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Dice speaker for iPod
Buffalo and Kokuyo have partnered to release the Otokoro iPod mini-dice speaker (model: BSSP05I). Designed to resemble small dice, each speaker stands 28mm in-width by 28mm in-height, and offers 1W output and 160Hz-20kHz frequency response. In order to use the speaker, simply set the iPod onto the dock connector, and the device works off the iPods power supply. In addition, users can adjust the volume of the speakers by pressing the top buttons near the dock.
C&C: Red Alert 3 for Mac
TransGaming has launched the Mac version of its Command & Conquer: Red alert 3, real-time strategy war game. After being previously released for Windows last year, the game takes place in an alternate history of Earth, where the Soviet Union has gone back in time and assassinated Albert Einstein before the creation of technologies, in order to weaken the Allies power. The assassination is successful, but in doing so, a third world power has now risen up called the Rising Sun, and poses a threat to both the Allies and Soviet Union.
Sigma DP2 pre order
Amazon is now taking pre-orders for Sigma's DP2 pseudo-DSLR camera. The device, first seen in September, features the same 14-megapixel FOVEON X3 image sensor that is found in the company's SD14 DSLR. The DP2 follows the DP1 and is claimed to offer most of the capabilities of a full-fledged DSLR but in a compact package. A 24.2 mm F2.8 lens provides Super Multi Layer Coating to battle against ghosting and flares.
Young talks up iPhone
Neil Young, co-founder of ngmoco, praised the iPhone during his keynote address at the Game Developers Conference, according to Gamasutra. "Our love affair with the iPhone began by simply touching it," he said. "This was rapidly becoming the most important device I had ever owned, it was an all-encompassing, complete device. And I knew that that device was going to enable incredible things for gaming."
New Yorker, HandyMan
Cha-Ching ($3) is a tool that can help manage a budget. Users can enter their expenses and set up a monthly budget to track these against. The application also features options for securing data with a password, tracking spending across custom categories, tracking income and expenses across multiple accounts and syncing transactions to a Mac with Cha-Ching 2.
iPod ponzi scheme
Within days of an arrest involving 9,000 fraudulently obtained iPods, a second iPod-related scam has surfaced, according to the Miami Herald. A Miami-based businessman, Andres Leonel Pimstein, has been sentenced for running a $50 million investment scam at the University of Miami campus dating back to 2005. Pimstein pleaded guilty to a number of wire-fraud charges late last year, leading to a 17-year prison sentence. He must also surrender over 5,000 iPods and an investment account worth over $138,000.
EarMaster ApS has expanded its line of music training software to include EarMaster Essential 5. The program offers the core features of the Pro variant, but at a lower price. Over 130 progressive lessons are included, with styles ranging from classical music to rock or jazz. Exercises are designed to teach users how to identify and play intervals, chords and rhythms.
DealNN: FD 1TB hard drive
Today's featured deal of the day from DealNN is on the Fantom Drives G-Force 1TB external hard drive. This hard drive is priced at $109.99 which is $14.96 off the list price of $124.95, and for a limited get an additional $20 off with a mail in rebate offer that drops the final price down to $89.99. This drive provides data transfer rates of up to 60MB per second and features an aluminum casing to provide maximum durability as well as fan-less design for silent operation.
LaCie Blue Eye Pro Proof
LaCie on Monday announced the release of its LaCie Blue Eye Pro Proof Edition monitor calibration and profiling tool for graphics professionals. Meant for use with LaCie's 300/500 Series monitors, it will automatically set the hardware to a user's target colorimetric settings, and can create and activate an ICC profile that maintains consistency throughout. This then allows new monitors to be matched by using the saved Profile. Users can also certify their colors with a single click, allowing for color-accurate reproduction that will make them ideal for soft-proofing.
Samsung wins Sharp lawsuit
The long-standing legal battle over a patent related to liquid crystal displays between Samsung and Sharp has been settled, as a Tokyo court upheld Samsung's countersuit, filed back in 2007. Samsung noted on Friday that allegations in a June countersuit were upheld in a Japanese courtroom.
Sharp green AQUOS HDTVs
Sharp Japan on Monday announced the forthcoming release of it's AQUOS A-series LCD HDTVs, made up of the 40-inch LC-40AE6, 46-inch LC-46AE6 and 52-inch LC-52AE6. All share the same 1920x1080 resolution 120Hz speed panels, a 15,000:1 contrast ratio and 450cd/m2 brightness rating while being very energy-efficient. According to Sharp, the 52-inch set uses 175kW/h over the course of a year, while the 46-inch will use up 145kW/h and the 40-inch model 120kW/h.
Espresso 1.0 released
Amazon to offer VOD HD
Amazon may be readying the launch of an HD video download service of popular TV shows via its Video On Demand (VOD) service, according to built web pages that are not yet available to the public. While nothing is official, Google search bots have indexed the pages that offer the content, which show each episode will cost $2.99 to download and keep. Another cached page reveals users will be able to purchase HD TV Passes, making watching a TV show's entire season less costly than paying for each individual episode. This 'bulk discount' will include all past and future episodes of a TV show in HD, although users will have to endure a short though unspecified wait after each episode airs on TV before they can be downloaded via Amazon.
Samsung N110 netbook
Samsung on Monday has unveiled its N110 10.2-inch netbook, which is based on the company's existing NC10 portable PC but features a few key improvements. Now doubling its netbook offerings, Samsung has widened the touchpad and replaced the battery with a six-cell, 5900mAH unit that offers about 50 minutes more rated life than the current 5,200mAH unit, which supplies roughly 7 hours and 24 minutes. The body has also been slightly tweaked, now featuring a glossy lid with a red border.
Vuze has released an update to its BitTorrent client and media player. Version 4.2 can now be used to automatically convert videos to formats required for the iPhone, iPods, Apple TV, PS3 and Xbox 360. iTunes, PS3 and Xbox 360 are each auto-detected, showing up under a list of devices in a new sidebar. Video files can then be dragged and dropped from the library or desktop and onto the appropriate device.
AT&T union strike approved
The majority of the 112,500 unionized workers at AT&T gave their union leaders permission on Monday to call a strike during the negotiations for a new contract with their employer. Less than two weeks ago, a strike was predicted to be likely and is now one step closer to fruition, as the majority of the contracts in question for landline division employees expire on April 4th. AT&T, the largest employer of union workers, aims to have employees pay more of their healthcare costs, among other cuts in the contracts.
TomTom Licenses Linux
GPS device maker TomTom on Monday took defensive measures against Microsoft's patent lawsuit by officially licensing Linux from the Open Invention Network. The move gives TomTom access to OIN's patents and puts it under a "shielded" ecosystem where it can use the open-source OS with less risk of legal threats. TomTom isn't required to pay royalties but also promises not to use any of its own patents against Linux as a whole.
Rogers iPhone plans vanish
Some Canadian iPhone subscribers are suddenly finding themselves overcharged for their data usage, a customer complaint received by MacNN suggests. The customer notes that as with a number of Canadians, he signed up to Rogers Wireless' initial data plan for the iPhone 3G, which cost $30 per month for 6GB. Several months later however a bill for "hundreds of dollars" was received, a result of the original data plan having mysteriously disappeared from his account.
AllSecure 1.2 ($25) is a program that allows users to store all sensitive data in one, encrypted location. The software uses 256-bit AES encryption that helps ensure that personal data is kept private. The update has added a new email item type for securely storing sensitive emails. [Download - 4.6MB]
LG X120 netbook info
Korea's LG on Monday released some more information on its 10-inch X120 series of netbooks, first introduced in February. Due to include the X120-L76LK and X120-L76PK models, the pair will sport the Smart ON OS that sports a 7-second boot time for quick access to e-mail, a music player, the Internet and other often-accessed applications. The 10.1-inch screens sport 1024x600 resolution and are LED-backlit. The vanilla-colored netbooks will also weigh in at under 2.8lbs, though the differences between them have not been specified.
Ericsson committed to Sony
The latest in the on-again off-again rumors of a split between Sony and Ericsson in their joint cell phone venture has the Dow Jones reporting that Sweden's Ericsson has no plans to get out of the venture, according to a Monday MocoNews story. Ericsson spokesperson Minako Nakatsuma Olofzon has dismissed the rumors and maintained that its relationship as part of Sony Ericsson is stable. "We are committed to the joint venture... we haven't changed our view on that," he said.
Intel Rejects Psion Claims
Intel has issued an official response to Psion's countersuit accusing it of infringing on the "netbook" trademark. The semiconductor company's objections, filed late last week, reject the basic claim that Psion is actively selling any of its old Netbook models; Psion's own website lists 2003's Netbook Pro as a discontinued product and contradicts its own claims, Intel said. The firm also insists that it had tried filing for a trademark on "netbook" but that it hadn't been aware of an existing trademark.
COLLADA for modo 401
Developer Luxology has announced a upcoming COLLADA plug-in for its imminent 3D rendering suite, modo 401. COLLADA is an XML scheme, used to ensure that art output created with one program can be edited by another, where normally filetypes would be incompatible. The plug-in will support layered transform stacks, and text profiles of modo items, channels and animation envelopes.
ATT on New iPhone
AT&T has reportedly made statements supporting a new, faster iPhone in the June timeframe. Citing one or more unnamed executives at the provider as "100% confirmed" sources, BGR hears the new iPhone will be unveiled "around mid-June" and that speed should be a particular focus. It's suggested that this may include (but wouldn't be limited to) AT&T's planned 7.2Mbps 3G upgrades that should roughly double the theoretical peak download speed on AT&T's network.
Mac OS X 10.5.7 speech
The next update to Mac OS X, v10.5.7, should bring with it updated speech support, developer sources say. The newly-seeded 9J34 build of the OS is said to contain enhancements to Leopard's speech dictionary, though specific details have not been disclosed. The changes may reflect an increased emphasis on synthesis, as evidenced by recent changes to iTunes needed to support the third-generation iPod shuffle.
Chen on ASUS Fold/Unfold
The concept ASUS Fold/Unfold notebook PCs will see mass production in the second half of this year, company CEO Jerry Shen said when speaking to TechRadar in a Friday report. Chen also said the notebook will create a new category, not unlike the MacBook Air, thanks to its stylish, unique and functional design. The notebook will be a more affordable PC alternative to the MacBook Air, with Chen promising it will be available between September and October with prices expected to fall between $1,000 and $1,500.
US Sony Ericsson head gone
After a three-year tenure, the current president of Sony Ericsson's North American division is leaving the company, an announcement reveals. Najmi Jarwala is officially said to be leaving Sony Ericsson USA in order to "pursue other career opportunities." Filling in for Jarwala as of April 1st will be the executive VP of Sony Ericsson, Anders Runevad, who will have to split his responsibilities until a permanent replacement for Jarwala can be found.
Acer 11.6-inch Aspire One
Another netbook PC is nearing a shipping date, as Acer is reportedly preparing a new generation Aspire One netbook with a larger, 11.6-inch, 16:9 screen. The new model's redesign would give it a 1366x768 resolution and a full-sized keyboard that sports flat keys. Under the revised skin and larger body, the new Aspire One would also have a newer Z500 series 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU paired with an integrated GMA500 graphics processor that combined should extend its battery life and improve its overall performance
Channel 4 iPhone 3.0 fund
UK broadcaster Channel 4 has set up a special fund for iPhone 3.0 development, according to an announcement. As a part of its 4 Innovation for the Public (4iP) project, the company is setting aside £100,000 (approximately $145,760) for developers looking to build games and other iPhone apps that serve its public purposes. Individual development groups will be able to claim up to £30,000, though it is likely that actual payouts will be substantially less. Opportunities for grant proposals are slated to close on April 16th.
Vista at 30pc Market Share
Microsoft's Windows Vista has finally crossed the 30 percent mark in share this week, according to StatCounter data. The milestone came more than two years after the operating system was released and at the expense of Windows XP, which has dipped below 58 percent at the same time. Both Microsoft platforms have had similar growth curves over the first several weeks of 2009 and show that most new adoptees of Vista are those trading up from older Windows PCs.
Apl. Bluetooth set dropped
Apple has stopped selling its official Bluetooth headset for the iPhone, store listings reveal. Though the product's page exists, and it can still be added to online shopping carts, Apple has newly marked the device as "discontinued." The headset was first launched with the original iPhone in June of 2007, and dropped in price from $129 to $99 in 2008, while also losing its bundled dual-dock.
M-Audio debuts monitors
Avid's M-Audio is expanding its Studiophile monitor series with new mid-range line. Starting at $400, the CX-5 and CX-8 speakers fit between the company's entry-level BX line and its high-end Studiophile DSM Monitors. The new units include kevlar low-frequency woofers and silk-dome tweeters powered by built-in class A/B amplifiers.
17-inch edu iMac continues
Sales of an older 17-inch iMac will continue, an Apple newsletter indicates. Although Apple has publicly scrapped 17-inch options in favor of 20- and 24-inch sizes, the plastic 17-inch iMac launched in 2006 can still be bought through educational channels for $899. The price is said to match that of the defunct eMac, which also targeted educational buyers and disappeared as Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel processors.
Bigfoot Killer Xeno
Bigfoot on Monday introduced its first true sequels to its controversial Killer K1 Ethernet card. The Xeno Pro and Xeno Ultra both get more headroom over the PCI Express bus and use a new, more generalized Freescale processor. Besides still reportedly reducing network lag, it also takes on hardware processing for some dedicated VoIP clients and reduce the system overhead from running voice chat at the same time as a game.
Nokia 7205 Intrigue at VZW
Verizon today made the rare addition of a Nokia phone to its stable in the 7205 Intrigue. The clamshell is a stylized music phone with a stealth external display and controls, a seamless back and a gradient-effect keypad. Functionally, it brings a 2-megapixel camera with a dedicated capture button and flash, a media player with support for Real Rhapsody music, and a microSDHC slot that supports up to 8GB of storage. Stereo Bluetooth allows wireless headphones.
ARM Mali 200 and 400
ARM today said it should be the first to have truly console-like graphics on smartphone-grade devices. Detailing its plans to PC World ahead of this week's Game Developers' Conference, the company said its upcoming Mali-200 and Mali-400 chips will both have improved pure performance but will also support OpenGL ES 2.0. The mobile video standard is based on programmable shaders (effects instructions) that allow complex visuals like water ripples without overly complex code paths.
iPhone dnld. cap dying?
An arbitrary size limit on cellular app and podcast downloads could disappear with the release of the iPhone 3.0 firmware, a developer suggests. Although iPhone owners are currently able to stream audio and video podcasts without restriction, a 10MB limit exists on individual files obtained through EDGE or 3G, rendering all but the shortest podcasts inaccessible on the road. Using the iPhone 3.0 beta however, a developer says he has been able to download a 138MB Diggnation episode.
Palm Delay Rumor
Palm's smartphones beyond the Pre may be delayed if a story in Taiwan's Commercial Times proves true. The company's believed contractor for two unknown smartphones, Compal, has reportedly pushed back shipments for the mystery devices from mid-year until the end of the year. A switch in components for newer, faster Qualcomm chips is said to have prompted the delay.
Logitech Harmony PS3 Adapt
Logitech this weekend confirmed that it's developing an adapter to let its Harmony remotes work with Sony's PlayStation 3. The peripheral will convert the Harmony's IR signal to Bluetooth and will let users with mixed home theaters treat it like any other hardware in the setup, including power functions, playing movies and synchronizing with other devices in activity macros. It won't require a USB port for its own power, Logitech said.
Samsung NC310 Netbook
Samsung today quickly followed up on the recent launch of the NC20 by launching its third major netbook. The NC310 tries to capture attention through a much bolder design with all-rounded edges, bright colors and a very conspicuous Samsung logo. It also joins ASUS, Sony and others in adopting an edge-to-edge "chiclet" keyboard rather than smaller and typically scalloped keys.
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