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Alltel is set to release the LG Banter, a slider handset that appears to offer the same features as the Rumor 2 but with slightly reworked cosmetics. The messaging phone offers a QWERTY keyboard, but with an additional fourth row of keys. Other specs include a two-inch screen, 1.3-megapixel camera, microSD card slot and interchangeable face and back plates.
The crew at iFixit has already disassembled the new third-generation iPod shuffle, exposing the tiny innards. The processor, flash memory and RAM are all contained in a single, multi-layered chip. The dime-size battery also takes a minimalist approach, offering a capacity of just 73 mAh. The smaller battery cuts a few hours of playback time from the previous version, with the claimed runtime now at 10 hours.
We have dozens of hi-res unboxing photos of Apple's new iPod shuffle, showing the form-factor change. Similarly to latest-generation iPod nano, Apple has chosen to move away from the shorter case and switch to a taller, more rectangular housing. The company apparently placed the small size at a high priority, integrating a dime-size 73 mAh battery that cuts two hours of playback time from the previous generation. Surface buttons have been removed and replaced with in-line controls on the headphone cord. The system still allows standard headphones to be used, but without any pause or volume controls.
IK Multimedia and Fender Musical Instruments have launched AmpliTube Fender, a software suite with over 45 Fender guitar and bass amplifier effects. The new software amps and effects have been designed using the same testing- and tuning-process of Fender hardware amps, with the goal of offering the same sound quality as a real amp. Among the 45 gear selections are 12 amps, 12 cabinets, six stompboxes, nine mics and six rack-FX effects. AmpiTube Fender also includes includes Riffwork T4 for guitar recording and AmpliTube X-GEAR for compatibility with other AmpliTube software.
Apple has made another set of changes to the customer review system for the App Store, with new sorting options that can separate reviews by version number. Considering that many developers release a number of updates to their products, potential buyers can now take a look at how well customers have rated the latest version. The results are not muddied by the initial launch, which in some cases shows a lower rating from before the developer had a chance address bugs and refine the app.
A fledgling cellular carrier, Zer01 Mobile has announced that it will offer unlimited voice and data for only $70 a month and without a contract, according to PC Magazine. The company also claims to offer a network as large as AT&T's, although the service is actually derived from a roaming agreement with the cellular giant and other carriers such as T-Mobile, but utilizing its own IP system.
Apricorn has launched a 240GB addition to its Aegis Mini line of storage products. The 1.8-inch, 3.7-oz external drive is available with USB 2.0 and FireWire connections and is small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. The 240GB drive is 50-percent larger than the previous 160GB model, which is also still available. The drive features shock-resistant mounting and an integrated FireWire or USB 2.0 cable.
Preliminary, unofficial shipping and pricing information for the Samsung HMX-R10 camcorder, which is being touted as the world's smallest capable of recording video in 1920x1080 HD resolution, has been revealed on Thursday. The camcorder has a 9-megapixel sensor for shooting video, while its lens has a 5x optical zoom. It can also capture digital still images at the equivalent of 12 megapixels thanks to interpolation. The HMX-R10 gets a lens mounted at a sharp and uncommon 25-degree angle to allow users to grip it in a more relaxed manner.
An entry on the GSM Global Certification Forum suggests a new handset that supports the 850, 900, 1800 and 1900MHz GSM bands is coming to Verizon Wireless. The device is simply known as the HTC XV6175, with the XV prefix the only hint of it being offered by Verizon, as the carrier uses the same naming convention for all of its HTC-sourced handsets. Verizon only offers CDMA phones, however and the leaked posting suggests a dual-band handset may soon be offered by Verizon.
New York Governor David Paterson late yesterday announced that his government would scrub plans to institute a batch of taxes that would likely have raised the costs of digital music in the state. Among taxes that would have affected cable TV, movies and sports, the government is now scrapping plans for an informally-titled "iPod tax" that would have added an extra charge to downloads through iTunes and other online music stores.
Nemetscheck and Maxon Computer have released an updated plug-in for Vectorworks 2009 and Cinema 4D (C4D) release 11 that will allow direct file exchange between the modeling and rendering programs. Along with the C4D-format export support, the plug-in also allows users to make changes to a model after the visualization process has started, using an auto-update feature in C4D. The software will automatically track any changes that are made to each model.
Today's deals at DealNN include iPods, MacBooks, printers and more. Apple's online store is offering four unibody MacBook configurations starting at $1099. The 2.0Ghz MacBook with 160GB hard drive ($1099) and the 2.4GHz MacBook with 250GB hard drive ($1399) both have 2GB of RAM. Both models are also available with a 128GB Solid State Drive, in place of the standard hard drive, for $1699 and $1899 respectively.
There is no official word from Nintendo, but a Wednesday posting on Qj floats rumors that the company's Wii gaming console getting a much-needed storage bump courtesy of an external hard drive. The drive, due to reportedly be offered in 32GB and 64GB capacities, would attach to the Wii via its rear USB ports and blend it to look like a natural part of the rectangular box.
UK phone carrier O2 is poised to drop prices on the iPhone 3G come May, claims a regional magazine. Mobile cites exclusive information, pointing to the device becoming free with £35 or £45 per month subscriptions. The 8GB iPhone is currently free with £45 and £75 plans, while the 16GB model is free only at the £75 level. Practical costs of iPhone ownership can rise as high as £159 a month.
A look at a pre-production version of Australia's Kogan Agora netbook was made possible on Thursday, revealing its specs as company founder Ruslan Kogan demonstrated a couple of the models at the offices of PC Authority. The 10-inch netbooks, first announced at the end of February, ran on both gOS Linux and Windows 7, with black and white examples shown, even though the final version will be sold only in black. The CPU will be Intel's 1.6GHz Atom N270, while the hard drive has a 160GB capacity, both netbook staples.
Sony has began buying equipment necessary to manufacture liquid crystal displays from Seiko Epson and the two companies are in negotiations regarding developing and building small- to medium-sized liquid-crystal displays together,EETimes reports. The specifics of the potential tie-up are not yet known, but if the deal goes through, it could see Sony getting some of Epson's business.
Brother Japan on Thursday introduced its SV-100B document viewer which, despite appearances, is not meant to compete with e-book readers such as Amazon's Kindle 2. Instead, the is more advanced, featuring a 9.7-inch electronic paper display with a 1200x825 resolution at 150dpi. Unlike the Kindle 2 or other dedicated e-book readers, the SV-100B can also display the screen of a PC, smartphone or PDA connected via Bluetooth.
Cablevision, a New York-based cable TV service provider, announced on Thursday it will no longer offer analog television cable service in 2010 and only offer digital services. Only about 155,000 of Cablevision's 3.1 million customers, a mere 5 percent, subscribe to the company's basic analog service and they will continue to receive the service, though no new clients will be added. The company already offers exclusively digital packages to its customers in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
A combination online and offline backup utility, Persistence, has launched in commercial beta form, its developer says. While able to back up to iDisk, external hard drives or USB flash sticks, the app is designed primarily to handle large file transfers, ranging into hundreds of gigabytes. All metadata is retained, including Finder data and Unix permissions, and signatures are assigned to each file for later verification during the restore process.
Samsung today claimed to have represented exactly one quarter of all touchscreen phones shipped in 2008. The Korean company estimates that it produced about 10 million models of various kinds and that its most popular has ultimately been the F480, which has alternately been known as the Tocco in some countries and was released as the Behold for T-Mobile; it accounted for 5 million of those phones, or half of Samsung's line. The rest included devices like the Instinct, Omnia and Pixon.
OWC is now offering Mac Pro RAM upgrades up to 32GB. The new RAM sets are said to be selling at a substantial discount over Apple's factory-installed RAM offerings, up to a maximum of $1,620 in savings. The 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory upgrades -- for the new Nehalem-based Mac Pros introduced last week -- meet Apple Design Specifications, are fully RoHS and JEDEC compliant, and carry a lifetime warranty.
T-Mobile in the UK said it will launch the Cupcake update for the Google-powered phone, the T-Mobile G1, in April, according to a Wednesday report. The Cupcake release may coincide with that of Vodafone's HTC Magic, the successor to the G1, though T-Mobile UK is keeping mum about this possibility. "We can't say whether this will be connected with the launch of the HTC Magic as we aren't aware of what alterations if any they are making to the operating system," a T-Mobile rep says.
MSI on Thursday afternoon brought the Wind Nettop CS120 to the US. The mini desktop is slightly slower than the CS100, opting for a single-core 1.6GHz Atom 230 instead of the dual-core Atom 330, but is a complete system with 1GB of built-in memory, a 160GB hard drive and 802.11g Wi-Fi. It's also one of the few nettops to have a built-in DVD burner instead of relying on USB storage or the network.
The upcoming iPhone operating system, version 3.0, could add several long-awaited features such as MMS messaging support and tethering, unnamed sources have told the Boy Genius Report. Although the multimedia message format is relatively commonplace, enabling video and image transfers between phones, Apple so far has excluded the technology from its handset and forced users to download third-party apps as a work-around.
TEAC on Thursday announced the release of its first tabletop dock radio with HD Radio support. Besides improved audio quality, HD Radio support gives listeners on-screen artist and title information from the roughly 2,000 stations in the air. The HD-1 also sports a dock for charging and playing music content from iPods and iPhones. The artist and song information also enables the iTunes Tagging feature, which lets users save the information of a song they like and find the track the next time the Apple device syncs with iTunes.
Samsung's Instinct Mini should indeed become the Instinct S30, at least while at Sprint, a new leak claims. The phone is also believed to be not simply a smaller version of the Instinct but a full-fledged sequel, though mainly on the basis of its chassis. Blue and pink versions are expected to be available, and it is thought that the timing of recent leaks may see an official announcement at CTIA, which begins April 1st. The first Instinct was revealed at last year's CTIA.
Apple today invited the press to a special event where it will provide an early look at the iPhone 3.0 firmware. To be held March 17th at the Town Hall theater on the company's campus, the event will focus primarily on the iPhone SDK but will also give the public a look at some features of what end users will experience. No clues are given as to what the software will contain beyond a major revision.
Apple may have much more complex interactions in mind for future versions of the Apple TV remote, a new patent application suggests. While the current remote is no different from the models used to control Front Row on Macs, a future version may function similarly to the controllers for Nintendo's Wii console, which allow precise pointing and motion-sensing actions. The Apple hardware would rely on IR sensors and/or an accelerometer or gyroscope.
Onkyo has launched a trio of new AV receivers that are topped by an industry first. The TX-SR607 is the first to include Dolby Pro Logic IIz support and can add a vertical dimension to the sound in movies that support it: the element lets home theaters with two extra, elevated front channel speakers register sounds that would appear above the movie viewer, such as an aircraft. It additionally brings support for 7.2-channel surround at 90W per channel with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio as well as a rear port for add-ons like an iPod dock or HD Radio tuner.
FORneXtSoft has announced myMac, a program that grants users access to certain hidden or unsupported system preferences in Mac OS X. In order to make changes with the software, users must normally be logged onto a Mac as an administrator. At times when changes cause the system to function improperly however, the administrator can undo them, or boot from the install CD and run a permissions repair.
Sprint today confirmed the existence of the LG Rumor 2. The slider continues the basic philosophy of a messaging phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard but with an extra row of keys, a higher-resolution (240x320) screen and stereo audio support for Bluetooth. It can also be customized with removable backplates. The phone continues to sport a 1.3-megapixel camera, basic data access and a microSDHC card slot for storage.
Scosche today quickly claimed itself as the second company after Klipsch to offer in-ear headphones designed for the third-generation iPod shuffle. The IDR350M, IDR450M and IDR650M all have a new in-line remote that provides all the navigation, volume and VoiceOver features needed for the shuffle while also including a microphone for users of current-generation iPod classic, iPod nano and iPod touch models. They also have a purported enhanced dynamic range that allows deeper bass without hurting treble or the mid-range.
Creaceed has released an update to Hydra, its high dynamic range (HDR) tool for the Mac. Available in stand-alone or Aperture plug-in versions, the software combines as many as 10 different photo exposures to simulate the full light sensitivity of the human eye. Source images do not have to be closely aligned, as a warping algorithm provides necessary compensation.
Online video site Hulu will add several social network-like features on Thursday meant to keep users coming back and thereby bring in more advertisers, according to the Wall Street Journal. To be called Hulu Friends, the addition is said to let users create personal online profiles and share videos with each other, while a Scorecard feature will let them track their activity. Unlike YouTube, though, users still can't their own videos and are limited to the official movies and TV shows published to the Fox- and NBC-run site.
SAP and Sybase are collaborating on applications for the iPhone and other cellphones, says Reuters. SAP's business management software is in the process of being shrunk by Sybase, which already produces generic scaling tools for the broader market. The latter company is also known for developing iAnywhere, intermediate software used to bridge iPhones with corporate e-mail networks that have stricter security standards.
The One Laptop Per Child project's CTO Ed McNierney today said that the organization's XO-2 notebook will most likely drop AMD's Geode processor in favor of an ARM-based, all-in-one processor. OLPC is "almost" set to implement a new chip and would make the switch both to reduce the power draw as well as to give the portable accelerated graphics and wireless without needing separate chips that would boost the cost. AMD's design is older and simpler by comparison.
CBS is taking a different approach to streaming NCAA March Madness games on the iPhone versus the web, a new App Store release reveals. While users can stream all of the games for free from the CBS Sports website -- at the expense of advertising -- the network's NCAA app for the iPhone and iPod touch costs $5. Users do however gain similar access, with live video and audio content.
Klipsch on Thursday said it's developing a set of earphones designed for the third-generation iPod shuffle. The revision will give users the same controls as with Apple's stock and In-Ear headphones, including triggering VoiceOver and switching playlists. The feature set is unknown but will result in a $100 price point, suggesting the earphones will be similar to or slightly better in quality than the just-announced Image S4s.
Apple has made significant changes in its latest third-generation iPod shuffle, one of them being the addition of its VoiceOver function. The new feature enables the Shuffle to speak the names of a song and artist, and pronounce them in one of 14 different languages. In order to make this work, iTunes integrates with the iPod, reads the song information, and uses the VoiceOver Kit to generate the pronunciations. Because of the player's design, users will receive a different voice depending on what computer is used when syncing.
Samsung in a low-key affair has slipped out the YP-Q2 as its latest mid-grade media player for the US. The device is more comfortable to hold and has a more obvious touch-sensitive control scheme than the Q1, but centers on a greatly extended battery life that has grown from 30 hours to 50 hours for music without changing the 4-hour video runtime or adding bulk.
Dell today unveiled the company's first all-in-one PC to bear the Studio badge. The Studio One 19 is more consciously fashionable than the XPS One and has the same basic "hanging" design concept as the iMac. Like the Studio Hybrid, though, Dell lets users customize the Studio One's colors (here the outer frame and wireless input devices). It centers on an 18.5-inch display with a 16:9 ratio, 1366x768 resolution that optionally supports multi-touch input for media playback as well as image, music and video editing.
ASUS' Eee PC line may be subsumed into its regular notebook line if tips from market contacts prove accurate. In speaking with Digitimes, the sources claim the company is worried enough about the management costs and other overhead of keeping the netbook- and nettop-specific Eee PC group separate that it has already sent out a tentative plan for bringing it into the notebook group and plans to finalize a timetable shortly. Company CEO Jerry Shen has declined to either confirm or deny the switch.
Feral Interactive has announced a new download area for demos. The dedicated server is designed to provide users with a place to obtain current game demos from the company. Two different methods can be used for downloading, either directly from the site or via the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, BitTorrent. The latest demos will usually be accessible as a BitTorrent download first, with a direct link being provided shortly thereafter.
Macgames.org has launched an arcade-style tennis game for Mac, Smashing Tennis. The game is designed with a 2D environment and claims to offer realistic physics for simulation of ball flight trajectories, while sound effects are recorded from actual tennis matches. Smashing Tennis features several court surfaces such as grass, clay, and hard decoturf, along with a number of difficulty modes including easy, hard, training, and tournament. The game also offers both a single-player and multiplayer functions.
Apple has released several updates including iTunes 8.1 and Front Row 2.1.7. The latest version of iTunes allows users to import tracks from CDs and save them using the 256kbps iTunes Plus format. The Genius sidebar feature will now recommend TV shows and movies to the user, in addition to the previously-available song listings. The company claims to have improved performance when loading large libraries, browsing the store or syncing devices.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir