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News Archive for 09/03/10

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TextSoap 6.1 adds new scripting capabilities

03/10, 11:10pm

TextSoap 6.1 update

Unmarked software has released an update to its text processing utility, TextSoap 6.1. The program works as an editor that can be used to selectively replace words or copy formatting throughout a document. The update features new textsoapAgent scripting that allows access to core functions of TextSoap. Script users can now receive a list of groups and cleaners for a group, enabling the creation of custom user-interfaces with any Mac OS X scripting language. The update also adds new actions, more built-in groups and a Speak Text toolbar button.

EKS introduces Otus DJ controller

03/10, 10:10pm

EKS Otus DJ controller

Finnish company EKS has introduced the Otus, a DJ controller featuring an array of fully-mappable buttons, knobs and sliders. The device also offers an illuminated 7.5-inch jog wheel with physical and virtual sensitivity adjustments, along with a capacitive touchpad. The controls can be doubled using a colored layer-selection switch, with support for two virtual decks.

Rumor: Samsung A877 set for 3/29 launch through AT&T

03/10, 9:40pm

Samsung A877 rumor

The Samsung A877 is set to launch on March 29th from AT&T, an anonymous source told PhoneDog. Although the rumor cannot be confirmed, press images and detailed specs were also provided. If true, the handset will feature a 3.2-inch WQVGA AMOLED touchscreen that could provide improved color contrast and brightness compared to typical LCD screens. A slide-out QWERTY keyboard is available for messaging, while a 3-megapixel camera supports geotagging.

iPhone apps: BrainBaths, Ember, Police Scanner

03/10, 8:40pm

Human Weather, Frugal

BrainBaths ($1) contains a series of sound files that are intended to tune a listeners brain into states of relaxation, focus and peak performance. The application is meant to be used with stereo headphones as the sounds files have been recorded in a way that supposedly reproduces the way humans hear. Some of the options of sound files includes: Crickets, Fireworks, Jungle, Waterfall and Waves.

Apps: SnapMeasure, ProfCast, Accordance

03/10, 8:20pm

Rulers, Orbiter

SnapMeasure 1.8 ($24) is a plugin for Adobe Illustrator that acts as an alternative measuring tool. Unlike the native measuring tool, SnapMeasure snaps with visual feedback to elements on the page and can put measurement data next to the cursor. The software also offers an alternate measure line color for better visibility and can optionally change the constrain angle and/or cursor key distance without having to open the preferences window. This release adds CS4 compatibility, measuring along a path, scale measuring, path direction arrows, and more. [Download - 1.9MB]

Apple rejects Tweetie 1.3 over 'offensive language'

03/10, 7:50pm

Apple rejects Tweetie

Apple yet again has sparked controversy regarding the App Store approval process, with the rejection of Tweetie 1.3 over "offensive language." The said language was not contained in the program interface, as would be expected to bring a rejection, but rather in the search results (NSFW) showing the public Twitter "Trends" rankings, according to The iPhone blog.

Analyst: Feb. Mac sales could be down 12%

03/10, 5:55pm

Mac sales could be down

Although Apple recently launched several updated computer systems, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects February Mac sales to show a decline of up to 12 percent year-over-year. If true, sales have continued to slide from the observation of a 6 percent drop for January. In contrast, the company saw a 60 percent year-over-year gain last February following the MacBook Air launch.

Sony Ericsson accidentally leaks T707 Elle phone

03/10, 5:15pm

Sony Ericsson outs T707

At a press conference in China, Sony Ericsson unintentionally showed slides of as-yet-unreleased and unannounced handsets, including the T707, codenamed Elle, as well as the M610. The pages reveal the T707 is a quad-band GSM and dual-band UMTS/HSPA handset and is due to sport a 2.2-inch display. Storage will come from a 1GB Memory Stick Micro card, while the operating system will be OSE from Enea. There is still no word of when the T707 will launch, although it is expected to be fairly soon and in at least five colors.

Google, Apple to enter Dow Jones index?

03/10, 5:15pm

Google, Cisco to Dow Index

Google and Cisco are among the top companies being considered to be entered into the Dow Jones industrial average index, bumping GM and Citigroup, whose shares have recently dipped below $2 and threatened their status as blue chip stocks, or sure things in the investment world, says a Monday report. They are not alone, however, as Apple, US Steel, Goldman Sachs, Visa, Aflac and Northern Trust are other candidates, as chosen by Reuters. Likewise, analysts believe Citigroup and GM are just the most likely companies to be replaced from the Dow index. Four other stocks listed on the Dow have fallen to below $10.

Apple refurbs: Mac models starting at $849

03/10, 5:05pm

Apple refurbs: Macs

Current refurbished Mac models at the Apple store include iMacs, MacBooks, Mac Pros and more. Two Mac models are being offered at $849: the 2.1GHz white MacBook, and the 20-inch 2.4GHz iMac. Four unibody MacBooks are being offered starting at $1099, the 2.0GHz model with 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive; the same configuration with a 128GB SSD instead of a 250GB hard drive is priced at $1699; the 2.4GHz MacBook with 2GB of memory and 250GB hard drive is priced at $1399 and the same configuration with a 128GB SSD is $1899. MacBook Pros start at $1699 for the 2.4GHz model with 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive and top off at $2799 for the 2.8GHz model with 4GB of memory and a 128GB Solid State Drive. The Mac Pro is available in two configurations: the 3.0GHz model with 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive, priced at $3099 and the 3.2GHz model with 2GB of memory and 500GB hard drive is $4099.

Android-powered ASUS Eee PC coming soon?

03/10, 5:00pm

Android Eee PC coming soon

At CeBIT in Germany last week, Erich Chen, the head of ASUS' European branch, said the company's engineers will be ready to present a working model of an Eee PC netbook with the Android operating system in just two months, or much earlier than originally planned. Last month, ASUS announced an Android netbook will be available by the end of the year. The engineers face the challenge of incorporating the operating system, which originated and is optimized for use in touchscren smartphones, into the relatively large screens of a netbook.

Windows Mobile 6.5 to support widgets?

03/10, 4:55pm

Win Mo 6.5 Gets Widgets

Microsoft could be giving Windows Mobile 6.5 a hidden feature that lets it run web-like widgets, according to a source. The unnamed contact for Unwired notes that, somewhat like Apple's Mac OS X Dashboard widgets, the mobile OS will let users run mini apps based on HTML, JavaScript and images that would use the Internet Explorer rendering engine. It would give Windows Mobile small web apps that let users check information or perform some tasks without launching the browser or going further than the home screen.

Apple nixes eBay iPhone prototype auction

03/10, 4:50pm

eBay iPhone auction gone

An eBay auction claiming to offer original prototype iPhones has been pulled at the request of Apple, the seller claims. Speaking to the press, the seller explains that "as many people predicted would happen, Apple has contacted eBay to close the listing." A purported demonstration video on YouTube has also been pulled, with a simple disclaimer stating only that "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Apple, Inc.."

DealNN: graphics tablets, hard drives, iMacs, more

03/10, 4:45pm

DealNN: graphics tablets

Deals at DealNN today include graphics tablets, hard drives, iMacs and more. The refurbished 20-inch iMac is first on our list. Last week when the iMac line got an upgrade, the prices on refurbished models were slashed at Apple's online store. This model was previously priced at $999 and was dropped to $849. Included is a 2.4GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive, along with iSight webcam, microphone, 8x SuperDrive, and AirPort extreme wireless card.

Retronyms debuts Seek-n-Spell word game for iPhone

03/10, 4:05pm

Seek-n-Spell for iPhone

Retronyms has announced a new GPS-based word-building game for the iPhone, Seek-n-Spell. Players receive a large map, displaying both the real-world area around them and a series of letters that have been placed at different locations. Gamers must then run around collecting letters, holding onto a maximum of 10 at a time. Once a player has their letters, the bottom of the screen is used to form different words submitted for points. The winner of the game is determined by the person with the most points.

Slim Acer Aspire One passes FCC testing

03/10, 4:00pm

Slim Aspire One at FCC

A slimmed-down version of Acer's Aspire One netbook was spotted late last month, and now the FCC has passed the netbook through its testing, according to a filing. While the netbook remains unnamed, some FCC documentation is referring to it as the Acer Aspire One 530, though this could just be referring to a possible use of Intel's 1.6GHz Atom Z530 CPU instead of the usual N270 or N280 as it goes against Acer's usual naming conventions.

Intel: new Atom chipset plays most 1080p video

03/10, 4:00pm

Intel on GN40 and 1080p

Intel today confirmed that the GN40 chipset for Atom chips should be capable of playing 1080p video. Talking to Fudzilla, the semiconductor firm says the more advanced graphics acceleration in GN40 can decode most common bitrates of the full HD resolution without the stuttering and frame rate drops of the current 945 chipsets used with most Atom-based netbooks and nettops. However, Intel also warns that the video hardware isn't capable of fully processing the full output of Blu-ray, which has "significantly higher" bitrates as high as 24Mbps for the video as well as extra layers like picture-in-picture commentary.

Jobs makes appareance at Disney meeting [u]

03/10, 3:20pm

Jobs re-elected to Disney

(Update with MarketWatch retraction) Steve Jobs made an appearance at a Disney shareholders' meeting Tuesday morning, reports indicate. The Apple CEO is said to have been re-elected to the Disney board at the meeting, following a renomination process which took place in January. The entire previous board has in fact been re-elected, with no shareholder raising an objection to any of the candidates.

Lenovo retools business ThinkCentre desktops

03/10, 3:10pm

Lenovo ThinkCentre PCs

Lenovo adds two entry-level ThinkCentre desktop PCs Lenovo on Tuesday announced that, in light of the recent economic downturn, it began offering two new, smaller, lower cost business PCs in its ThinkCentre line. To this effect, the A58 will be re-tooled and is meant for small to medium business users, while Lenovo believes the refreshed M58e will appeal to mid and large companies with its low energy consumption. Both feature low purchase prices as well as the long-term costs of maintenance and management. To this end, Lenovo includes a Rescue and Recovery tool to help recover and restore files independently of what Windows itself offers.

Hitachi pays $31m fine for LCD price fixing

03/10, 2:55pm

Hitachi Guilty in LCD Fix

Hitachi this afternoon said it had pled guilty to rigging the prices of its LCD panels and agreed to pay a $31 million fine. The agreement with a US District Court in San Francisco finds that Hitachi held meetings with Dell that illegally set prices for computer LCD displays by agreeing to prices in advance and artificially adjusting the actual quoted prices to match the target. Hitachi's move effectively let the company set its own prices independently of the market between April 2001 and March 2004.

A-DATA preps extra-fast 300 Plus SSDs

03/10, 2:20pm

A-DATA 300 Plus SSD

A-DATA has rolled out a high-speed solid-state drive line intended as a drop-in update for notebooks. The 300 Plus series takes advantage of a new memory controller to maintain constant 250MB per second read speeds as well as 160MB per second while writing data. It also has an uncommonly large 64MB cache to keep the system fed with information even in characteristically slower sequential reads.

NVIDIA launchs GPU app developer venture program

03/10, 1:45pm

NVIDIA GPU Venture Zone

NVIDIA has announced the launch of its GPU Ventures Program on Tuesday that aims to identify, support and invest in start-up companies that are writing software to take advantage of the graphics chipmakers' parallel processing tools. The company already showcases the innovative work of some of these GPU-based software developers on its GPU Venture Zone. With this program, NVIDIA is hoping to identify future software developers that aim to take advantage of GPUs to help in computing tasks via creating applications for specific tasks. NVIDIA's own CUDA and PhysX programs are meant to utilize the GPU for some of the same, but the graphics company is seeking partners to help grow what the company believes is the next level in computing.

Sanyo intros 6,500-lumen high-end projector

03/10, 1:20pm

Sanyo intros HD projector

Sanyo on Tuesday announced the introduction of its newest projector, the PDG-DHT100L, to its comprehensive projector lineup. The single-chip DLP projector features a native 1920x1080 resolution and is the brightest in its class, at 6,500 lumens. It has a Dual Color Wheel that can be changed by the user for increased color reproduction at the cost of brightness. What's more, the DHT100L has a dual lamp system that lets users operate it non-stop, even in the event one of the 330W HP bulbs should fail.

Google, LG settle visual voicemail patent disputes

03/10, 1:15pm

V. voicemail settlements

Two more parties have entered into legal settlements involving visual voicemail, Reuters observes. Though predominately associated with Apple and the iPhone, the technology -- which allows people to listen to voice messages selectively -- is said to have been patented by Judah Klausner, who has in turn sued and settled with parties such as Apple, Skype and Verizon. Among the latest companies to settle is LG, which today entered into an arrangement with Klausner Technologies, in which it will license visual voicemail for phones such as the current Versa.

HP backing out of GPS business?

03/10, 12:15pm

HP Exiting GPS Business

HP may be exiting the business of dedicated GPS devices if evidence collected by GPS Review bears out. An unnamed contact from HP has said that the company is dropping all its iPAQ devices where navigation has been a central feature, such as the iPAQ 310 Travel Companion. The statement is reportedly backed up by a support document that claims HP is shutting down its iPAQ website, where users go to register and update their navigation hardware; as of press time, the site remains active and points to the shutdown notice as premature.

CtrlChanges plug-in tracks InDesign document changes

03/10, 12:05pm

CtrlChanges for InDesign

XChange UK has announced CtrlChanges, a plug-in for Adobe InDesign and InCopy that helps users spot changes in an InDesign document. Created for situations in which more than one user is working with a document, the plug-in displays both added and removed text in the layout view. The software also provides users with information showing who has made a change, and at what time it was authored. CtrlChanges is available in three different versions: Light, Standard and Pro.

eBay auction offering prototype iPhones?

03/10, 11:40am

Prototype iPhones on eBay?

An auctioner at eBay claims to be selling two prototype models of the original iPhone. Although only one of the phones is operational, it is said to be running an alpha or beta version of the iPhone OS, distinguished by rudimentary graphics and completely different button layouts. The phone is unable to sync with iTunes, but can nevertheless make calls and take photos, as well as receive text messages and send five preset messages of its own.

Palm boosts share offering to get $83.9m

03/10, 11:35am

Palm Boosts Share Offering

Palm today said it would up the number of shares involved in its stock resale plan from 18.5 million shares to just over 23.1 million. Each share will have a going price of $6 and should boost Palm's revenue in the deal from its original $49 million to $83.9 million. Elevation Partners will still get $49 million to buy another 8.2 million shares at the same price as for the public deal.

USB 3 test spec due in June, final in 2010

03/10, 10:55am

USB 3 Test Spec in June

Agilent at a conference in Tokyo today said that a test-ready version of the USB 3.0 spec will be ready in June. The standard gives computer and component makers a reference point for building hardware and should let these companies build parts that can be checked for compatibility in the second half of the year. Final USB 3-capable computers and peripherals should be ready by 2010.

Planned Firefox 3.1 update to become 3.5

03/10, 10:25am

Firefox 3.1 becomes 3.5

The next major update for Firefox, v3.1, will instead become v3.5, says Mozilla's director for the browser, Mike Beltzner. Developers have allegedly complained that the v3.1 designation does not reflect the number of changes in the browser, which is already at v3.0.7 and yet missing components key to the former v3.1. Central is the addition of TraceMonkey, an engine which allows native code compilation within Mozilla's JavaScript technology.

Samsung launches S5600, S5230 touch phones

03/10, 10:10am

Samsung S5600 S5230

In the wake of Mobile World Congress, Samsung today has revealed a pair of touchscreen phones meant to bring touch into the mid-range. The S5600 leads the entries with 3G over a 7.2Mbps HSPA connection, a 3-megapixel camera with smile detection, and a 2.8-inch, 240x320 touchscreen. It carries Samsung's now-familiar TouchWiz interface for widget-driven apps and information and comes with a unique gesture lock feature that unlocks the phone to a specific app or feature by drawing specific letters.

Sources back up claims of 50 layoffs at Apple

03/10, 9:40am

Apple lays off 50 people

In spite of denials or refusal to comment by company spokesmen, Apple has indeed laid off approximately 50 people involved in enterprise sales, claim sources cited by CNET. Rumors began circulating of the layoffs on Tuesday, but spokesman Steve Dowling has refused to speak on the matter, and a separate, unidentified spokesman is said to have insisted there was no truth at all to the reports, in the same way that Dowling previously denied an allegation that 50 people had been removed from the Mac Hardware and Pro Applications divisions.

MS intros first notebook stand, new Arc Mouse

03/10, 9:35am

MS Notebook Cooling Base

Microsoft on Tuesday ventured into unfamiliar territory by expanding its mobile hardware to include the Notebook Cooling Base. The first such stand from Microsoft aims to differentiate itself by measuring just 1.16 inches thick and by having a curved design that can naturally fit on a lap as well as on a desk. The unit has a single, USB-powered cooling fan to actively circulate heat and should come in both black and white colors. Microsoft is launching very early and doesn't expect the Cooling Base to ship until July, when it will sell for $30.

Palm downs "exaggerated" anti-iPhone claims

03/10, 9:10am

Palm Downs iPhone Talk

Palm in an uncharacteristic move late yesterday submitted an SEC filing hoping to dampen expectations created by Elevation Partners founder Roger McNamee during a Bloomberg TV interview. The US document specifically singles out McNamee's claims that the Palm Pre would convert all early iPhone users and describes them as an "exaggerated prediction" that it wants to withdraw. Assertions that the OS roots of the BlackBerry and iPhone are 13 and 9 years old are also "inherently imprecise" and also taken back, Palm says.

Rumored Apple netbook to get 10in screen?

03/10, 8:10am

Apple Netbook 10in Rumor

The purported Apple touchscreen netbook has gained a minor amount of corroboration on Tuesday from sources of Dow Jones. The trading outlet echoes the earlier claims that Wintek is producing a touchscreen for an Apple computer assembled by Quanta but adds that the screen will measure between 9.7 and 10 inches diagonal, or roughly in line with existing netbook sizes. Other details are still "under evaluation," according to the unnamed sources behind the reported leak.

Dell unveils extra-rugged Latitude E6400 XFR

03/10, 7:20am

Dell Latitude E6400 XFR

Dell this morning put the finishing touch on its newer-wave pro notebooks by launching the Latitude E6400 XFR. The significant overhaul improves on the already rugged design of the earlier XFR system by switching to a newer material known as PR-481. By giving the notebook the material as its main shell, the company says the E6400 can take drops from up to four feet while turned off (three feet while on) and last longer in extreme cold or heat. A special sealing approach also gives it a IP-65 rating against dust and water.

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