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Kung Fu Panda game ships
GameTreeOnline has released Kung Fu Panda: the game, with 13 levels including content from both the movie and new settings. The game allows players to battle against Tai Lung and his minions, navigate unique environments, and overcome obstacles on a quest to become the legendary Dragon Warrior. Locations from the movie are in the game, like Jade Palace, the Training Dojo, and Wudang Mountains, along with never-before-seen places such as the mystical Lake of Tears and the Training Ground of Tai Lung.
Vonage Companion ships
Vonage has launched Vonage Companion for the Mac, allowing Mac users to access their Vonage number from a Mac while on the go. The Companion software can utilize a computer's built-in speakers and microphone, with a range of services including conference calling, call recording and call blocking. Using Vonage on a notebook when traveling is free in the US and costs $.01 per minute internationally.
ThumbTacks now shipping
Switcheasy has launched ThumbTacks, an ultra-small microphone for the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G. The microphone attaches to the iPods's 3.5mm headphone jack and allows the media player to be used as a voice recorder. The ThumbTacks microphone is shaped like a thumbtack and measures 1.21 inches by .46 inches, using gold plating on the plug.
Ad Layout System 5.4
MEI has announced Page Director Ad Layout System 5.4, an update to its automatic ad-placing application. ALS helps simplify the ad layout process by interpreting information from a front-end booking system and then placing ads on the desired pages. The software enables control over editorial and advertising requirements and allows users to manage placement by advertising ratios and color press configuration. Version 5.4 features a new print designer, along with an upgrade that provides connectivity with MEI's Integrated Production Suite 4.5 software package.
MacBook hacked in seconds
For the second year in a row, Charlie Miller has won the Pwn2Own contest by hacking into a MacBook in less time than competitors, according to ZDNet. For the recent event, he quickly compromised Apple's fully patched notebook by exploiting a security vulnerability in Safari. "It took a couple of seconds," he said. "They clicked on the link and I took control of the machine."
Tables 1.5 update
Daniel Schwill on Wednesday released the latest version of his data spreadsheet application for the Mac, Tables 1.5. New features include a new cell format for currency, an additional region setting for the cell format, optimized layout for pie charts, and a LinkBack support as a client application. The update also includes changes to the OpenDocument format, that lead to improved import of documents, and the integration of a new exporter. Lastly, the update had made it possible for the default style for new documents to be changed, and has added support for multitouch-trackpad gesture swipe to switch the sheet.
Newber ceases development
FreedomVOICE Systems has announced that it will cease development of its Newber iPhone app, finally giving up after Apple has failed to provide an approval or denial after five months in the submission process. CEO Eric Thomas, in an open letter, expressed disappointment with the decision and the frustration with how the company has been treated by Apple. "I don't think it takes a genius to figure out that tarpitting us for six months by not talking to us at all will cause real harm," he said.
WeatherCal for the Mac
Bare Bones has launched WeatherCal, an application that adds current weather conditions and four-day forecast to iCal and the iPhone/iPod touch. WeatherCal is designed to create calendars which contain info on current and predicted weather conditions, and provides a system preferences panel to enable users to choose their preferred U.S. and international locations. Each calendar made by the program contains five days of weather data, which displays that day's specific date, followed by the next four.
Peek Pronto teaser
Peek briefly posted a teaser for Pronto on its Peek for Business site, although the page was quickly removed. Additional details were not provided, but rumors suggest the Pronto could represent an upcoming e-mail device geared for business users. "We're introducing Peek Pronto - It includes some additional features and services that will make Peek mobile email even better," read the Google search description, although the same information could not be found on the business site or the cached page.
Webbla, Willow, JigSaw
Involer 1.2 ($20) is an invoice building application that features support for multiple companies and clients. The software allows users to manage past an present invoices, search through an archive of your invoices and track which clients are up to date with their payments. Version 1.2 has added support for company logos and also allows users to add a full client address. The application also can now automatically create unique invoice numbers and includes several new preferences. [Download - 2.7MB]
Alpine ships PND-K3msn
Alpine Electronics on Tuesday notified the press that its latest in-car GPS system, the PND-K3msn is now available for purchase. The unit's 4.3-inch touchscreen can display real-time traffic, weather, gas price and movie showtime information thanks to its compatibility with the MSN Direct service, but is otherwise identical to the company's existing PND-K3 unit. As such, it has text-to-speech functionality, Bluetooth pairing with compatible devices, and a highway junction view that makes it harder to miss turn-offs at complex intersections.
MS outs Silverlight 3 Beta
At its MIX 09 developer and designer conference which kicked off on Wednesday, Microsoft released a beta version of its upcoming Silverlight 3 Internet media player. The Flash alternative is smaller in size than its Silverlight 2 predecessor, at 4.4MB, and aims to improve on the earlier software which launched in full build four months ago. Along with the player, the software giant release associated tools for developers, including the Software Development Kit (SDK) and various authoring programs.
Target to get PS3 bundle
Sony will reportedly begin shipping a new PlayStation 3 bundle to Target stores starting on March 29th, set to include an 80GB console along with what are now Greatest Hits; the original MotorStorm racing game and Resistance: Fall of Man shoot 'em up. MotorStorm dates back to March of 2007 and was bundled on its own with a PS3, while Resistance is even older, having launched in November of 2006. The bundle is perceived to be a weak attempt to make the system more appealing by adding value to it, as Sony still refuses to discount, despite current economic conditions and lower-priced Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii rivals.
iPhone 3 tethering
A developer has allegedly enabled tethering with the iPhone 3.0 beta operating system, after "hacking around" with APNs in the Carrier.bundle file, according to MacRumors. A new preference window indicates that users will be able to tether via USB or Bluetooth, effectively turning the iPhone into an external modem for desktop or notebook computers.
ConnectDots ($1) brings the experience of connect-the-dot style puzzles to the iPhone. The application includes sixteen different illustrations and when the outline has been discovered using the dots one can fill in the picture with various colors. Finished images can then be saved and shared with others or used as wallpaper on an iPhone or iPod touch.
Today's featured DealNN deals include external hard drives, Macs, and more. Apple's online store is offering the refurbished 2.2GHz MacBook for $999, a price cut of $200 off the original price of $1199. This MacBook features 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, Bluetooth, iSight webcam, Gigabit Ethernet and 8x SuperDrive.
Mamiya 33MP studio camera
Digital studio-grade photo camera maker Mamiya on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of its DL33 medium format camera. Reflecting its namesake and role, it has a 33-megapixel sensor sized at 36x48mm, or about twice the size of conventional full-frame DSLR cameras, with each pixel sized at 7.2 microns. The camera also has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, which Mamiya claims is the largest in the industry, and offers a high contrast for outdoor shooting.
Samsung rugged B2100
Samsung on Wednesday announced the upcoming release of its Xplorer B2100 candybar handset. Its design meets MIL-STD-810F specifications, making it resistant to dust, temperature extremes, shock and underwater submersion of three feet for up to 30 minutes. The quadband GSM handset offers basic functionality, as there is no 3G data network support, with just 7MB of built-in storage that is offset by a microSD memory card slot. The 1.77-inch screen has 120x160 resolution, while a 1.3-megapixel camera captures still and moving images.
Users want free web access
A survey of web surfers in Europe paid for by Google, Yahoo and Skype showed 90 percent of those polled want their Internet service providers to allow unrestricted access to the Internet, says a Wednesday report. The survey polled 944 consumers in France, Germany and the United Kingdom and was conducted by market research firm Synovate, and coincides with the ongoing process of the European Parliament and the EU's to invoke an Internet freedom law.
Apple trademark conflict
Apple's lawyers have issued a cease-and-desist letter to the accessory-maker Pivotal, claiming that the Podium iPhone stand infringes on the iPod trademark, according to Wired. The legal team argues that the word "Pod" has become commonly associated with the iPod, to the extent that using the prefix in Podium will confuse customers into falsely associating the product with Apple's line of media players.
JD Power call quality rise
The call quality among various wireless voice network providers has held steady over the last 18 months while the gap between the best performing networks and the worst is disappearing, says a recent JD Power and Associates report, though Verizon is still at the top of the list. On average, its customers have reported just 15 problems per 100 (PP100) calls as related to voice quality, the ability to make connections and the number of drops.
Laser boosts rural access
The University of Melbourne and NEC in Australia are working on developing a high-powered laser that would cut the costs of bringing high-speed Internet access to rural areas of the country over fiber. Dr. Ka Lun Lee and his colleagues at the University are conducting an experiment in the state of Victoria, where the service can be sent to 99 percent of residents. Results of their work will be presented next week at a fiber optics expo in San Diego.
comScore on Top Phones
Flagship, full touchscreen phones are the single largest sources of money for their respective US carriers, new data from comScore shows. In tracking sales through the companies' online websites, the research points to the iPhone as the top earner for AT&T in terms of sheer revenue and that similar effects are found for touch smartphones at most rivals. The BlackBerry Storm brings in the most for its exclusive host Verizon, while the Android-based G1 is T-Mobile's most rewarding device.
New Tuneband Touch colors
Grantwood has launched an assortment of new Tuneband colors for the iPod touch 2G. Also created for the iPod nano 4G and first-gen touch, the Tuneband is designed to help secure an iPod to a person's arm during exercise, while still providing access to the screen and buttons. Colors now available for the Touch 2G model include black, cloud/clear, navy blue, pink, red, teal blue and purple. Each Tuneband consists of a flexible armband strap, and a silicone skin that holds the iPod.
gridMathematica 7 ships
Wolfram Research has released gridMathematica 7, expanding the original Mathematica 7's built-in parallelization capabilities. Mathematica is computation software for modeling, simulation, visualization, development and documentation. gridMathematica adds extra computation kernels and automated network distribution tools, running more tasks in parallel, over more CPUs, with faster computation. The new software comes in three versions: gridMathematica Local, Server and Lightweight Grid Manager. The Local version has four additional kernels, allowing it to exploit the capacity of multi-core machines.
App Store listings broken
Apple has been lax in fixing a significant issue with the mobile App Store, a number of developers allege. The storefront's Release Date category is said to have been stuck for approximately a week, without any word from Apple on when the issue might be resolved. Sorting by date continues to function within iTunes.
Imagination Technologies fulfilled early promises by detailing its first multi-core, smartphone-class graphics chip in the PowerVR SGX 5XTSeries. The SGX543MP is now known to come in at least a dual-core version and scales up to 16 cores depending on the version; the change lets the graphics scale from low-power devices like small phones up to gaming consoles and other very 3D-intensive devices.
iPhone without contract
AT&T is set to offer the iPhone 3G without a subscription commitment or activation at the time of purcahse, according to an internal presentation posted by the Boy Genius Report. The new option will allow customers to buy the 8GB or 16GB handsets as gifts, although the terms restrict sales to just one device per line. The no-commitment price will only be available to existing AT&T subscribers.
FileMaker 10 Business Kits
FileMaker has produced two new versions of its Business Productivity Kit, updated for the recent FileMaker Pro 10. The kits are intended to provide pre-made tools for a number of business tasks, such as sorting inventory, processing orders and delivering bulk e-mail. The Standard edition of the software performs all of the above functions, and additionally tracks projects and production, while managing contacts and suppliers.
Rogers HUP Now Two Years
A Rogers internal notice obtained today by BGR suggests that existing iPhone owners may be asked to pay full price to upgrade for a likely hardware replacement this year. The Canadian cellular provider's memo notes that the period before a smartphone subscriber qualifies for the Hardware Upgrade Plan (HUP), or a discounted phone replacement, has been doubled from one to two years as of Tuesday. Only users of regular phones upgrading to smartphones are allowed to upgrade in an earlier timeframe.
Kaufman on iPhone 3.0
Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu has released an analysis of yesterday's iPhone 3.0 software preview, calling the new firmware "evolutionary," with six strong features. The announcements do not carry a big "wow" factor, says Wu, but are thought to be progressive, allowing the iPhone to evolve and stay ahead of competition. The firmware is also believed to be a precursor to new iPhone hardware, which could ship in the June or September quarters.
Shuttle outs X50 AIO PC
Shuttle on Wednesday released its X50 all-in-one PC from its Shuttle X Vision value line. It was first showed off at this year's CES show in Las Vegas. The 15.6-inch PC sports a 1366x768 resolution and can be hung on a wall like a picture frame thanks to its built-in handle that doubles as a stand. That stand can be removed, revealing a VESA mount. The X50 forgoes a keyboard -- though one can be connected -- and relies instead on a touchscreen interface.
Canon 500D on March 25th?
Canon's next Digital Rebel camera indeed due to be announced at the event scheduled for March 25th, a new source is said to claim. While the event itself has been confirmed, little else about possible announcements has been revealed other than a focus on cameras. The source suggests that the camera will not only be a Digital Rebel, but the EOS-500D, a successor to Canon's main line of low-end DSLRs. The company has more recently digressed with models like the Digital Rebel XSi.
Sony Buying Ericsson Stake
German magazine Manager claimed on Wednesday that Ericsson plans to back out of phone maker Sony Ericsson. The Swedish half of the partnership has reportedly brought up a split with Sony, which has "expressed interest" in talking to banks for help buying out Ericsson's 50 percent stake and leaving Sony in full control of the company.
locr plug-in for Aperture
locr has posted locr for Aperture 1.0, a new plug-in designed to upload photos and albums from Apple's Aperture workflow software. Similar to an earlier plug-in for iPhoto, the company's new one is meant to offer professional photographers the integration of locr's geophoto capabilities in post-production work.
Mien Software has released ScreenRecord Studio, an all-in-one screen capture and movie editing tool. Users can create presentations that combine stills, video and audio. Tools record on-screen actions, highlight key points using auto-panning, and merge audio via recorded voice-overs or imported music. Cameras can be changed live during capture, and during the post phase users can also add transitions to video.
Tiffen Dfx Essentials
Tiffen has announced a new image editing and enhancement tool for the Mac, Dfx Essentials. The software features 37 specialized filters and effects, and comes with hundreds of built-in presets plus the ability to create and save custom configurations. Dfx Essentials also sports a filter palette, and support for various filetypes.
Fujitsu on Wednesday claimed an achievement by launching the FLEPia. It not only claims the title of the first shipping device with a color e-paper screen, showing 260,000 colors at once on its 768x1024 display, but also supports touch input through a stylus. Users can read e-books and other documents but also browse the web, check e-mail, and edit Office documents thanks to an onscreen keyboard and built-in Wi-Fi.
Five granted Apple patents
Apple has been granted five new patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office, documents note. Among the more interesting to the public may be one for a unique iPod dock, shaped to fit a car's cupholder; the device would solve the problem of creating a solid mount in a car while potentially charging a player and/or feeding audio out of it. A spool could be included to keep cords organized, and sleeves could be supplied to cope with different cupholder sizes. As the patent was originally filed in 2005 however, Apple may be unlikely to turn it into an end product.
Dell 4210X Projector
Dell on Wednesday quietly updated its projectors and added the 4210X. The DLP-based system stands out through its rare inclusion of dual VGA connectors that lets two computers stay connected and thus switch seamlessly between presentations. It also caters to video viewing with HDMI input and a 10W stereo speaker system.
Needham on iPhone 3.0
The upcoming iPhone 3.0 firmware may serve as an essential lure for Apple, argues Needham analyst Charlie Wolf. The firmware will add a number of important software features, of which push notification and copy/paste are said to be the most critical. Such a strategy could be useful not only to Apple but to the entire smartphone industry, Wolf suggests.
IBM May Buy Sun
IBM is discussing a deal that could see it buy Sun Microsystems for about $6.5 billion, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The takeover would be worth twice as much as Sun's current stock value and would give IBM a significantly larger influence on Internet businesses, where both companies' preferences for open-source and cross-platform technologies like Linux and Java would give them better clout against Microsoft's closed software as well as give them further independence from Intel or other x86 hardware.
Intel SIMD Accelerator
Intel today gave an early glimpse at a technology it hopes will dramatically improve graphics in handheld devices. Referred to as a SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) Accelerator, the component would overcome some of the power and space limits by using technology borrowed from Intel's CPUs to let the graphics core perform many more tasks at once. It would not only speed up graphics, improving 3D and video, but would consume a tenth the power of typical accelerators and fit in tight spaces.
Psystar Open 3 Mac Clone
Undeterred by lawsuits, Psystar this morning launched the Open(3) as its latest overt Mac clone. The system drops the conventional mini-tower for a slimline shape but is technically faster: the stock model uses a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo desktop processor and now has the option of up to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Quad. Psystar further gives the clone space for a small dedicated graphics card and options for 802.11n Wi-Fi as well as three FireWire 800 ports or a USB Bluetooth adapter.
Logi Cooling Pad and Riser
Logitech early this morning dipped further into notebook-specific accessories with a pair of stands. The Cooling Pad N100 is built to lower the heat of a notebook either on a lap or a desk and is believed to improve on other active cooling stands: the N100 draws air from the back, to prevent objects from blocking airflow, and has guards to prevent dust. It relies solely on USB for power and will be available later this month for $30.
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