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Refurb. iPod roundup
A vast selection of refurbished iPods are currently on sale at Apple's online store. Starting at $39 is the 1GB iPod shuffle, in current-generation pink, blue, or green. The 2GB model is also available in the same color options for $59. The previous-generation 4GB iPod nano, in silver, is now priced at $79. Get a 4th generation, 8GB iPod nano in orange, green, purple, pink, silver, black, yellow or blue for $129. The 16GB model is priced at $169 and is available in the same colors as the 8GB model. Also priced at $169 is the 80GB iPod classic in black or silver. For just $40 more get the 120GB Classic, now $209. First-generation and current-generation iPod touch models are available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB configurations. First-gen. configurations are priced at $179, $219 and $299 respectively while the current-gen. configurations are priced at $199, $259, and $349.
Apple Touch lawsuit
Apple has been targeted in yet another lawsuit, as a Cincinnati mother seeks damages from the company over an incident where an iPod touch allegedly exploded in her son's pocket, according to Ars Technica. The filings refer to the device as an "iTouch," which was reportedly left in the student's pocket during class. The iPod was turned off and unexpectedly popped, caused a burning sensation and igniting the child's pants.
EasyMoney 1.4 ($20) helps users manage money in either a home or small business scenario. Users can set up multiple account books and expense/income accounts and then add transactions. This allows users to track where money is being spent and this can be compared to a budget that has been set. The latest release has simply reinstalled the User's Guide. [Download - 4.3MB]
ARM-based netbooks coming
Qualcomm and Freescale, who build ARM-based platforms, are expected to demonstrate netbooks using their products at the Computex Taipei expo in June, DigiTimes reported on Thursday, citing sources at netbook makers. The show will reportedly see the debut of a Pegatron netbook running on Freescale's i.MX51 CPU on ARM's Coretex A8 mainboard as well as a Wistron model with a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU.
Phone dates for AT&T leak
A Friday afternoon posting on Engadget is claiming to have the release dates for a number of handsets from various manufacturers coming to wireless provider AT&T. While the dates are tentative, they reveal the first new handset to come to AT&T is most likely the Nokia E71x smartphone, a variant of the stock smartphone due to come to stores on March 24th.
iRiver outs Dicple D31 PMP
Korea's iRiver has launched its latest portable media player, the D31. Part of its Dicple Series, the device sports a 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen with 480x272 resolution and is available in two models. The first has a DMB tuner for picking up digital video signals along with 4GB of built-in memory, while an Edu version trades the tuner for another 4GB of memory, for a total of 8GB. A microSD memory card slot lets user expand storage, while a USB 2.0 connection lets them sync it with their home PCs.
Toshiba JournE Air frames
In Europe on Friday, Toshiba released a pair of Wi-Fi-capable digital photo frames as part of its new JournE Air range. The JournE Air 1000 is the flagship, offering a 10-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD-backlit screen with 1GB of internal memory and a memory card slot for expansion. It also has a pair of 0.5W speakers and an online connection for playing Internet radio stations with 50 presets for SHOUTcast MP3 streams. A touch sensor replaces old-fashioned buttons for a clean design, or users can use the standard infrared remote control.
DealNN: Apple gear
DealNN deals today include a wide selection of Apple products. Most notable today is a price drop on the 16GB iPod nano at J&R.com. It is regularly priced at $199.99, but has been reduced to $169.97, which is only 97 cents more than purchasing a refurbished model at Apples online store. The 16GB Nano can hold up to 4,000 songs, 14,000 iPod viewable photos, or 16 hours of video.
AT&T union strike likely
AT&T and its 112,500-strong labor force, the country's biggest unionized group part of the Communications Workers of America, are in negotiations over six new regional contracts. The telecommunications company is hoping to take advantage of the current economic conditions to reduce its health care costs, says a Friday report and because of this, UBS analyst John Hodulik predicts a strike by the union workers after talking to AT&T management, pointing to a successful four-day strike by the employees during the last re-negotiation five years ago. This time around, a different outcome is predicted as workers fear for their jobs. Earlier this month, the CWA and AT&T avoided a strike over pay, working conditions and other issues that could have seen 20,000 employees walk off their jobs.
BMO estimates AAPL at $105
BMO analyst Keith Bachman has trimmed the firm's Apple earnings forecast, based on weak demand for Macs and iPhones compared to previous estimates. Bachman predicts that the March 2009 quarter will see Mac sales of 2.15 million, rather than 2.32 million; iPhones are meanwhile being forecast at 3.2 million, instead of 3.8. iPod numbers are expected to be higher however, jumping from 10 million to 10.6.
SanDisk takeover rumors
Unnamed sources are saying flash memory maker SanDisk is again the prospect of a possible takeover by Samsung or Toshiba. The rumors come from a Friday EETimes report and have both Samsung and Toshiba making simultaneous bids for the flash memory maker. Last year, Korea's Samsung launched a hostile takeover bid for SanDisk, but the talks ended without an agreement. Toshiba is already working with SanDisk on flash storage and bought shares in SanDisk last year.
Perl Dev Kit 8.0 ships
ActiveState has launched Perl Dev Kit 8.0, adding cross-platform wrapping in PerlApp, for deployment to any platform regardless of the development platform. Perl Dev Kit (PDK) includes a complete suite of tools for creating and deploying Perl applications. Version 8.0 also introduces PerlCritic, which allows developers to run coding policies against source code in order to ensure work conforms to industry standards, or user-based personalized standards. Other tools in PDK build code filters, convert VBScript programs or snippets to Perl, analyze code coverage, create ActiveX controls and more. Further included is a graphical debugger.
Compounds, BMW Z4
Word Twiddle ($2) includes over 53,000 words that have been broken down into lists that compliment each other are supposed to help stimulate different ideas. Users can choose to display from one to three different words and pick a different category for each word. The application includes over 50 lists such as "Actions," "Motion," "Social" and "Thinking."
Toshiba to upsale YouTube
Toshiba is developing technology to integrate into its future TVs and DVD players that would boost the quality of YouTube videos, says Pocket-Lint. The Friday news comes from Toshiba UK head Andy Bass, who got a sneak peek at the technology on a Toshiba TV while in Japan and spoke to a group of journalists at the company's spring launch event in Weybridge.
Trans Intl ships new RAM
Trans International has announced it is carrying RAM modules for the 2009 Mac Pro, making them the second independent carrier to provide an alternative to Apple's factory options. They join OWC in offering 1066MHz DDR3 PC8500 72-bit memory upgrades for the new Nehalem-chip Mac Pro models introduced last week. The new RAM chips meet all the JADEC & RoHS standards and conform to Apple's thermal, mechanical and electrical design specifications, and the thermal EEPROM is installed.
CyberPower Xtreme 3D PCs
CyberPower on Friday launched a duo of game PCs that all center on bundled GeForce 3D Vision glasses and Samsung's 120Hz, 22-inch 2233RZ LCD display needed to see the extra visual depth. They also both come with a GeForce GTS 250 video card that produces mid-range 3D capable of driving a stereoscopic 3D image.
Pimp iPod charger
SiK has launched the Pimp, a new iPod car charger that enables audio output through car speakers. A 3.5mm jack is present on the dock connector, while the power supply is compatible with most 12V sockets and based on a replaceable fuse. Housing is rendered in anodized aluminum and stainless steel, and the charger comes equipped with three feet of cable. Although compatible with most iPods from the fourth generation or later, SiK notes that it does not support the iPod shuffle.
Sony workers hold boss
Workers at a Sony manufacturing plant in France, which is due to close on April 17th, held Sony France president Serge Foucher overnight on Thursday against his will because they were not happy with their severance packages. Foucher was released on Friday morning, but escorted him straight to the negotiating table with trade union officials. The Pontonx-sur-l'Adour plant closure in southwest France, which has been making videotapes since 1984, is affected by Sony's December announcement that it would cut 16,000 jobs worldwide.
Sony Ericsson speakers
A user at the French forum Planete-se dedicated to Sony Ericsson products has posted photos and preliminary impressions of a new external speaker designed in part for the phone maker's just-released W995 (pictured) and other Walkman-series phones. The MS-410 portable speaker system doubles as a stand for the handsets, to better aim the speakers at users. The user did report, however, that the prototype speaker system is still suffering from a few bugs, with the volume buttons doing nothing for the sound intensity but instead controlling tracks.
Keynote 3D Stuff 2.0
iPresentee has released Keynote 3D Stuff 2.0, an updated package of 3D images meant for Apple's Keynote, iWeb and Pages. Expanding on the previous version, which contained 70 images, the new Stuff package provides 45 more 3D objects for a total of 115. Each object is designed for Keynote presentations measuring up to 1024x768, and Pages or iWeb documents of any size.
Monster iPod shuffle Plans
Monster Cable today pledged new versions of its headphones that would support the third-generation iPod shuffle. The company's existing Beats and Turbine headphones, as well as unspecified new models, will all get an in-line control to navigate tracks as well as to trigger VoiceOver. An adapter is also planned to let any headphone from any company share the same features.
Kaufman on iPhone 3.0
The third-generation iPod shuffle may signal where Apple is headed with future iPod and iPhone concepts, says Kaufman Bros'. Shaw Wu. The Shuffle now incorporates VoiceOver technology, used to identify tracks and support multiple playlists. Such developments may show where Apple is headed with future firmware, Wu proposes.
RBC Upgrades Palm
Palm's designs for the Pre and webOS have spurred RBC analyst Mike Abramsky today to upgrade his rating of Palm's stock, indicating that the smartphone creator may be a takeover target due to its appeal versus the iPhone. He now expects Palm to outperform market expectations and specifically cites the Pre's hardware and software advantages as potentially leading other companies to consider a buyout. Estimates would put the company's worth at about $15 to $16 per share, or about twice the going rate for Palm's stock.
TESO outs Air-like netbook
China's TESO has recently introduced a 12.1-inch notebook that mimics the styling, if not the performance, of the Apple MacBook Air. The portable PC has more cooling vents than the real deal, though processing power comes from an Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM. Storage is likely in the form of a 250GB hard drive. The operating system for the computer is not known, though the expected basement-level price excludes the possibility of a Windows OS and most likely points to Linux.
Bell threatens Can. gov't.
Bell may refuse to upgrade to next-generation networks if the Canadian government does not concede to demands, a statement from the company proposes. The country's telecommunications regulator, the CRTC, recently issued a ruling that would require the company to open up its next-generation networks to competitors. Bell is only one of two national Internet service providers in Canada however, and would likely gain no more than diminished profits if forced to cope with competition.
Metal Gear Solid Touch
Konami has set an official release date for Metal Gear Solid Touch, the iPhone and iPod touch title based on the console game. The plot follows the same theme as Metal Gear Solid 4, but without the stealth capabilities of the Playstation 3 variant. Gamers shoot targets while navigating through the setpieces, with pinch input controlling zoom.
US Cellular may Sell Self
US Cellular's owner TDS is being pushed to sell the company to a major carrier, multiple sources have said to Reuters. Shareholder groups like Gamco Investors and Southeastern Asset Management are both claimed to be pressuring TDS to open itself to deals in the face of crumbling market share and a likely inability to upgrade its network beyond its current 3G speeds. The two financiers combined hold nearly 30 percent of TDS' stock and so may lead a proxy war to force management to strike a deal.
New Final Cut in April?
Apple is indeed on the verge of releasing a new version of Final Cut Studio, new sources are said to corroborate. Although some sources have suggested than an updated Final Cut Studio suite could be announced on March 24th, people "familiar with the company's plans" are said to indicate that Apple is timing a release around the National Association of Broadcasters expo, scheduled for late April. Apple and some other major companies are not attending NAB, but the event is known for bringing major video-related product unveilings.
Analyst on BBerry Risk
Analyst Mike Burton of ThinkEquity warned on Friday that Research in Motion is likely to suffer on the verge of a likely price war. Advising investors to sell their stock, Burton understands that carriers and competition are pushing even high-end phone makers like RIM, Apple and HTC to drop the prices on their phones and that RIM's BlackBerries are likely to struggle without significant price cuts. Although the Canadian phone maker already has budget models as well as premium devices, these weren't considered enough.
Video Genius feature delay
A key advertised feature of iTunes 8.1 is missing, users have noted. Promised in the recent update was an extension of the Genius sidebar, which would offer recommendations for movies and TV shows as well as music. The Genius button currently disappears completely, however, when selecting either of the video sections within iTunes.
HTC Maple May Show CTIA
HTC's Maple could not only get an early debut but could become ubiquitous in the US, a leak from the Economic Daily News says. The newspaper believes the Windows Mobile smartphone will be launched at next month's CTIA phone expo and that HTC is discussing bringing the phone to at least four unnamed US carriers. Such a deal would likely mean both CDMA and GSM versions of the phone available in the country.
First Look: Livescribe Mac
Taking notes can be a real chore. While writing down an important point or copying a diagram, it can be easy to miss a speaker's next topic. Livescribe's Pulse Smartpen is designed to solve these problems, by recording both a user's notes and the corresponding audio. Previously available only for Windows users, Livescribe has just released its Desktop software for the Mac, giving users the ability to view, share and search their handwritten notes, drawings and audio recordings.
New Samsung Lucido phone
Samsung UK on Friday announced the upcoming release of a new candybar handset, the Lucido. The name translates to "sleek" from Italian, and the slim, 0.46-inch (11.8mm) thick body is covered in brushed aluminum. The set's standout features include a 2.2-inch AMOLED screen that produces richer colors, an assisted GPS sensor that uses Google Maps, and 3G network support over HSPA for fast downloads and web browsing.
V-MODA AVC iPod shuffle
V-MODA on Friday acted quickly to support Apple's third-generation iPod shuffle by revealing a new line in the works to support the new player. The Audio Visual Control (AVC) series will add in-line control for the play, skip, volume and VoiceOver features of the player while improving the audio quality and, reportedly, the style versus Apple's pack-in earbuds. It should also work with other late 2008 iPods as well as unibody MacBooks.
Messenger for Mac 8 leak
An internal beta build of Microsoft's Messenger for Mac 8 has leaked online, according to reports. The early version of the instant messaging app is described as extremely unstable, crashing as often as four times in the space of 10 minutes of testing. It is also unable to permanently save settings, including even basic items such as user photos.
Symbian OS Ramps Up
The Symbian Foundation late Thursday outlined a release schedule for its core mobile OS that should impact its future. Each version will take just six months between being feature-complete and being "hardened," or brought to a reliable and finished state. Releases will overlap such that a substantially new version of Symbian will always be available in similar intervals for the public.
Kyocera X-tc and JAX
Virgin Mobile has without fanfare added a pair of Kyocera phones to its roster. Of the two, the X-tc is the most advanced and has a lateral, slide-out QWERTY keyboard for heavy-duty IM and SMS messaging. It also brings features that are still less common on Virgin phones, like a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth with stereo audio, dedicated music controls and microSD storage. It should be available today and sell for $99 prepaid.
Sirius XM iPhone app
After avoiding declaring bankruptcy last month, Sirius XM has announced plan to stream its subscription radio service to the iPhone and iPod touch this spring as part of the company's latest fiscal results conference call. The new app will let either Apple device receive Sirius or XM stations over their Internet connections without requiring a separate radio. Currently, Sirius has roughly 19 million subscribers, an improvement of about 10 percent from last year, but is being significantly slowed by plunging car sales and the absence of radios.
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