resized, styled, and nested, while pages built via Stacks are flexible and flow content to fit the dimensions of any RapidWeaver theme.
New European Apple Stores
Some new and previously-revealed Apple Stores have appeared on an official company map, reports observe. Among these is a site in Paris, France, which is generally expected to appear in the Carrousel du Louvre, but could be beaten by a shop situated near the Garnier operahouse. Also mentioned is a store in Milan, Italy, the potential location of which remains ambiguous.
WD My Book World Edition
Western Digital on Wednesday introduced new My Book World Edition network storage drives in 1TB and new 2TB capacities that can automatically back up the files on multiple network-connected PCs and/or Macs. The drives have can be quickly setup by plugging them into a network router and setting them up to back up files via a relatively straightforward interface. Any changes to selected files on the connected and synced computers is then automatically saved at user-set intervals.
Pantech Matrix Pro at ATT
AT&T this morning added the Pantech Matrix Pro to its cellphone roster. The phone upgrades the design with a smaller but more upscale body that adds a larger 2.4-inch display and better materials. It also gets a full smartphone-class operating system and uses Windows Mobile 6.1 instead of the feature phone OS of the original Matrix; the switch gives support for full third-party apps and editing Office documents.
Contactizer 3.7 update
Objective Decision has published Contactizer 3.7, an upgrade to its personal organizer software. The app is primarily centered around business contacts, which can be tied into projects and schedules labeled according to category and action required, such as sending a fax or e-mail. Users can also sync with other devices through iSync, and dial calls through Bluetooth phones.
Verizon LTE Plans
Verizon on Wednesday confirmed that it has already been trialing 4G service using the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard in the US and that the technology is proving fast in practice. Having begun tests in Columbus, Minneapolis and the northern New Jersey area, the carrier is already reporting in-the-field peak download speeds between 50Mbps and 60Mbps, or more than 20 times faster than better connections using 3G-level EVDO Revision A service. Upload speeds aren't mentioned but should also be much faster.
MacBook SMC Update 1.3
Apple has posted a new firmware update for MacBooks, SMC Update 1.3. The code is specifically limited to the latest white plastic MacBook, which is distinguished by features such as a faster GeForce 9400M graphics chipset. The upgrade can also be applied only to systems running Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later.
Nintendo DSi US April 5th
Nintendo this morning gave the DSi its official release details for the US. The console will reach the country on April 5th for $170 in light blue and black color options. This undercuts the original Japanese pricing and sets up the device as Nintendo's response to increasing pressure from combination game and media devices like Sony's PSP and Apple's iPod touch. It expands the DS Lite with an SD card slot for music playback and audio recording, and carries both back and user-facing cameras that allow self-portraits as well as traditional photography.
Lenovo NVIDIA Ion Rumor
Lenovo may be one of the first PC makers to adopt NVIDIA's Ion platform in a netbook, the Taiwan-area Commercial Times paper claims. The PC maker is reportedly asking local contractor Wistron to build 11.6- and 12.1-inch IdeaPads for the spring that would combine the much faster, GeForce 9400M-level graphics of Ion with an Intel Atom processor. The company is also said mulling a 13-inch model using the same technology.
Canon PowerShot A 2009
Wrapping up Canon's PowerShot rollout for the bulk of the year are a trio of its AA battery-powered A series cameras. Fronting the group, the A2100 IS replaces the A2000 IS with a smaller, nearly all-black body but with a sharper 12-megapixel image (up from 10) and a switch to the DIGIC 4 chip powering most of Canon's point-and-shoots this year. The swap gives it full scene recognition and face detection with support for moving people and self-timers. Like its predecessor, the A2100 IS continues to carry a 6X stabilized lens and a 3-inch preview LCD.
Canon PowerShot D10
In an uncharacteristic step for the company, Canon this evening has broken ground with its first ruggedized PowerShot. As the first in its series, the D10's housing has been rounded, sealed off and internally hardened to resist extremes: the camera can operate underwater at depths up to 33 feet, take drops from as much as 4 feet up, and resists freezing with temperatures as low as 14F. Some controls and the flash are also oversized to ensure good control and shot quality while swimming or wearing gloves.
Canon PowerShot SD 2009
Going on with its pre-PMA expo camera launches, Canon tonight has kicked off the launch of four compacts in its staple PowerShot SD line. The SD970 IS represents the summit with a 12-megapixel sensor and a 5X lens. It gets the full round of features for compact cameras using the DIGIC 4 engine, including 720p HD video with HDMI output, full scene recognition, blink and face detection, shake-based navigation (dubbed Active Display) in playback mode and deliberate zoom blur and creative light effects.
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