Copyright © 2015
ASUS tonight opened up pre-orders for its Eee TOP all-in-one desktops. The 15.6-inch models in black and white are now set to ship to the US through Amazon on March 9th for $600. Both trims get the same custom touchscreen interface, 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive and Windows XP Home as their basic counterparts in Asia and Europe.
Joining Sony's berth of updates are two new photo printers aimed at travelers. The DPP-FP67 and DPP-FP97 can be carried in a bag and output 4x6-inch images, with the FP97 finishing an edge-to-edge photo in about 45 seconds and the FP67 in about 63. Both depend primarily on memory cards for loading images and accept Sony's own Memory Stick Pro formats as well as more universal MMC, SDHC and xD cards. The FP97 as a semi-pro model also takes CompactFlash and Microdrive cards used most often in DSLRs.
Sony has expanded its line of home theater systems to include three new configurations with integrated five-disc DVD/CD changers, the DAV-HDX587WC, DAV-HDX589W and DAV-HDX285, along with two new DVD players. The HDX587 and HDX589 models support 5.1-channel audio signals and offer an iPod cradle that can be used to play music or video. The systems also feature video upscaling for DVD content, along with an HDMI port for connecting HDTV sets. Digital Cinema Auto Calibration is designed to assist with proper installation, while Portable Audio Enhancer and Dialogue Enhancer are designed to enhance sound quality.
Uncharacteristically launching TVs outside of CES, Sony on Monday night unveiled the BRAVIA W5100 series. The refresh is a deliberately lower-cost option that brings the same Internet features as the Z5100 and XBR9 but without the expensive panel technology. Any W5100 set can access Flickr and news widgets through Yahoo's industry-wide interface when connected over Ethernet. They can also tap into Amazon VOD, YouTube or Sony's internal movie and music services to stream video.
As part of a round of updates, Sony this evening updated its Blu-ray lineup with two players and two home theaters, half of which focus on wireless as the central feature. The BDP-S560 movie reader is one of the first Blu-ray devices with 802.11n Wi-Fi that lets it access BD-Live special features, player upgrades or DLNA-supporting media sources on the local network without either requiring an Ethernet cable or sacrificing relative speed. It and the lower-end BDP-S360 nonetheless have Ethernet connections for a physical link.
Sony tonight upgraded its Cyber-shot H series just ahead of tomorrow's PMA show. The HX1 shoots photos at a modest 9.1 megapixels but compensates through sheer speed: a new 1/2.4 CMOS sensor lets it capture up to 10 frames per second of images without dropping resolution, while a BIONZ processor borrowed from the Alpha line lets it record 4:3 ratio 1080p video with stereo sound. Footage is encoded directly in AVCHD (H.264).
Leaked part numbers and several rumors suggest that Apple is ready to release new iMacs and Mac minis on Tuesday. French Mac-enthusiast site MacBidouille has posted four new iMac product model numbers, with MB417 representing the 20-inch entry-level system featuring a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and 2GB of RAM, while MB418 and MB419 designate the mid-range 24-inch systems with options for 2.66GHz or 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo processors and 4GB of RAM, and MB420 references the high-end 24-inch model with a 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and 4GB of RAM.
The Tolis Group has released BRU Producer's Edition, an application that provides tools for archiving artist sessions. The product is geared for music, film and graphics arts professionals, with options that allow users to drag-and-drop volumes, folders, or individual files into organized sessions. Backup output can be routed simultaneously to two separate tape copies for added security or delivery to clients.
Apple has released software updates for Aperture 2, iPhoto '08 and iPhoto '09, along with a firmware update that is designed to extend the battery life of MacBooks. Owners of Nikon D3X and Epson R-D1x digital cameras will now be able to upload RAW-format images to Apple's photo software. The update also addresses compatibility issues with specific cameras and improves overall stability.
Intel this afternoon continued on its Atom emphasis with the launch of the Atom Z500 series and matching chipsets. Originally codenamed Poulsbo, the processor platform is Intel's first Atom generation targeted at very small embedded devices and accomplishes the feat by creating a much smaller footprint beyond the processor. A new, smaller system controller package integrates both graphics and the usual input/output controller hub into a single chip.
FCC filings indicate that Apple is set to release updated versions of its Time Capsule and AirPort Express 802.11n devices, according to AppleInsider. Testing documents show that the wireless routers could support simultaneous communication on the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band. The expanded capabilities would allow the base stations to work with 802.11b/g devices, such as the iPhone, while sending 802.11n signals to a computer or set-top box.
CheckUp 2.1 ($25) is a tool designed to check and monitor the behavior of a Mac system, either locally or remotely. The software scans a computer and provides information on the systems functionality and overall performance and can also allow any unused applications to be removed. The latest update includes a revised interface, support for Raid disks, improved support for Spaces and a better memory test. [Download - 17.4MB]
Today's DealNN deals include a range of products from digital cameras and portable hard drives to Apple peripherals. Most notable today is the Soyo 21.6-inch LCD widescreen monitor priced at $119.95 after mail in rebates from PCconnection.com. This LCD monitor has a maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050, a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and 5ms response time.
A long overdue replacement for the HTC Cavalier QWERTY phone, the HTC Maple, has been spotted on Germany's CNET site. Next to nothing is known about the handset's features other that what is seen in the photo. The Windows Mobile-based handset notably adds a BlackBerry-like trackball for navigation and a 2-megapixel camera on its backside.
New Macs based on Intel's Nehalem platform -- consisting of Core i7 and updated Xeon processors -- should indeed become available within the next few months, says UBS analyst Maynard Um. The research firm cites checks, which not only say that Mac OS X 10.5.7 will pave the way for Nehalem, but that the update could be released to the public as soon as this month. Rumors of a March 24th computer launch are said to aid this view, although Um observes that UBS cannot yet confirm any event.
Germany's AgfaPhoto at the PMA 2009 show introduced a number of new digital cameras, including the DV-5580Z that can capture high definition video at up to 1440x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. It can otherwise capture still images via its 8-megapixel CMOS sensor and has a 5x optical zoom along with a digital image stabilizer. Users frame their shots using a 2.5-inch LCD display that flips out from the body. While launch dates are not available, the DV-5580Z is due to cost about $250.
After holding trials in San Francisco for its $50 unlimited plan earlier this month, T-Mobile has now announced it is offering the Unlimited Loyalty Plan with the same proviso that customers have to have been with the provider for at least 22 months. The plan includes unlimited voice calling to local numbers, and the company will add a second line with the same discount for an additional $40.
Avaak has recently released its Vue personal video network, which allows users to easily set up an in-home security or monitoring system the video feed of which they can access over the Internet. The battery-powered and wireless cameras come with a peel and stick magnetic mount that does not require users to drill into their walls or create any complicated mounting provisions. The cameras can wirelessly transmit what they see up to 300 feet, a distance that can be extended with optional repeaters.
The recent 3G performance problems with the 5800 XpressMusic have been officially acknowledged by Nokia, and while the company has stopped short of admitting a network-specific problem, it now claims that only handsets in Chicago and New York areas suffer the problems. The handsets were being returned to Nokia's flagship stores in the two cities, with some users reporting a complete lack of signal reception even in areas with a known good connection.
Wireless provider Sprint is due to get a mid-level QWERTY handset known as the Sanyo SCP-2700 sometime in the future, according to a post from an anonymous SprintUsers forum member. Little is known about the handset, other than that it will reportedly sport built-in Bluetooth functionality, an integrated GPS sensor and a 1.3-megapixel camera.
Sony has recently announced the upcoming release of two new series of Bravia HDTVs in Japan, the W5 and F5, with the majority sporting 240Hz panels. They center on a FeliCa RFID tag reader built right into their remotes that lets owners pay for Video on Demand and other multimedia purchases using their cellphones. The W5 TVs are available in 52-, 46- and 40-inch models, while the F5s can be had in 46-, 40- and 32-inch sizes. All have full 1920x1080 high-definition resolution, except for the 32-inch KDL-32F5, which tops out at 1366x768 pixels and has a 120Hz panel.
A Monday BGR report has Alltel releasing its version of the Palm Treo Pro smartphone this Thursday, March 5th. Alltel, the first US carrier to offer the phone following the delayed Spring version, will reportedly sell the Pro for $199 with a two-year contract and a $125 rebate. The handset includes 3G data network access over EVDO as well as Wi-Fi capabilities and GPS mapping.
Electronista has been fortunate enough to get an early review unit of Dell's Inspiron Mini 10, and we have some of the first impressions of the system from our (slightly dirty) sample. The overriding sense from a first glance is one of quality. Unlike most netbooks or even Dell's own Mini 9 and 12, the Mini 10 has a reassuringly solid construction that doesn't feel like it will fall apart. That extends to an aluminum palmrest and a wide, single-piece hinge that opens up smoothly and without wobbling.
The iPhone is by far the most dominant platform in terms of mobile web browsing, claims Net Applications. The tracking company notes that the iPhone's current marketshare is approximately 66.61 percent, greatly dwarfing the 9.06 percent of its next closest competition, phones using mobile Java browsers. Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform ranks in third with 6.91 percent, while Symbian phones account for 6.15 percent of mobile web traffic.
Bang!Bang! ($2) provides a simulation of shooting a gun on an iPhone or iPod touch. Users can fire the simulated weapon by tilting the phone forward and reload by pointing the screen towards the ground. The application also features a left handed mode, vibration kick after shots are fired and an optional silencer.
Visitors to the iTunes Store may soon be unable to find music by Van Morrison, a TIME interview with the artist reveals. Responding to a fan question on whether albums and CDs remain relevant in an age of downloads, Morrison claims that they are certainly important to him, since he is "not a download artist." Only a small percentage of the people who want his music actually buy tracks via download, he suggests, with the vast majority choosing CDs, and a smaller group preferring vinyl.
Last week, a Pioneer Electronics USA executive talked about the company abandoning the TV market and said it is considering applying its high-end Kuro brand from the high-end discontinued TVs to other products in its range. Andy Parsons, the senior VP of the company's advanced product development and corporate communications, said the company had to give up on selling TVs due to the tough economy, despite plasma displays accounting for a quarter of the company's operating revenue.
Intel today confirmed details of its reported deal with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company). The memorandum between the two companies will see Intel port the Atom processor's design techniques, patents, software libraries and other processes to TSMC's manufacturing base. Both of the partners see it as a mutually beneficial deal that gives Intel a foothold in TSMC's manufacturing while expanding TSMC's options.
A new leaked image appears to show the retail packaging for the next-generation Mac mini. The photo, posted on OneMoreThing.nl, features a Mac mini with five USB connectors, a Mini DisplayPort and a FireWire 800 port. The design elements match a previous image leak and video, while a NVIDIA logo adds evidence to reports claiming the upcoming device will use the GeForce 9400M graphics and controller chipset.
Taiwan's ASUS will demonstrate its super-thin 10-inch netbook, the Eee PC 1008HA Shell, at the CeBIT show in Germany that kicks off on Tuesday. The netbook was first seen last week, is expected to become the new flagship of the Eee PC range, taking over from the S101. No specific hardware information is yet known, though the new portable PC is expected to sport an industrial design while being thinner, more powerful and longer lasting than the existing flagship Eee PC netbooks.
Music sold through Nokia's Comes With Music service will eventually go DRM-free, according to one of the company's executives. Adam Mirabella, the director of Nokia's Global Digital Music Retail division, says that the company is currently in negotiations with various groups, and has fixed removing DRM as a long-term goal. No specific record labels have been named, nor has a firm date been set for when the transition will occur.
Apple has achieved first place in a new Fortune list, compiling what the magazine calls the world's most admired corporations. The company's 2009 ranking is a continuation from last year, and said to be predicated mainly on continued success at the same time as rival computer and electronics makers are suffering. Mac sales grew 9 percent during the last quarter, while iPod sales rose 3 percent to 22.7 million, surprising analysts which had predicted little more than 20 million units.
Tech startup Always Innovating is using the start of the DEMO expo today to unveil the Touch Book, a system which its creator considers one of the first truly hybrid netbooks. The system can work both as a traditional notebook or as a convertible tablet but can also detach the keyboard entirely from the system to use it as a stand-alone touchscreen device. A set of magnets built into the back even lets users mount the screen on a refrigerator or elsewhere.
Just ahead of the opening of the CeBIT show in Germany on Tuesday, Gigabyte has announced four new peripherals, with the leather-covered and Swarovski crystal-laden wireless GM-M7800S mouse, more conventional-looking GM-M8000 gaming mouse as well as the GK-K6800 multimedia and ultrathin GK-K7100 keyboards. The opulent GM-M7800S shares its maximum 1,600dpi resolution and other specs with the with the GM-M7800 2.4GHz wireless mouse, which is currently available but in a more traditional plastic dress.
The recent budget cuts that have the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) cutting its staff are more pronounced than initially expected, says a Friday Hypebot report. Due to an increased number of people purchasing digital songs online, the RIAA's role of suing individuals for illegal file sharing is reduced, with the music labels that fund the organization cutting the budget significantly.
Production of the iPhone has seen a "recent uptick," according to research firm Wedge Partners. The surge is thought to be connected to increased global demand, and limited to the iPhone 3G, rather than shared with any new model scheduled for the summer. Three factors are believed to be driving demand, such as heavy advertising of the iTunes App Store, which is helping to negate the influence of rival stores belonging to Google and Nokia. The App Store also combines ease of use with a large variety of titles, Wedge notes.
Pentax should top its camera launches for the PMA show with its first real ultrazoom compact. Listings at B&H and elsewhere have revealed that the X70 will center on a 24X, 26-624mm equivalent lens with sensor-shift image stabilization. The 12-megapixel camera should also be very fast with an option to shoot at up to 11 frames per second by lowering the resolution to 5 megapixels.
Anaylst firm Gartner on Monday warned that it expects the steepest-ever decline in PC unit sales this year. The company sees numbers continuing to weaken to where the industry ships about 257 million PCs, or about 11.9 percent less than what was shipped in 2008. The figures will eclipse previous drops of 2001-2002 and are directly attributed to the world economic crash, which should slow demand. Researchers expect the hit to be particularly severe in "mature" markets like North America and Europe, where about 80 percent of PCs are replacements rather than first-time systems driven by need.
The Taipei Times today claims today that Intel is poised to begin a rare outsourcing of manufacturing for its technology. The semiconductor company will announce later today that it will start handing off some production from its own factories to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in an attempt to trim costs. Which parts are specifically involved aren't known, though the plans are believed related to Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and may include both the Atom processors needed for this class of handheld as well as the NAND flash memory that serves as their permanent storage.
Long-awaited refreshes to Apple's desktop computers may finally be announced later this month, rumors propose. Two Apple news sites, World of Apple and My Apple Guide, are both citing anonymous sources which claim that new Macs will launch during a special event on March 24th. It is specifically believed that Apple is updating the Mac Pro, Mac mini and iMac; the last is again expected to switch to NVIDIA-based graphics hardware.
Samsung on the day before the PMA expo has revealed a concept version of a camera that it believes should provide the image quality of a digital SLR with the overall smaller size of a compact camera. The NX has an SLR's APS-C sensor size but scraps the traditional mirror box for an electronic viewfinder; the difference reduces the gap between lens and sensor by 60 percent while simultaneously improving low-light performance and reducing visible noise as a result. Live previews on the larger LCD are also made easier.
NAVIGON today hoped to claim an edge on higher-profile GPS navigator rivals with three devices that each have at least one major new software feature. The 7300T, 4300T max and 3300 max all add a new MyRoutes feature that calculates as many as three separate paths to the same destination. Drivers can see the arrival times for each and pick a route based on their individual tastes. NAVIGON also claims a given device will remember the user's driving experience and will suggest a particular route based on driving patterns and when owners normally drive.
GE this morning upgraded its still-young camera line with new models in each category that particularly improve zoom factors in addition to the usual megapixel counts. The X3 revamps GE's ultrazoom model with a 12X lens, a 12-megapixel sensor and a 2.7-inch preview LCD along with optical image stabilization. The E1276 in turn brings relatively long-range performance to compact cameras with 7X stabilized zoom, the same sensor depth as the X3 and a larger 3-inch display.
Gourmet Pixel has launched F1 2009 - The Ultimate Guide, an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that provides users with information on the Formula One automobile racing season. The program contains several areas of information including dates and times of each planned racing event, weather forecasts, drivers' standings after each race, the latest daily news stories and rumors. In addition, users can also access a library of F1-related videos consisting of car or team debuts and racing footage.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir