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Opacity 1.3 ($90) is a graphics creation utility that combines pixel and vector editors with Photoshop-like tools such as filters, layers and transforms. Version 1.3 adds an improved Pen Tool, improved Text editing, inside and outside stroke options, a new spiral tool and reduces the size of saved image .opacity files. [Download - 11.5MB]
Fusion io ioDrive Duo SSDs
Fusion-io has unveiled the ioDrive Duo, a series of PCI Express, server-based solid state drives (SSDs) that feature sustained throughput up to an astounding 1.5 gigabytes per second. The components also offer storage capacities up to 1.28TB, doubling the slot capacity of the company's previous ioDrive storage products.
Nintendo ships 100m DSs
Nintendo has announced that shipments of its DS handheld gaming devices have surpassed 100 million as of March 6th. In contrast, Sony has shipped 50 million PSPs in roughly the same period of time. Nintendo released the first DS model in 2004, followed by updates such as the DS Lite in 2006. The company claims that 83 DS game titles have sold more than 1 million units each, while seven have achieved sales exceeding 10 million.
Telefonica Pre deal
Telefónica's Movistar has negotiated an exclusive deal with Palm to distribute the upcoming Pre handset in Spain and Latin America, according to a number of Spanish news outlets. Sources also claim that the company's subsidiary, O2, will sell the device in the UK market. The reports mark the first alleged confirmation of carriers beyond Sprint to get the smartphone, although outside of the domestic market.
iCount, Mystery House
iAmHappy ($1) provides access to hundreds of positive affirmations that have been organized into different categories. The software also includes nearly 100 relaxing and soothing images and backgrounds. iAmHappy includes three different modes for viewing the quotes, Serendipity, Category and View All. The Serendipity mode shows the quotes randomly, while Category organizes all the quotes by their category and View All displays the complete list.
Wacom Intuos4 pen tablet
The next-generation Intuos tablet from Wacom has been spotted, though the device itself has not yet been officially announced. The photo of the packaging reveals the new tablet will sport a wide-format tablet area along with a number of customizable ExpressKeys. It also reveals that the tablet will have a user-defined touch ring and the pressure-sensitive grip pen will be new and improved.
DealNN: Mac mini bundle
Today's featured deal at DealNN is on a bundle package from MacMall. The bundle includes a 1.83GHz Mac mini, 17-inch HP LCD display, and a MacAlly keyboard and mouse all for $589.98 after mail in rebate. The Mac mini features 1GB of RAM, 80GB hard drive, built-in speakers and a headphone jack as well as a variety of connectors including one FireWire 400 port, four USB ports, a DVI output and more.
EVE Online: Apocrypha
As planned, CCP has released EVE Online: Apocrypha, the 10th free expansion to its science-fiction MMO. The expansion centers around the appearance of unstable wormholes, connecting to unexplored regions of space; players gain access to a new level of technology for ship creation, plus a new tutorial when starting out. Coinciding with the debut is the re-release of the main game to retail stores.
Archos TV Snap-on module
Archos has outed the TV Snap-on accessory for its Archos 5 Internet media tablet on its French website. The accessory allows the device to pick up free-roaming TV signals and display them on the device's 5-inch screen. The dual receiver antennas are matched by two tuners and two processors for the RF signals.
D-Link 5-bay, 7.5TB NAS
D-Link on Wednesday announced it is shipping its DSN-1100 Network Attached Storage (NAS), meant for use by small- to medium-sized businesses. The device's five bays are capable of holding five 3.5-inch 1.5TB SATA hard drives for a total storage capacity of 7.5TB. The DSN-1100 manages the drives via a built-in IP-SAN Device Manager suite of utilities. An embedded secure server lets users remotely configure and monitor their storage devices.
Nintendo ships 50M Wiis
Graphics card and CPU chipmaker AMD announced on Wednesday that it has shipped 50 million of its GPUs, nicknamed Hollywood, for the Nintendo Wii gaming console. The milestone means Hollywood is the most popular AMD graphics processor for gaming consoles. AMD has a 10-year history of supplying Nintendo with graphics processors, as it provided the Nintendo GameCube system, the Wii's predecessor, with a graphics processing solution.
Malay, Indonesian iPhones
Malaysia and Indonesia will be the next two countries to carry the iPhone 3G, accounts indicate. Malaysian carrier Maxis is already taking pre-orders for the device, which should launch in the country on March 20th. When selecting a 12-month contract, an 8GB phone will cost between RM 1900 and RM 1080, while a 16GB model will cost between RM 2290 and RM 1470. Prices are dependent on the particular i-Value plans users pick, which start at RM 100 for 333 minutes and 500MB of data and end at RM 375 for 2,500 minutes and 3GB of data.
Analyst take on Shuffle
Despite the higher price of the third-generation iPod shuffle launched Wednesday, the new features, capacity and form factor could prove attractive to customers, according to Kaufmann Brothers analyst Shaw Wu. "We believe iPod shuffle could end up being a surprise hit," he said, noting that Apple tends to see a substantial increase in sales when it makes a form factor change to either iPods or Macs.
Habey Atom-based HD PC
Habey on Tuesday announced its 1080p HD PC, the BIS-6550HD, powered by a 1.6GHz Intel N270 Atom processor. HD video decoding is handled by a low-power AVC/VC-1/MPEG-2 hardware decoder that can play back HD movies in real time from Blu-ray discs as well as HD files in the H.264 and VC-1 formats at up to 40Mbps and MPEG-2 files at up to 125Mbps. Habey says playing back H.264 1080p video uses less than 15 percent of the N270's processing power, with WMV HD videos using up even less.
Rogers Hulu-like web video
Canadian cable, telephone, Internet and wireless provider Rogers has proposed a Hulu-like web video system on Tuesday at a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearing as an alternative to government-imposed levies on Internet Service Providers to support online Canadian content. Rogers, along with another Canadian ISP, Shaw, expressed strong disapproval to the CRTC's levies. Under Rogers' plan, users wouldn't need to have service from the company in order to access broadband video content.
MIT Fast Recharge Battery
MIT scientists led by professor Gerbrand Ceder today said they have developed a new improvement on lithium-ion battery packs that could potentially eliminate the need for long recharge times or, in some cases, for larger batteries. By applying a coating of lithium phosphate to an existing battery design, the researchers steer the ions more directly to the "tunnels" leading to the battery terminal and thus supply a charge much faster than the more passive approach used today.
Bouygues picks iPhone date
French carrier Bouygues Telecom has set a date of April 29th to begin carrying the iPhone, an announcement reveals. Subscriptions will range in price from approximately €38 to €77 a month, and provide anywhere from two hours of voice calling to four hours of daily talk plus unlimited nights and weekends. Unlike the plans offered in many countries, all of the Bouygues options will include both unlimited texts and unlimited data.
Shuffle 3G earbud support
People looking to use headphones of their own with the newest iPod shuffle will have to be patient, Apple is said to have confirmed. The problem arises from the control scheme for the updated player, which has shifted almost entirely to proprietary Apple earbuds. At the moment the player is rendered useless without them, Apple notes.
AMD on 17in MBP Heat
AMD today expressed concern that reports of 17-inch MacBook Pro graphics errors may hurt not only NVIDIA but also graphics makers in general. The company, which owns the ATI brand, told CNET that fears of overheating causing visual artifacts are overblown and implied that the issue may be specific to either Apple choosing the GeForce 9600M incorrectly for the notebook or else the heat generation inherent to NVIDIA's parts. AMD has been careful to avoid identifying a particular cause but remained worried that any poor choice reflected badly on itself.
Along with the new iPod shuffle launched on Wednesday, Apple also quietly introduced iTunes 8.1. The company claims to have improved performance when loading large libraries, browsing the store or syncing devices. The Genius sidebar feature, previously only available for music, will now recommend TV shows and movies to the user. The items can be previewed and purchased directly from the sidebar.
Mitsubishi 3D touch panel
Last week at the Interaction 2009 show in Tokyo, Mitsubishi Electric showed off a prototype capacitive touch panel that can detect the distance between it and a user's finger. The prototype features a 5.7-inch touchscreen with 640x480-pixel resolution and is meant for use in mobile devices, and specifically in interfaces that have a mouse-over function, where the cursor can change depending on what icon or shortcut it is placed over without an actual click or touch. The panel is also capable of judging the speed of the finger's approach by calculating the time variation of capacity on the z-axis and so could trigger different actions based on velocity, not just position.
Vodafone drops MP3 DRM
Vodafone has announced plans to switch the majority of its music catalog to a DRM-free MP3 format. The phone carrier says it has signed deals with Sony, EMI and Universal, which will allow tracks bought from the record labels to be copied freely between phones, computers and dedicated media players. Vodafone claims that it will also be the first provider in the world to do dual delivery, by which a track can be downloaded to both a phone and a computer at no extra charge, and with no device sync.
Kaufman on AAPL trends
A number of new developments are in progress behind the scenes at Apple, claims Kaufman analyst Shaw Wu. Sources currently say, for instance, that Mac OS X Snow Leopard will only be released this summer at the earliest, and possibly as late as the fall. This stands in contrast to predictions from Apple's own director of Unix engineering, who in November said that the OS would ship before the end of March. It is thought however that Snow Leopard may be laying the groundwork for future iMacs, equipped with quad-core Intel processors.
Klipsch Image S2 and S4
Klipsch on Wednesday updated its Image in-ear headphones with some of its first models outside of its normal high-end range. The Image S2 and S4 have the same oval ear tips as more expensive models but less complicated, moving coil drivers and a larger enclosure. Making the switch lets Klipsch lower the price while still providing roughly the same amount of comfort and ear isolation as more costly models. The S4 also adds a dual magnet motor that steps up the amount of damping and more closely replicates the attack rate of kick drums and similar bass without introducing distortion.
MS Extension on EU Charges
The European Commission today said it would give Microsoft extra time to respond to its statement of objection that accuses Microsoft of breaking antitrust laws by requiring that Internet Explorer ship with Windows. The American company now has until April 21st to provide an initial response after it complained that the original eight-week deadline, or March 12th, didn't give it enough time to offer a proper answer to the charges. It's not known if the delay will affect other aspects of the case.
Canon March 25th Event
Canon today told the Danish press it would hold a special press event on March 25th that will likely lead to a new high-end camera. The company is deliberately short on details but promises the conference will have something considered "the best" and implies that the event will focus on its central camera business. It's not yet known whether other countries have received similar notices.
Acrobat, Reader updates
As promised in late February, Adobe has released updates to Acrobat 9 and Reader 9. Both of the PDF-related applications are now at v9.1, fixing a critical security vulnerability which -- after a crash was triggered -- would allow a hacker to gain control of a computer. The vulnerability remains intact in versions 7 and 8 of Acrobat and Reader, though separate patches are scheduled to be released by March 18th.
Packard Bell DOT dead
Packard Bell will no longer bring its earlier announced DOT netbook to market, the computer maker said recently. The Acer Aspire One-based netbook was announced just a few months ago, and was due to go on sale this past January in Europe, priced at the equivalent of about $413. A Packard Bell spokesperson said in an interview the DOT netbook will be replaced by a new model, though did not go into specifics. The same person also mentioned that some changes will be made to the brand, again not expanding on this.
Win Mo Market Revenue
Microsoft on Wednesday published early details of its development tools for Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones and also set out the revenue model for the Windows Mobile Marketplace. The company's first self-run mobile software store will almost exactly duplicate the business model used for the iPhone App Store: Microsoft will collect a flat 30 percent of the revenue from each app regardless of price or the number of copies sold. Free apps also won't incur any download costs for developers.
Apple approves Tweetie 1.3
Having only recently rejected the application, Apple has chosen to reverse its decision and approve the release of Tweetie 1.3 at the App Store. The Twitter client was initially rejected due to a provision in submission guidelines, stating that "Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive, or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod Touch users."
Lenovo VAIO P Rival
Lenovo is gearing up a competitor to Sony's VAIO P, a leak from within Lenovo's Beijing offices shows. The Chinese Engadget branch has obtained an image which shows a very wide but narrow netbook-sized PC that, like Sony's system, would have a trackpoint for control. The system would, however, have a tan leather back like the ThinkPad Reserve Edition and also appears to have a camera and controls to either side of the display.
Redesigned iPod shuffle
Apple on Wednesday released a surprise redesign of the iPod shuffle. The player now comes only in black and silver colors, and has switched to a tall and even smaller design, completely omitting any surface buttons except for a three-way switch that toggles song shuffling as well as power. Volume and track control are now handled exclusively through an in-line remote on the earbuds, in a manner similar to other earbuds for the iPhone, Nano and Touch.
Gartner on Q4 2008 SPhones
The iPhone 3G successfully led Apple to more than double its share of the smartphone market before the start of 2009, according to late data from
Nokia 5730 5330 5030 Music
Nokia this morning used an in-house music event to launch three separate media phones, including a pair of firsts. The 5730 XpressMusic is the first media-specific phone from the phone maker to get a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and uses this to bring an added messaging component; like an increasing number of Nokia phones, the 5730 has a newer home screen that shows up to 20 favorite contacts as well as gives quicker access to media playback and apps like Facebook. It also has dedicated music keys usable regardless of whether the slider is open.
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