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MacFamilyTree 5.4 update
Synium Software has announced MacFamilyTree 5.4, an update to its genealogy application that is designed to help create and organize family trees. The latest version offers a newly designed web export function that can send pages in different directions, additional and improved themes, and the ability to create a Kinship Report on each person's page. The company has improved the charts and reports, while also offering enhancements to the virtual coordinates search.
Live Interior, PDFpen
ProteMac Meter 2.3 ($30) is a network-traffic logging application that allows users to monitor all Internet and network activity. A stopwatch function can be used to time downloads and calculate average transfer rates. Users can also set alarms that will sound if the bandwidth or time limits have been exceeded by a particular application, or if a desired traffic volume has been reached. The update includes a series of bug fixes and had added a series of Local Connections preference controls. [Download - 5MB]
Pages Templates Pro
Jumsoft has released an update to its collection of iWork templates, Pages Templates Pro, which now offers four new themes. The tools can be used to create colorful designs for small business documents, brochures, invoices, memos and business cards. The new themes include Temptation, Steady Idea, Cocktail, and Persuasion. The existing template packs include Frequency Modulation, Daintily Alive, Modern Furniture, Citrus Sunshine, Idée Fix, Midnight Sky, Autumn Leaves, and Black Velvet.
iLife and iPhoto updates
Apple on Tuesday released two new application updates, iLife Support 9.0.1 and iPhoto 8.0.1. iLife Support 9.0.1 is designed to improve overall stability while addressing a number of minor bugs. The new version is recommended for all users of Aperture, iLife '09, and iWork '09. The iPhoto 8.0.1 update also provides improvements to overall stability, with specific enhancements in areas such as Internet connectivity, keyword import, and slideshow export.
WD 8TB storage system
Western Digital has announced an upgrade to its WD ShareSpace four-bay storage system, resulting in an increased storage capacity from 4TB up to 8TB. The enhanced storage is made possible by incorporating 2TB Cavier Green drives. In addition to the larger capacity, the new version is also designed to improve the system's read and write speeds by up to 30 percent for large media files, and includes a DLNA certified media server to help with streaming music, photos, and videos to popular DLNA-certified devices such as the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
Asus U and UX notebooks
Asus has expanded its computer offerings to include the new U and UX series of ultra-thin notebooks. Both will offer LED-backlit displays that automatically adjust the brightness for the environment. The U models will offer a 15.6-inch display, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA GeForce G105M GPU and hard-drive capacities up to 500GB. The touchpad features lights that follow the user's fingertips, while the keyboard will also offer backlighting.
Court rejects Gibson suit
A California court has dismissed Gibson Guitar's lawsuit against Activision over the input devices used in the Guitar Hero game. The gaming company was sued for violating the "'405 Patent" which covers a system for generating and controlling a simulated musical concert experience, although the claims are geared for using real guitars as input for applications such as in-store demos. The court's strongly worded filing claims that Gibson's arguments "border on the frivolous."
Palm revenues decline
Despite the buzz surrounding the unreleased Pre handset, Palm expects its financial report to show a continued decline in revenue through the third quarter of FY09 as the company experiences reduced demand for its older Centro and Treo devices. The delayed launch of the Treo Pro in the United States and the current economic recession have further contributed to the company's troubles.
Livescribe Mac Desktop 1.0
After a two-week delay for some fine-tuning, Livescribe Desktop for Mac 1.0 is now available for the company's Pulse Smartpen. The desktop client has been in beta testing since November and the final version adds a few extra features including the ability to download content from Livescribe Online and archiving support.
Meizu M9 handset developed
After recently unveiling the M8 handset, Meizu CEO J. Wong has announced a new handset, the Meizu M9, is already in the works. It will be available in two versions, the M9c and M9t, with the former supporting conventional CDMA2000 networks and the latter built to work on China's government-supported TD-SCDMA 3G network.
DealNN: iMac, MoGo, more
Today's featured DealNN deal is on the 20-inch iMac from ExperCom.com. It has been reduced in price from $1199 to $999. The iMac has a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive. Features include Bluetooth, iSight webcam, microphone and 8x SuperDrive.
Sony EX earbud headphones
Sony late on Monday announced it has added four new earbud headphones to its EX series, with the flagship MDR-EX500LP and MDR-EX300LP headphones as well as the lowest-cost EX earbuds to date, the MDR-EX33LP and MDR-EX35LP. All ship with three removable hybrid silicone rubber tips in three sizes to allow users to fit the earbuds into their ear canals. These work together with a more rigid internal silicone ring than before to exclude ambient sound.
Can You Believe, Gratitude
iSkateboard ($3) is a directory for skateboarders that can help users find skate shops, parks, spots and news information that is relevant to their current location. The application currently features listings for over 30,000 locations across the world and gets its news updates from streaming RSS news feeds on sites such as Skateboard Mag, Transworld and Fuel TV.
Apple design awards
Apple has won four International Forum Design (iF) gold awards at the CeBIT computer expo held in Hannover, Germany, according to setteB.IT. The second-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPod nano, iPhone 3G and MacBook Air were among the 50 products considered worthy of the gold award, while an in-ear headset accessory for the iPhone was included in the overall group of design awards.
ASUS CeBIT introductions
ASUS had a number of new product announcements at CeBIT in Germany, including news about its Eee Keyboard which, as the name implies, combines a touchpad screen and computer hardware into a keyboard that is five inches deep. ASUS' chairman, Jonney Shih, said the hybrid PC and input device will launch in the second quarter of the year and probably by June. The company's CEO, Jerry Shen, said the company will have a wireless and wired version of the PC for connecting to monitors or TVs.
Gigabyte debuts at CeBit
As promised, Taiwan-based Gigabyte came fully prepared to CeBIT in Germany, unveiling no less than one notebook, three new netbooks and a dock for one of them. The Gigabyte Touch Note M1028 has a 10.1-inch touchscreen that swivels, and all four variations are powered by Intel's newer 1.66GHz Atom N280 processor. The 160GB hard drive is pre-loaded with Windows XP home, and 1GB of RAM is standard, though upgradable to 2GB.
Sakar outs Vivitar cameras
At the PMA show in Las Vegas today, Sakar has debuted a range of Vivitar-branded digital and video cameras and matching add-ons. The new products represent the first to be released from the brand since it was purchased by Sakar last year. The Vivitar V8400P is an 8.1-megapixel shooter capable of taking photos at depths up to 30 feet. It has an 8x digital zoom and a 2.4-inch LCD screen. The 32MB of internal memory can be expanded via an SD memory card slot. The shockproof camera can capture videos and will cost just short of $130 when it is released.
Maschine groove studio
Native Instruments has released Maschine, a new hardware and software package meant for beat production. The suite enables automatic recording and editing of internal or external audio, and includes functions for repeating, slicing or auto-mapping beats. The bundled performance controller provides 16 illuminated pads, 11 rotary knobs, and 41 buttons. Musicians can also use the software as a plug-in for any software sequencer that supports VST, AU or RTAS.
NPD on US Phone Sales
Nearly one quarter of US phones are smartphones and are driven by trends the iPhone put in place, findings from the NPD Group show. About 23 percent of phones fit into the advanced category by the end of 2008, or double the share of a year earlier. Exactly half of these were touchscreen devices, a feat which NPD directly credits to Apple popularizing the format through the iPhone and pushing other carriers and phone makers to follow suit.
Apple refurbs: $419 +
Apple's online store is currently offering a wide selection of refurbished Mac models in a range of configurations starting at $849 for the 2.1GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive. The unibody 2.4GHz MacBook is $1,399 with 2GB of RAM and 250GB hard drive. The 20-inch iMac is priced at $999 and has a 2.66GHz processor 2GB of RAM and 320GB hard drive. Also priced at $999 is the 1.6GHz MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive. Mac Minis start at $419 and include a 1.83GHz processor, 1GB of memory and 80GB hard drive. The Mac Pro 8-core with 3.2Ghz processor, 2GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive is $4,099.
Time Cap. MobileMe support
In tandem with the release of the new dual-band Time Capsule, Apple has expanded the functionality of MobileMe, which can now be used to remotely access files held on a Capsule. Drives must be registered through a user's MobileMe account, but then appear in a remote Mac's Finder sidebar, allowing file transfer. The technology functions similarly to the Back to My Mac function in Mac OS X Leopard, and in fact is not compatible with Windows computers.
ASUS K-series notebooks
At the CeBIT show currently taking place in Germany, ASUS has introduced a new range of multimedia-oriented notebook PCs, the K-series, made up of the K40IJ, K40IN, K50AB, K51AB, K50IJ and K70IO models. The two K40s sport a 14-inch screen, the K50s a 15.6-inch display, while the K70IO has a 17.3-inch LCD. All have a textured surface that extends to their touchpads, while strategically-placed cooling vents that keep the contact surfaces cool to the touch even after prolonged use.
Genachowski Goes to FCC
US President Obama on Tuesday afternoon confirmed that he has chosen Julius Genachowski to serve as the FCC's chairman. The President chose the new official based on his "diverse and unparalleled experience" with technology, which includes a former tenure as chief counsel to the FCC chairman during the Clinton administration, a role Chief of Business Operations at InterActiveCorp, and board positions on multiple web firms such as Expedia and The Motley Fool.
eBlaster monitoring app
SpectorSoft has announced a remote monitoring application for the Mac, eBlaster. The software is designed to help parents or employers spy on all of a person's actions on a computer, either in real-time or through scheduled reports via e-mail. Features of eBlaster provide users with detailed transcripts of chat conversations, websites visited, keystrokes entered, any e-mails that are sent or received, and all program and user activity. In addition, the program can operate in a stealth mode preventing it from appearing in the Dock, and be restricted only to authorized users.
AirPort Utility update
Following the launch of new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule devices, Apple has released updates to the AirPort Client and AirPort Utility. The AirPort Client Update 2009-001 addresses issues with roaming and network selection in dual-band environments. The new wireless routers can simultaneously communicate across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The 2MB download is recommended for all Intel-based Macs running OS X 10.5.6.
Kaufman on new Macs
Analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. has rated Apple a buy in response to today's refresh of the desktop Mac line. New Mac Pros, iMacs and Mac minis were all announced, with upgraded CPUs and graphics cards. Wu says he is pleased with the earlier-than-expected refresh, and positive on the price drop for the base 24-inch iMac, now $1,500 instead of $1,800. The analyst is disappointed in the entry-level iMac's cost -- which remains at $1,200 -- and prices for the new Minis, which still start at $600. More aggressive cuts would be better in light of the global recession, he suggests.
Mio Explora K70
Rather than focus on its navigators, Mio today launched the Explora K70. One of the company's first phones to depend almost exclusively on its 3.5-inch touchscreen for its interface, the phone is also the company's first to carry 3G over HSPA as well as the firm's signature GPS in a single device. Appropriately, the K70 draws on Mio's experience with GPS and has turn-by-turn navigation with a bird's-eye view.
ASUS Eee PC 1008HA Shell
ASUS' centerpiece at the CeBIT expo today is a new addition to the Eee PC family. Nicknamed the Seashell for its blue-and-white colors, the design is much rounder and has a thinner, tapered design very similar to that of the MacBook Air, including for its side ports and sealed-in battery. The trade-off produces a 10-inch netbook which is an inch thick only at one point and is comparatively light at 2.4 pounds.
New Apple wired keyboard
Complementing Apple's new desktops is a new wired keyboard option. Simply called the Apple Keyboard, the device is a cheaper alternative to the existing wired model; gone is the numeric keypad, which does however provide the benefit of a smaller size. The design is modeled after Apple's aluminum wireless keyboard, which has always omitted the keypad.
Dell Special Edition
Dell today unveiled a limited run of its 15.4-inch Studio notebook, appropriately named the Studio 15 Special Edition. Compared to the standard Studio 15s, the Special Edition gets an LED-backlit display and a Black Vapor exterior paint scheme. Technically, the Special Edition is available in three separate trims with various levels of equipment. All share a 2.0GHz Intel Pentium dual core CPU and Intel's integrated 4500MHD graphics processor, while the display has a 1440x900 resolution, a step up from the regular Studio 15's 1280x800 resolution.
Panasonic Lumix GH1
Panasonic has announced a second entry into its Lumix G series of Micro Four Thirds cameras, the GH1. The camera continues to use a 12.1-megapixel sensor, but introduces the ability to record in 1080p, 24fps video, echoing one of the primary features of Canon's more expensive EOS-5D Mk. II. Video is saved in AVCHD format to the camera's SDHC slot, and can additionally be scaled down to 1280x720 for 60fps recording. Shutter and aperture settings can be tweaked to produce special effects.
JVC Everio X900
JVC this afternoon picked PMA as the venue to launch the Everio X line of camcorders. Starting with the GZ-X900, the range stresses both HD video capture as well as unusually strong still image photography in the same device. The X900 can record widescreen 1080i video in AVCHD format but is also capable of shooting 9-megapixel native images and can shoot consecutive images at up to 15FPS. A mixed shooting mode also lets the camera take 5-megapixel shots while recording 1080i movies, potentially taking still photos up to the SDHC card's storage limit at the slowest 4 frames per second.
Pentax X70 Official
Pentax today followed up on late leaks with the formal debut of the X70. Considered a "bridge" camera, the 12-megapixel camera is one of the longest-ranged ultrazooms with a 24x, 26-624mm equivalent lens and with image stabilization built into the sensor. It also provides full manual control and settings often reserved for SLRs, with aperture and shutter priority providing photographers an in-between option for photography.
Adobe holds CS4 pricing
Adobe has chosen to extend initial pricing schemes for Creative Suite 4, according to an announcement. Owners of some older software packages -- including Creative Suite 1 and 2, as well as Macromedia Studio and Adobe Production Studio -- have so far been able to able to upgrade to CS4 for the same price as an upgrade from CS3. The scheme should now continue until April 30th, reducing the cost of an upgrade by as much as $200.
Roku Amazon VOD
Roku today gave its Roku Player support for Amazon's Video on Demand service. The feature gives the networked media hub its first non-subscription video model and lets owners both rent movies on a title-by-title basis as well as buy them; as Amazon allows online streaming, movies and TV shows can be seen without needing permanent storage as on the Apple TV or VUDU Box. Roku's interface for Amazon also trumps the Netflix solution by letting owners browse and buy directly from the TV interface rather than require users add titles separately on a website.
Sigma intros DP2 camera
On Tuesday at the PMA expo, Sigma has demonstrated the DP2 digital camera, a successor to the DP1. First seen back in September, the DP2 shares its 14-megapixel FOVEON X3 image sensor with the company's digital SLR, the SD14, which is much larger than the sensor in other digital cameras. Touted as a compact digital camera with most of the functionality of a DSLR, the DP2 also has an ISO sensitivity range that tops out at ISO 3,200.
Minor MB, MB Pro updates
Without calling attention away from new desktops, Apple has also provided minor updates to its notebook computers. The top-end version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro is now equipped with a 2.66GHz processor by default, instead of 2.53GHz. The 17-inch Pro continues to come standard with a 2.66GHz processor of its own, but like the updated 15-inch system, now has the option for a 2.93GHz chip for an extra $300. The base 15-inch Pro is unchanged with no new processor options.
REALbasic 2009 Release 1
REAL Software has launched REALbasic 2009 Release 1, the newest version of its cross-platform development tool for software creation. The latest update focuses on product quality and reliability, and provides 27 new features and 100 hundred improvements. Some of the additional features in the 2009 release include a new Quickstart window to help first-time users begin developing software, and changes to the "folderitem" that allows loading and saving of 32-bit pictures with masks.
NVIDIA GeForce 160M
NVIDIA's turn at CeBIT on Tuesday saw the company launch four new mobile graphics chips, including new models for thin notebooks. At the top of the range are the GeForce GTX 260M and GTX 280M. Both are updated versions of the 9800M series and use manufacturing refinements to run up to 50 percent faster than the outgoing models without consuming more energy. Both also support SLI for twin graphics hardware as well as Hybrid SLI to switch to integrated graphics in battery-saving situations.
Lightroom, Camera Raw
Following the distribution of early release candidate versions, Adobe has posted final editions of its Lightroom 2.3 and Camera Raw 5.3 updates. Both of the patches enable RAW file support for two recent DSLRs, the Olympus E-30 and the Nikon D3X. The Camera Raw update provides support within Photoshop CS4, Photoshop Elements 7 and Premiere Elements 7.
Eye-Fi 4GB and iPhone App
Eye-Fi took advantage of PMA to launch the Eye-Fi Share Video and Eye-Fi Explore Video SD cards. The new models move to SDHC to get a total of 4GB in storage and now also support direct uploading of short-form videos over Wi-Fi to Flickr and YouTube in addition to still photos at Flickr and other sites. As before, the Explore adds geotagging to locate shots.
New AirPort Ext, Time Cap.
In addition to its updates to the iMac, Mac Pro and Mac mini, Apple has also released new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule peripherals. Both of the devices now support simultaneous 2.4 and 5GHz wireless connections, allowing the creation of separate networks, such as distinct 802.11n and 802.11b/g connections, or a Guest Network which restricts users to Internet connectivity.
ASUS VX5 with 1TB SSD
At CeBIT on Monday, ASUS revealed a number of new and concept products, including the ASUS-Lamborghini VX5 notebook with a highly-styled chassis meant to mimic the aggressive lines of the Lamborghini Reventón supercar. As well, the notebook will be the first to ship with a 1TB solid state drive (SSD). Like the 16-inch VX5 introduced at CES earlier this year, the notebook otherwise sports an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU of unspecified clock speed and 4GB of RAM.
New Mac mini ships
Otherwise unchanged since August of 2007, Apple has at last released an update to the Mac mini, its lowest-priced and most compact desktop Mac. The two new versions of the computer use updated 2GHz Core 2 Duo processors, but primarily benefit in a switch from Intel integrated graphics to NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M chipset, the same used in modern unibody MacBooks. Graphics functions are said to be five times faster than before; nevertheless, the computer uses less than 13W of power when idle, which is said to make it the most energy-efficient desktop available.
Nehalem Mac Pro
Apple on Tuesday morning updated the Mac Pro Mac Pro based on Intel's Nehalem architecture. The first-ever Mac to use the technology now supports triple-channel, DDR3 ECC memory and builds a memory controller directly into an updated, faster line of Xeon processors. Doing so gives about 2.4 times more memory bandwidth and reduces memory lag by about 40 percent, according to Apple. The new systems also have an updated interior that provides much easier access to RAM slots as well as space for a RAID card that doesn't require cables to link with hard drives in the four bays above.
Casio Exilim Z29
Casio this morning gave the Exilim Zoom a new entry-level model in the EX-Z29. The camera has a now standard 10-megapixel sensor with a 3X zoom lens but is designed to both be easier to carry and now comes with 23 presets (dubbed Best Shot modes) to simplify shooting under specific conditions. Casio relies solely on DSP-based stabilization to reduce blurring but adds face detection, 16:9 video recording and a full-auto mode for absolute beginners.
Apple NVIDIA Based iMacs
Apple today released a long-awaited update to its iMac line that switches to a new NVIDIA-based platform. The new models use integrated GeForce 9400M video that lets them carry a Mini DisplayPort connector and, in the case of lower-end models, rely solely on integrated graphics while still providing fast 3D. They also represent an update to current-generation Core 2 Duo processors with DDR3 memory support and a native 1,066MHz system bus instead of the factory-overclocked older models.
Garmin nuvi 1200 and 1300
Garmin at CeBIT today broke new ground for itself with two new nuvi navigators. The nuvi 1200 and 1300 are the first devices from Garmin to explicitly support pedestrian GPS mapping in urban areas; adding a CityXplorer map pack provides not only walking directions across parks and other areas off-limits in road-only maps but will also plot routes based on buses, subways and other public transit. To help, the devices themselves are also significantly slimmer than Garmin's exclusively automotive devices.
Kodak EasyShare Z915
Kodak today reserved a single camera for PMA with an updated entry level camera in the EasyShare Z series. The 10-megapixel Z915 adopts a semi-pro camera body to get a 10X, image stabilized lens but is designed more for typical home users with software features like fully-automated scene detection (here called Smart Capture) as well as powering the camera through AA batteries that are more friendly to vacationers than lithium-ion packs.
Mobility Radeon HD 4860
AMD has used the start of CeBIT to launch two new notebook graphics chips that represent firsts for any video chipset from the company. Both the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 and 4860 are made using a 40 nanometer manufacturing process that lets AMD step up the complexity of the processors without significantly impacting relative power or heat output. The feat lets either chipset carry 640 stream (effects) cores and run at clock speeds of 450MHz or 600MHz (for the 4830) and 650MHz (4860) without necessarily requiring a large, desktop replacement-class notebook.
Psion has reacted to Intel's lawsuit over the term 'netbook' by filing its own countersuit, arguing that the chip-maker's claims are "barred by reason of Plaintiff's own unclean hands," as the legal battle between the companies continues to develop, according to Ars Technica. The allegations further accuse Intel of "unjustly benefiting from Psion's goodwill and reputation" and "willfully and maliciously" encouraging other companies to participate in the trademark infringement.
New line of Sony receivers
Sony has introduced a new line of audio/video receivers that are geared for high-definition home theaters. The flagship STR-DN1000 features a piano-black gloss finish that matches the company's latest Blu-ray players. The receiver provides 7.1-channel audio playback, with 110 watts per channel at 8-Ohms, and support for codecs such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio and LCPM. The receiver can also route 1080p 60/24 HD video signals, while all incoming analog signals are upscaled.
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