MSI has released the GT725, a gaming notebook featuring the ATi Radeon HD4850 GPU with 512MB of VRAM and a 2.4GHz Intel Centrino 2 processor. The device offers a 17-inch LCD screen with options for either 1920 by 1200 pixel or 1680 by 1050 pixel resolutions, along with an HDMI output for connecting to an external display or projector. The standard configuration includes 4GB of RAM, a 9-cell battery, and a 7200RPM 320GB SATA hard drive.
In brief: A long-time Macintosh fan is currently looking to raise some money to pay for a surgery by selling off his collection of Mac memorabilia. Houdah Software and locr have come together to release a special version of Houdah Geo that integrates support with the locr community for sharing geotagged photos. Meanwhile, users who are looking for alternative backup options may find the MozyHome online backup service to be just what they need. MacNN has tested out this option and posted its thoughts in a review which rewarded the service with three stars out of five.
Beta testers have allegedly noticed that the recent Windows 7 build offers an option to disable Internet Explorer 8, according to CNET News. The new setting can be found in build 7048, indicating that the company added the feature after releasing the public beta known as build 7000. The browser is included in the list of components found in the "Windows Features" dialog box.
VideoFlash Converter 2.3 ($40) allows the conversion of QuickTime compatible video files to either the Adobe Flash SWF or FLV format. The most popular formats are supported, including AVI, MOV, MPG, DivX and more. Version 2.3 includes improved encoding, jerkless encoding and various bug fixes. [Download - 15.7MB]
Numark has announced that its high-end DJ controller, the NS7, will ship worldwide beginning March 24th. The system was designed in collaboration with software-developer Serato Audio Research to works with the ITCH software interface. NS7 features two seven-inch motorized platter controls, each built from aluminum and offering adjustable torque settings. Genuine vinyl records with 45RPM adapters are placed on the slipmats.
Gefen has released its latest connectivity product, a fiber extender that can be used to transmit an HDMI v1.3 signal up to 330 meters (~1000 feet), for applications requiring HDTV distribution through large venues. The system integrates six lasers to serialize the signal, with support for 1080p HD and compliance with TMDS and HDCP standards. The sender unit is connected to the receiver unit using a single fiber optic cable that can send the HDTV signal with zero delay, according to the company.
Sandisk has recently trademarked the Sansa Tap name, suggesting the company is working on a touchscreen MP3 player, according to a DAPReview report on Monday. While there is no other information to go on regarding the nature of the possible device, the existence of competition making touch-based devices, the name, and a perceived consensus on high demand for the players points to Sansa Tap as likely referring to touchscreen displays.
PAXitis 2.0 ($10) allows users to enter times and penalties and then calculate resulting PAX/RTP times. PAX times are handicaps assigned to cars based on their make/model/year and level of modification and are used to judge performances at the national level. The application can compare entered times and show position and the real time behind first place.
The National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television have asked a Federal court to shut down the FCC's authorization of white space wireless devices, saying they threaten public safety, according to a Tuesday report. The plaintiffs allege portable, unlicensed personal devices operating in the same band as TV broadcasts have been "proven" to cause interference despite FCC tests to the contrary.
Yamaha on Monday announced the availability of four new home theater systems, including the flagship 7.1-channel YHT-791BL. It includes a 90W-per-channel HTR-6250BL receiver. The receiver has four 1080p-compatible HDMI inputs, HD Audio internal decoding and Bluetooth compatibility. There is also a pair of front speakers with 6.5-inch woofers and 0.75-inch tweeters, a center channel with two 3-inch woofers and 0.75-inch tweeter as well as four satellite surround speakers, each packing a 3-inch driver and 0.5-inch tweeter. A 100W, 10-inch subwoofer provides the low bass, and the company's iPod dock, the YDS-11SL, is included with the $850 system.
The recently approved spin-off of chipmaker AMD's manufacturing operations, in partnership with Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), an Abu Dhabi investment fund, has officially been launched on Wednesday. What is being called as the world's first global semiconductor foundry company, GlobalFoundries will initially employ 2,800 employees worldwide, with its headquarters based in the San Francisco Bay area.
While launch dates in the US are still unknown, the MOTO ZN300 handset leaked in mid-February is appearing to be very close to a release date, with Motorola itself saying it will be out in the first quarter of the year and publishing official specs and photos of the quad-band GSM handset. A 3.1-megapixel camera with an LED flash and 8x digital zoom is built into the handset. A microSDHC card slot lets users expand the 8MB of internal memory up to 32GB. Stereo Bluetooth 2 lets users perform wireless printing and image sharing via their USB 2.0 High Speed connection.
At the CeBIT show currently taking place in Germany, ASUS introduced two new business-oriented notebooks, the 13.3-inch P30 and 14-inch P80, the former using Intel's new Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) processors, while the latter will use Centrino 2-era CPUs. The P30 on display at the show uses the 1.2GHz SU9300 Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and has 4GB of RAM. Both new products have LED-backlit displays with 16:9 aspect ratios and 1366x768 resolutions that are matte, to avoid glare.
Collect3 and Revolutionary Concepts have announced Picture Safe 2.0, an update to the privacy app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The latest version adds wireless import and export abilities, with support for both PC and Mac systems. The photos are stored in a separate area that can only be accessed by entering an encrypted password. The images can be navigated from within the app, with full support for swipe, zoom and rotation controls.
Panasonic on Wednesday introduced a 17-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD HDTV, the TH-L17F1, which has four built-in digital terrestrial antennas that combine their signals to create one high-quality image. The TV is thus able to pick up 12 channels of Japan's digital TV broadcasts and can pick up 1Seg signals when signals strength is very weak. The small set has the ability to display 1366x768 high-definition resolution and is one option for those in Japan who still aren't ready for Japan's upcoming DTV transition.
Cowon has quietly begun selling its D2+ portable entertainment device in the US recently just one week after than its launch in the home market of Korea. Like its predecessor, the D2, the new player is available in both 16GB and 8GB versions on Cowon's US online store, JetMall. Unlike the D2, however, the D2+ adds more colors to the same 2.5-inch, 320x240 touchscreen, has a new GUI, new BBE+ sound processing and a slightly different exterior design. The North American version also loses the DMB tuner, which is not usable in the area.
Parallel updates for two editions of MacPractice should become available in the near future, according to the software's namesake developer. MacPractice MD, aimed at general practice doctors, and MacPractice DC, aimed at chiropractors, are both being updated to v3.6 within the next few months, joining the MacPractice DDS dentistry edition of the software.
A new device and matching service from a startup could offer serious competition in online video to larger rivals like Apple and Netflix. ZillionTV's self-titled service will give users a core networking device, known as the Z-bar, that would have no local video storage of its own and would instead stream movies and TV shows online. Rather than following the similarly network-based Roku's model of tying in existing services, however, ZillionTV will offer its own service and let users either buy or rent per title as well as download free, ad-subsidized versions. Viewers will also choose their preferences for ads to provide more relevant content.
Global Delight has released Voila 1.1, an update to its screen capturing application. The company has added new sharing options, while allowing annotated images to be uploaded via FTP or published to Flickr from within the application. Images can also be dragged to other programs or shared through Microsoft Entourage. The update now supports copy-and-paste of annotations across images, while new settings allow adjustment of the annotations and aspect ratio while resizing images.
Excel has produced a third major version of MacA&D, a suite used to model software in development. Users can generate loop diagrams using equations, and view graphs of the modeled results. The software also supports modeling from captured code, the creation of scripted reports, and the export of text, images and PDF files. Some formats supported for modeling or source code output include C++, Java, PHP, SQL and Fortran.
Firefox 3 has become the first non-Microsoft web browser to overtake Internet Explorer 6 in market share, according to new data from StatCounter. The open source browser climbed to 24 percent of users in February while IE6 dipped to just over 22.6 percent, making Firefox the second most popular browser by individual version. Although Internet Explorer 7 still leads with 40.8 percent, the Firefox increase narrows the gap as Microsoft's browser has remained largely flat since at least July.
Today at DealNN there is a variety of discounted products from iPods to GPS units. First off is the Mac Mini from MacMall. It is regularly priced at $499.99, but until 3/31/09 save $25 with a mail in rebate offer that drops the price down to $474.99. The Mac Mini has a 1.83GHz processor 1GB of memory and a 80GB hard drive.
A second edition of Dare to be Creative's ResizeMe utility has been released, bringing with it a variety of new features. The app is a batch image processing tool, used to save time by performing mundane tasks such as scaling, cropping and rotation. ResizeMe 2 attempts to significantly expand functionality, for instance by revising the interface with features such as a live preview window.
Verizon Wireless is apparently attempting to gauge the effect of the iPhone on its departing customers. The carrier has created a new survey that is presented upon cancellation of a wireless account, in an attempt to determine why the subscriber jumped ship, according to the Boy Genius Report. The iPhone is specifically included as an answer for a number of multiple-choice questions, while no other devices are pointed out by name.
HTC's remaining phones for 2009 will include at least two very high-end touchscreen devices running Windows Mobile 6.5, a leaked roadmap indicates. A device codenamed Firestone would have the 3.6-inch touchscreen of the Touch Diamond2 but an 8-megapixel camera, the new operating system and a fast 600MHz Qualcomm processor. It would be built for GSM and HSPA 3G networks and should ship in September.
Olympus' first digital camera based on Micro Four Thirds technology, originally spotted at Photokina in September, has made another appearance that now includes a likely release date. The company now expects the DSLR, which resembles a vintage rangefinder, to ship sometime during the summer. Olympus is still keeping mum about pricing for its unnamed Micro Four Thirds camera, however. Specs, including megapixel count, are also not yet disclosed.
app4mac's second release for Wednesday is SecretBox, a data protection program. Based on BookShelfApps' SecretBook, the app creates a database in which users can store a sensitive information such as credit card numbers, e-mail logins and software registrations. The software is also claimed to be useful for managing business data, such as client passwords.
A strike has been avoided in a dispute between AT&T and the Communications Workers of America, according to the latter group. Earlier in the month the union voted to threaten a strike at AT&T Mobility, over problems with pay, working conditions and other issues. Contract update negotiations were said to have been stalled, and had the CWA in fact gone on strike as proposed, AT&T would have been crippled due to the sudden absence of 20,000 workers.
The smartphone field should continue to grow in 2009 in spite of the economic crash, according to an iSuppli estimate published today. Despite the world economic crash, the prediction has shipments of advanced phones growing by at least 6 percent to 183.9 million phones but also by as much as 11.1 percent if conditions are ideal. The wide range hinges on how quickly economies recover but is also said to particularly center on whether or not carriers lower the cost of entry for smartphones. Cutting the cost of data plans is particularly important, iSuppli says.
app4mac says it has released Sequence 2.0, a major update to its screen capture utility. The tool is able to record both screenshots and screencasts, and in the latter case can interweave audio, such as from a user's microphone. Code is multithreaded to improve performance, and static images can be saved to formats including GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF and PDF.
UK wireless provider Vodafone has recently posted that the Android-powered HTC Magic, a successor to the original T-Mobile G1, will be available at the carrier next month. Word of the Magic coming to Vodafone first appeared over two weeks ago but preceded the official launch and didn't include specifics.
NVIDIA at a Morgan Stanley conference today said it hopes to have an x86 compatible system-on-chip within two to three years. The company's Investor Relations Senior VP Michael Hara argues that an all-in-one processor, which includes the additional media processing and other features needed to power a handheld or netbook, "makes sense" and that Intel's x86 is very likely the architecture of choice in the specified timeframe. There is "no question on our mind" about using it, Hara says of the technology.
The chairman of China Unicom, Chang Xiaobing, has admitted to talks with Apple in regards to selling the iPhone in China, Reuters reports. Although a manager is said to have confirmed the information early last month, Xiaobing himself has not spoken about negotiations until today. "We are in talks with many handset suppliers, including Apple," the executive told gathered reporters at an event.
Sprint today at last confirmed a more definitive release date for the Palm Treo Pro on its network. The Windows Mobile smartphone was delayed last month for unknown reasons but is now set to launch with the US carrier on March 15th, when it should sell for $200 on any two-year contract with both voice and data after both online and mail-in rebates. Sprint's version gives access to the company's online music store, TV streaming and navigation services.
The European Commission today said it would scale back its efforts to monitor Microsoft's compliance with a 2004 antitrust ruling that has forced the American software firm to provide code to third-party developers. In a statement, the European Union's legislative wing said it "no longer requires" a full-time monitoring agency to keep Microsoft in check and instead says it will rely on consultants as needed. The dedicated monitors had been in place since 2005.
A teardown of the updated 20-inch iMac reveals some notable facts, according to iFixit. The main processor for instance is socketed, meaning that it can in theory be easily switched out for a replacement or upgrade; a sticker, however, warns that interfering with the CPU voids a person's warranty. The system's hard drive, now sized at 320GB instead of 250GB, is meanwhile removable without disconnecting any screws, but the process of actually gaining access to the drive in fact requires removing 21.
Disney chief Bob Iger late yesterday said his company is considering its own online video service. Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media and Telecommunications Conference, the executive says the service would be subscription-based and could follow a potentially Netflix-like model with online downloads, DVD mailings, or both. It's not known whether the proposed service would be limited to streaming or else allow full downloads, though it would draw on Disney's own catalog of movies and TV shows.
Sony's widely rumored PSP slider revamp may have gained support if a new claim by a developer on Wednesday proves accurate. The anonymous source tells Eurogamer that the PSP-4000 should use a much narrower T-Mobile Sidekick-like form factor that tucks the main controls underneath a sliding display; only the shoulder buttons would be accessible as long as the system was closed. Sony is reportedly asking developers to consider game designs that would only use the shoulder buttons for input.
Amazon on Wednesday surprised the e-book field by launching Kindle for iPhone (App Store link). The free software, which also supports the iPod touch, is the first outside of the Kindle reader itself to support the proprietary Kindle e-book format and takes advantage of Amazon's inter-device sync to both buy and continue books on the iPhone. Purchases made from a Kindle, Kindle 2 or the web (including through Apple's mobile Safari browser) are downloadable and can be left at one page on a given device to be resumed later on another, even with different page formatting.
Now AAPL Stock: 135.72 ( + 0.38 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE