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Train app sued
An Australian man has been threatened by RailCorp, New South Wales' state-owned train company, over an iPhone app that provides timetables for the metropolitan CityRail service, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Transit Sydney has been available from the App Store for a several weeks, providing the train and ferry schedules on the mobile devices. The creator, Alvin Singh, planned to add bus schedules, a planner tool and service interruption info on the next version.
ASUS wireless monitors
ASUS on Thursday at the CeBIT expo in Germany showed off a range of energy-efficient LCD monitors, including the EzLink series, which is the first monitor to use a wireless connection. Users have the option of connecting displays to their host computers via a Wireless Host Controller Interface (WHCI) or Wireless USB Host Wire Adapter (HWA), reportedly without any degradation of quality compared to conventional wired displays.
Thermaltake Level 10 case
At CeBIT on Friday, PC chassis, power supply and other PC accessories maker Thermaltake showed off its unique Level 10 PC case that was designed in conjunction with stylists from Germany's BMW Designworks. Instead of housing components in one big box, the case has modular compartments for each piece of hardware, such as graphics cards, optical and flash or hard drives, the mainboard and the power supply. Whether the power and signal cables for each of the components are hidden in the thin walls is also unknown.
B&R to open e-book store
Barnes & Noble has recently purchased Fictionwise for $15.7 million, a retailer of electronic books, says a Friday Wall Street Journal report, and will launch a new e-book store later this year. William Lynch Jr., president and CEO of Barnes & Noble, said the retailer bought Fictionwise because it has "one of the most popular applications on the iPhone, and they really understand merchandising," among other reasons.Fictionwise was the first e-book retailer to offer third-party e-books supported by Amazon's Kindle reader back in 2007.
QT, Cocoa in Snow Leopard
Apple is distributing a new build of Mac OS X Snow Leopard to its developer community, adding a redesigned QuickTime Player and a Cocoa-based desktop. AppleInsider reports that beta 10A286 was released Friday morning, with a completely redesigned version of QuickTime thought to be QuickTime X, featuring a minimal user interface geared towards playback. The first-ever Cocoa-based desktop is said to include updated info windows and contextual menus.
iPresent It 2.4 ($18) allows users to convert PowerPoint, PDF or Keynote presentations into slideshows that can then be synced with an iPod. The software optimizes shows for viewing on an iPod or Apple TV and can automatically detect the presentation resolution and ensure that the resulting formation is formatted properly. Version 2.4 has added additional support for the new Keynote '09 presentation file format. [Download - 0.9MB]
DealNN: OCZ ATV
Today's deals at DealNN include a variety of items from flash drives to digital cameras. The OCZ ATV 16GB flash drive is available at eCost.com for $29. A $18 mail in rebate offer drops the price down to $11. This flash drive features a rugged waterproof casing, 16MBps write speeds and is backed by a lifetime warranty from OCZ.
Onkyo media center PCs
Onkyo on Thursday announced the nearing release of its E702A9 Sotec media center PC, which packages all hardware components into one enclosure, including the 21.5-inch, 1920x1080 resolution LCD widescreen display with a glossy coating and integrated 4X Blu-ray recorder. A dual-band TV tuner is also built-in, letting users simultaneously record two TV programs at once, as is an iPod dock, allowing quicker sync of the Apple devices as well as direct playback of their content.
Rival iPhone stores loom
Several new online stores are threatening to challenge the current rigidity of the iPhone economy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Opening today is the Cydia Store, an extension of the software associated with browsing and downloading unofficial iPhone applications. While most apps available through Cydia have been free, some Cydia Store downloads will cost a fee, with the creator of the service reaping a commission similar to the one taken by Apple from official iPhone apps.
Sprint handsets dated
A leaked image that seems to have a list of future handsets coming to Brightpoint and Sprint has been leaked on Thursday. The validity of the image is helped by its listing the same ship date of the Palm Treo Pro as the recent official announcement, although Brightpoint itself will get the handset a few days earlier, on March 11th. The image also reveals a $550 unsubsidized price providers. It also shows a variant of the BlackBerry Curve 8350i without a camera that will come to Sprint's iDEN network at an unspecified date, but will cost $480 without a contract.
ASUS Fold to be Produced
ASUS will turn its conceptual Fold/Unfold notebook into a production system later this year, the company's chief Jerry Shen said today. First shown at CES and now at CeBIT, the prototype was originally thought to be just a technology demo but, after a Shen interview with TechRadar, is now known to be in formal development for a summer release window. Its actual specifications haven't yet been disclosed.
AsRock outs notebooks
ASRock, a budget brand of ASUS, has unveiled three new products at CeBIT in Germany, including the MultiBook M15 and MultiBook G12 notebooks as well as the S330 NetTop PC. The former is the company's budget mainstream entry and sports a 15.6-inch LED-backlit screen with 1366x768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Processing power comes from a choice of Intel chips from the Pentium or Celeron family along with up to 4GB of RAM. Graphics is handled via Intel's integrated gMA 4500M, while 2.5-inch hard drives can be had in capacities as large as 500GB. An Ethernet connection and draft-N Wi-Fi are built into the M15, which tips the scales at 5.7lbs.
Possible WWDC '09 dates
A potential timeframe for the 2009 Worldwide Developers' Conference has been identified, reports say. The conference is typically held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and investigation reveals that a "corporate meeting" has been scheduled for June 6th to the 12th. Most events at the Center are scheduled under identifiable names months in advance, but Apple is said to be known for pretending to anonymity.
OWC memory for Mini
OWC now offers DDR3 memory upgrade kits for the new 2009 Mac mini models, with available capacities up to 4GB. The company claims to offer a savings of over 50 percent from the factory-installed modules. Customers can add a single 2GB module to an existing 1GB factory chip, totaling 3GB of DDR3 memory, or purchase a kit with two 2GB modules for 4GB of RAM.
VUDU Media Extender Rumor
VUDU's next major firmware upgrade to the VUDU Box could give it and its sibling devices a greater role as a local media hub, according to a new rumor. Networked set-top box observer Dave Zatz hears that the next version of the firmware after this week's 2.2 update will add the option to use the VUDU Box as a media extender for computers on the local network. It's not known if this would include Windows Media Center PCs, DLNA or other formats.
Vihgo, Guitarist Reference
5000+ Sounds ($2) is a collection of over 5000 sounds that have been organized into various categories and can be played in loops, with a delay, or at random. The application also includes a built-in search engine fro sorting through the large list of sounds. Additionally, users can build a list of their favorite sounds for quick access.
MSN Nokia Music Hint
MSN Music and Nokia on Friday started telling UK residents that the two would be involved in an "exciting new download service." In a notice obtained by Pocket-lint, the still-active UK online music store says the feature will be a "different music offer" than existing deals between the two companies but will let MSN customers keep their existing songs, suggesting it will use the Windows Media format.
BeBook 2 spotted
The second-generation e-book reader from BeBook will officially be debuted at CeBIT in Germany later on today, the company has announced. Some key preliminary specs of the redesigned player include either Wi-Fi or 3G data network access for downloading new content as well as touchscreen navigation, which is still rare among readers
JP Morgan down on AAPL
News of a worsening recession has led a JP Morgan analyst, Mark Moskowitz, to further reduce estimates for Apple stock. Moskowitz's price target for Apple has been lowered from $102 to $100, and for the 2009 fiscal year, the analyst has cut EPS predictions down from $4.82 to $4.73. In FY10, EPS is expected to be only $5.15 instead of $5.26.
Sony system coming soon
Sony is due to release a new iPhone- and iPod-ready micro component system soon, a new leak shows. The CMT-Z100iR would play and charge the Apple devices but, according to Sony Insider, would get a rare wall mounting capability; listeners would also control it through a touch panel. The system will also play CDs, although it's not known if MP3 files on the discs will be supported. There is also an auxiliary input and a USB port for connecting nearly all other portable audio devices.
Intrigue, E71 coming soon
Some long-anticipated cellphones should finally launch within a matter of weeks, a stock sheet is thought to show. Said to have been obtained from a "major national retailer" by Engadget, the sheet suggests that LG's Xenon phone -- rechristened the Zenon -- should premiere for AT&T on April 10th. AT&T's version of the E71, the E71x, is slated to arrive on April 1st in a charcoal color.
Apple refurbs: iPods
Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished current-generation iPods and Mac accessories. Starting at $39 is the 1GB iPod shuffle in blue. For $59 is the 2GB iPod shuffle in pink. The 8GB iPod nano is priced at $129 and is available in purple, blue, silver, black, orange, pink, green, and yellow. Also available is the 16GB Nano for $169 in the same color options as the 8GB model. Current-generation iPod touch models are available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB configurations for $199, 259, and $349. Accessories include the wireless Mighty Mouse for $59, wireless keyboard for $69 and 24-inch LED cinema display for $799.
Nokia Verizon 4G Phone Tip
A tip from Thursday suggests Verizon is enlisting Nokia's help to develop a touchscreen device that would help the carrier lure customers away from the iPhone next year. Citing only anonymous sources, The Street asserts that the two companies are working on a touchscreen device whose cornerstone would be 4G Internet access over Verizon's LTE network, which goes live in early 2010. The service currently reaches 60Mbps in testing and would theoretically let the phone offer streaming HD video and other features that aren't options on 3G.
New Mac mini teardown
Owners of the new Mac mini may find both promise and disappointment in terms of do-it-yourself upgrade possibilities, according to iFixit. In a teardown of the computer, the company notes that the RAM and hard drive in the Mini are "easily upgradable," at least once the upper case has been removed. The process requires tools such as a putty knife and a Philips screwdriver.
Nintendo on Ending DS Lite
Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton on Friday said that the company is likely to phase out the DS Lite if the DSi succeeds. While not committing to any plans, the official noted to MSV that enough buyers opting for the newer model's dual cameras and media features may lead Nintendo to cancel the DS Lite in time as it did with the original DS, which was initially sold side-by-side with the Lite. Yarnton expects to see both existing owners and newcomers taking an interest.
Boxee video RSS update
Boxee, the developer of its namesake media player front-end, has released a new alpha version of the app with a built-in RSS reader. The software is installed onto Mac and Ubuntu Linux systems as well as Apple TVs, and provides more elaborate support for downloaded media as well as direct web streaming of shows on ABC and CBS. The Boxee RSS reader is optimized for video, and can feed clips from YouTube, Yahoo and several other sources.
HTC sued by IPCom
German license manager for patents, IP-Com, has recently sued HTC for allegedly infringing on patents related to UMTS network technology used in the Korean hardware manufacturer's Windows Mobile- and Android-based handsets. If HTC fails to pay the license fees to IP-Com, the company may be forced to stop sales of its handsets in Germany, with a German court already siding with IP-Com in a February 27th ruling. HTC uses UMTS, one of the first forms of 3G network technology, in nearly all of its European offerings.
Pre May Lure iPhone Users
Palm's upcoming Pre is likely to poach customers away from the iPhone, Elevation Partners founder Roger McNamee said in an interview late yesterday. The investor in Palm told Bloomberg he's confident that those who bought the iPhone on its 2007 launch are likely to switch to the Pre as they're both attracted to whichever is the "coolest" device on the market and will no longer be tied to an AT&T contract. This would let them jump to Sprint for the Palm phone, which he predicted will happen en masse.
AirPort, Time Cap. 7.4.1
Apple has released a combined update for AirPort base stations and the Time Capsule, bringing all of the devices' firmware up to v7.4.1. Though mainly intended for new dual-band models, the firmware can also be applied to older hardware; in the latter case it enables remote administration, and remote access to attached USB drives through Back to My Mac, though not for an AirPort Express. Creating Time Machine backups on a Time Capsule has also been made more reliable.
Circuit City closes stores
Electronics chain store Circuit City announced on Thursday it will permanently shut down all 567 of its stores across the country as of Sunday, March 8th, earlier than previously announced due to the record-high shopper turnouts for going-out-of-business sales. Some locations have already closed due to sold-out stock, as shoppers cleaned out store shelves since the sales began on January 17th in an attempt to liquidate $1.7 billion in inventory.
X360 Elite Phaseout Leak
Microsoft will remove the Xbox 360 Elite as an everyday option at its stores if a new leak proves accurate. Multiple sources for Fudzilla claim that Microsoft will start winding down production of the standard, black model in the spring and will eventually leave just limited editions such as the Resident Evil 5 bundle in certain store chains in North America and Europe. The purported move would be prompted by the economic situation, which is more likely to lead to overstock of the $400 model.
OWC ships iMac RAM
Other World Computing has announced the first third party DDR3 Memory Upgrades up to 8GB for the new iMac. The new 2GB and 4GB single module upgrades are available only from OWC and are not an option on factory ordered iMacs. Kits are offered with up to 8GB of RAM for the new 2009 iMac models introduced Tuesday, at an average savings of 50-percent off of Apple's factory prices.
Pretec SDXC and CF Card
Pretec has used CeBIT to launch two flash memory cards that are each claimed as record setters. The company's 32GB SDXC card is the first in the world to be announced using the new SDXC format; although it doesn't push past the 32GB limit of SDHC, it transfers data more quickly than large-capacity SDHC cards and reaches up to 50MB per second.
Emmy voting on iPhone
Showtime has announced an upcoming application for the iPhone and iPod touch that will allow TV Academy voters to view full-length episodes. After entering a specific passcode, voters will have access to series such as Dexter, Weeds, and United States of Tara. Richard Licita, Showtime's executive of corporate communications, claimed the channel saved "tens of thousands of dollars" last year by offering episodes online. He dismissed the notion that viewing a show on the smaller screen would have a negative impact on the experience.
iPhone spreadsheet app
Mariner Software has released Mariner Calc, a spreadsheet application for the iPhone and iPod touch that enables users to view and edit Microsoft Excel files. The program provides a number of functions, with categories including math, finance, trigonometry, statistic, and lookup. The document dates, content or plus-logic information can also be edited, with support for splitting panes, freezing, border creation, font and color customization, or alignment. Users can view documents in either portrait or landscape mode.
Georgetown store approved
The Georgetown Apple Store may have taken another step forward, following repeated conflicts regarding integration of the aesthetic design into the historic district. The Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) recently ratified an amendment after four previous designs were rejected, according to ifoAppleStore. The architects added metal dividers to the front window, while removing stainless steel and adding masonry to the facade.
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