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EA Mobile has announced its Scrabble game for the iPhone and iPod touch now connects to the Facebook Scrabble application. By offering a connected version of the game, users can play head-to-head against anyone accessing the game on either Facebook or the iPhone/iPod touch. Players also receive scores and statistics which displays their rank against other players, and a built-in chat function that enables users to talk with friends and opponents during the game.
Seagate on Tuesday kicked off the launch of a new network-attached storage line in the form of the BlackArmor 400 series. The array is built to provide automated backup over RAID for home and small offices that might not necessarily have the resources to support a professional system, even with as many as 50 users. It uses simple drive cradles to hold as much as 8TB of storage in four bays, sports a built-in status LCD and lets users access the array's contents over the web without compromising the network's core security.
ProVUE has released Panorama Authorize.Net Gateway, a new plug-in software package for the companyís Panorama database program. The plug-in enables merchant credit card processing, and can automatically support all types of charges, refunds, voids, and pre-authorized credit card transactions. When making a transaction, all credit card information is pulled directly from the users Panorama database and processed through an internet-based payment processing network, Authroize.Net.
Aspyr in partnership with 2K games, has released the strategy-game Sid Meierís Civillization IV: Gold Edition for the Mac. The Gold Edition features both Civilization IV and the combat-focused Civilization IV: Warlords Expansion pack. In Civilization IV players lead a chosen nation from the year 4000 BC to the space age, in an attempt to take over the whole world. The latest edition of the Civilization series provides new tools and resources to help manage and expand the nationís growth, multiplayer modes, and mod capabilities.
The international team of developers working on Boxee are gathered in New York and to celebrate, a new version of the Boxee alpha has been released with additional content. The move also brings another round in Boxee's battle with Hulu. Boxee's new XUL-based browser framework imitates Mozilla's Firefox and makes it harder for Hulu to block access to Boxee users by preventing a simple ban; any block of Boxee's video feed would block Hulu's as well.
Freeverse has launched the war-based game Commander: Napoleon at War for the Mac, after being previously announced in January. The latest instalment in the Commander series is a high-level turn-based strategy game that provides the same gameplay mechanics as its predecessor, and takes place in the Napoleonic era. In addition to the mechanics, Napoleon at War offers several new features such as a more in-depth combat system, detailed victory conditions, looting, razing, and vassal states.
Wacom has released the Intuos4, the latest addition to the Intuos line of pen tablets. The company claims the device offers improved pressure sensitivity capable of recognizing 2048 individual levels, while the new tip sensor offers a near-zero starting pressure of one gram. The Grip Pen also features a pressure-sensitive eraser and two side switches that can be configured for commands such as double-click or right-click. An optional wide-body grip is also available.
In brief: Japplis has released a new series of web tools that allow users to apply various effects to photos through a web browser. The site can be used for free and does not require an account. e-on software has announced that its 3D world creation tool, Vue 7 Pioneer, will continue to be offered as a free application. The company has also released several new theme packs that add additional models and items to be used in the Vue applications. Meanwhile, Group Thing has recently finished a survey, finding that a large number of organizations are looking for options for integrating Macs into their Distributed File Systems. In response to this, demand Group Logic has released a public beta of its ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 software that includes additional support for the DFS architecture.
Adobe has released the latest version of its application- and multimedia-creation software, Director 11.5. The update adds a new audio engine that supports 5.1-channel surround sound, along with real-time audio mixing capabilities. Support for H.264 and RTMP-based streaming have also been added, allowing developers to integrate HD video content. Users can now import 3-D models from Google SketchUp and SketchUp 3-D.
A Chinese blog has posted images showing the user interface for Lenovo's 'OPhone.' The Android-based OS includes many design elements matching the iPhone's interface, including the icons' rounded-square shape, size and arrangement, the general color scheme and even the small circles indicating the current icon page. The touchscreen handset will feature a five-megapixel camera, microSD card slot and Bluetooth 2.0.
The Khronos Group has released an update to its graphics acceleration specification, OpenGL 3.1, while announcing a new project aimed at bringing 3D graphics to the Internet. The latest version of OpenGL offers an improved shading language, GLSL 1.40, with enhanced programmability, more efficient vertex processing, additional texturing functionality and improved buffer management.
JABMenu 2.1 ($15) provides quick access to Address Book data such as phone numbers, emails, and postal addresses. It can display the content in large type, copy it to the clipboard, create a new email, dial a phone number, or display an address on a map using the Google Maps service. Version 2.1 has added support for selecting multiple groups for menu inclusion and has also improved the handling of instant messaging actions. [Download - 1.2MB]
A Swiss company, MONEC Holding AG, has targeted Apple in yet another lawsuit involving the iPhone. The company claims the handset violates a patent entitled "Electronic device, preferably an electronic book." MONEC seeks triple compensatory damages, including lost profits, interest, attorneys fees and costs. The company also aims to receive royalties, along with the assessed value of Apple's gains, profits or benefits resulting from the patent infringement.
A pair of HSPA mobile broadband routers from Ericsson have just passed through the FCC, indicating the Swedish electronics maker will soon release them. The routers consist of the W30 Data Router (left) and the W35 Data and Voice Router (right). Either is capable of allowing access to HSPA, UMTS or GSM network data over a Wi-Fi or Ethernet home networks or share a USB-connected printer, with the W35 adding the capability of sending voice and fax information over the wireless data network.
Seven refurbished Mac models are currently being offered at Apple's online store for $1399 or less. Starting at $849 is the 20-inch 2.4GHz iMac with 1GB of memory and 250GB hard drive. The 2.66GHz iMac with 2GB of memory and 320GB hard drive is priced at $999. Also priced at $999 is the 1.6GHz MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive. For $1099 is the unibody 2.0GHz MacBook with 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive. The 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac is available with 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive for $1199. Next up is the 1.8GH MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 64GB solid-state drive for $1299. Lastly is the 2.4GHz unibody macbook with 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $1399.
Last.fm on Tuesday announced some parts of the world will see changes as to how the service works, as the service will no longer be offered free of charge. Subscribers in the US, UK and Germany are not affected by this change, however. Users in all other countries will now need to pay a Ä3 (about $4) monthly fee, but all features of the service, including scrobbling, recommendations, charts, biographies, events, videos and others will remain in place. To hook subscribers, Last.fm will offer a 30-track free trial in the affected countries.
iPhone and iPod touch games form the largest bulk of titles nominated for this year's Independent Games Festival Mobile awards, listings reveal. Three out of the five Best Game finalists (Smiles, Edge and Fieldrunners) work on Apple handhelds, and face competition only from Wardive for the Nintendo DS and Cubic Republic for phones with Flash Lite. iPhone games in fact completely control three other categories, including not just a dedicated one but the Art and Audio Achievement sections.
Mitsubishi on Tuesday confirmed that its flagship LaserVue HDTV is back in production after a near month-and-a-half stoppage in the 65-inch TV's manufacture. The company reported back in mid-February that it would temporarily stop building the laser TV model due to issues with the manufacturing equipment used in its creation.
Samsung on Tuesday announced it will soon release the N120 netbook, which shares its body and many other components with the N110 spotted just yesterday. There are some improvements on Samsung's third 10.1-inch netbook, including a 2.1-channel SRS sound system that sports two 1.5W speakers and a dedicated subwoofer. The touchpad is also larger than in Samsung's first NC10 netbook, while the keyboard is larger, sized just like ones from a 12-inch notebook PC.
Hitachi on Tuesday announced it will soon begin shipping a new internal hard drive, the Ultrastar C10K, which has an emphasis on low energy consumption as it consumes just 3.4W at idle and 6.1W while operational; the drive as a whole uses 65 percent less power overall. The fast drives, available in 147GB and 300GB capacities, sport a 6Gbps SAS interface, 64MB buffer memory and 10,000rpm disk speeds. Both versions are deemed suitable for home office use, as they emit just 29dB of noise.
Despite Friday's update that had the Nokia E71x smartphone on-track to becoming available at AT&T stores on Tuesday, the handset has apparently been delayed to a much later, unspecified date up to eight weeks or more away. The apparent reason for the delay seems to be an issue with the e-mail Exchange synchronizing feature, which now requires new firmware.
Deals at DealNN today include iPods, storage, Macs and more. Most noteworthy today is a deal on the second-generation 2GB iPod shuffle in blue. It is priced at $39 at eCost.com, which is $20 less than Apple charges for this refurbished model. It holds up to 500 songs and can get up to 12 hours of continuous playback on a single charge.
Samsung will launch an alternative to Amazon's Kindle 2 e-book reader as soon as June in Korea before coming to the UK and the US, the company said in a report on Tuesday. The device will be available in a number of colors and sport a stylus for navigating its content, which will be stored on the built-in 512MB of memory. Apart from displaying books, the device will also be capable of producing notes in a diary and memo taker, contain a world clock, calculator and contacts.
Korean telecommunications provider SK Telecom is rumored to be entering the handset manufacturing market via affiliate SK Telesys, which officially announced plans to enter the phone manufacturing business. Local Korean media reports SK Telecom has created a team called G Project to develop innovative and original platforms and user interfaces that would be of the same scope to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android. G Project is working closely with handset manufacturer HTC, and many believe the Taiwanese hardware manufacturer is the top choice for a partner. SK Telecom paved the way for HTC to sell its hardware in Korea.
NVIDIA is developing an updated hybrid graphics and system chipset that may be used for ultraportables based on Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage platform, according to leaks. Known as MCP89E, it would be compatible with existing designs and Centrino 2-era processors but would consume less power than the existing model, in part by strategically reducing the feature set. The new platform would support only 8 PCI Express lanes instead of 20 and drop support for both regular PCI as well as DDR2 memory, instead preferring DDR3 alone.
KarmaStar ($5) is a tactical card game that challenges players to maneuver through life against two opponents in just eight turns. Players have eight turns to build up five personal traits -- Health, Mind, People, Love, and Money -- and overcome obstacles from different stages of life. The game can be played alone against AI opponents or against two other players via a WiFi connection.
The $30, 6GB data plan remains available for iPhones bought through Canada's Rogers, a customer care worker claims. Although originally offered as an early promotion, the plan is still said to be available, in spite of a lack of publicity and allegations of massive overcharges if a user's account information is suddenly changed. The plan is in fact said to be available with any Windows Mobile smartphone on a three-year contract as well, the main caveat being that shoppers may have to ask for it.
Pentax on Tuesday served both the very high and very low ends of its audience with more details on its first true medium-format digital camera as well as two special editions of its mainstream digital SLRs. Teased as early as 2007, the 645 Digital (shown) is now set to be the company's sharpest-ever camera and should produce at least a 30-megapixel image. It should also accept any of the film-based 645's lenses and should have a large and likely full-view eyepiece. Pentax will show a prototype at the Photo Imaging Expo in late March and now says the finished 645 Digital is due in 2010.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined the advisory board of DeepDyve, a research company involved with technology for the deep web. "The Deep Web holds an almost limitless wealth of data, yet most of that information is collecting dust because nobody's come up with a way to mine the data in a way that's useful to researchers and consumers," said Wozniak. "The company has the potential to transform Deep Web search, and I'm excited to help bring about that transformation."
After a brief postponement, Apple has at last enabled Genius video recommendations within iTunes. When browsing personal movie or TV show collections, the Genius Sidebar will now suggest videos to buy from the iTunes Store, based on information uploaded to Apple and compared against the purchases of others. The option can be toggled on and off, in the same manner as Genius for music recommendations.
The OnLive gaming console concept has been billed today by its founders, former Atari employee Steve Perlmann and one-time Eidos worker Mike McGarvey, as the future of gaming. The idea focuses on a very small gaming console that has no built-in hardware processing and would be less costly than Nintendo's Wii. What's more, it would be future-proof, letting users play newer games without requiring any upgrades. Instead, the OnLive console would need to connect to the Internet and access gaming data from a remote server via the OnLive service.
IOGEAR today slipped out a two-port Printer Auto Sharing Switch that it says is the first to truly recognize both Macs and Windows PCs at the same time. The peripheral lets two computers of either platform share any USB printer and automatically detects whichever system is requesting a print job. Power is handled entirely over the USB bus for the switch, which needs a minimum of either Mac OS X Panther or Windows 200 and ships today for $40.
Apple has expanded the shipping options for its online store, now allowing customers to ship gifts to friends or family in different countries. The new service applies to the full catalog of iPod and Mac products, along with customized options such as iPod engraving and gift messaging. Customers must place orders from the Apple Online Store of the destination country.
The 27 countries that make up the European Union agreed on Tuesday to cut cellphone roaming charges for tourists in Europe, proposing a cap of roaming calls at 35 cents a minute beginning in 2011. Currently, the cost of a one-minute call of a French subscriber making a phone call in England, for example is 45 cents, though it's due to drop to 43 cents later in 2009. By mid 2010, that rate will drop to 39 cents, all part of a process that began in 2007 as European tourists complained of being taken advantage of when traveling outside of their home countries.
Relative fledgling company mintpass has revealed that it intends to launch its mintpad mini tablet outside of its native Korea, potentially including the US. The device centers on a nearly 2.9-inch touchscreen and is unique outside of Apple devices in focusing as much on its Internet features as on media playback. Likely using a Wi-Fi connection, it can not only browse the web with full Adobe Flash but also has a heavy community component with blogging and IM among its features. Streaming Internet video is equally an option.
Cellphone carrier China Unicom is now hosting images and specifications for the iPhone 3G -- as well as the Android-based G1 -- on one of its websites, reports observe. The content is only associated with the Shanghai branch at the moment, and does not suggest any sales information, such as release dates. Animations also inaccurately depict the iPhone as supporting payments through near-field communication.
Computer giant Acer is due to release an Android-powered handset as soon as September, according to an official at the Taiwanese company speaking to the Business Mirror. Due to be called the A1, the touchscreen cellphone may be just one of two devices from Acer to run on the Google-developed platform, as per an earlier report. The Acer executive, who wishes to remain nameless as he's not authorized to speak publicly regarding this, offered that the company will release four handset models in September.
Lenovo has debuted two new workstation PCs, the ThinkStation S20 and D20. The computers are intended for professional purposes such as CAD and graphics, and can be configured with either 5500- or W3500-series Xeon CPUs based on Intel's Nehalem platform. Buyers can optionally include NVIDIA's Tesla C1060 GPU, said to "dramatically" boost calculation speeds through parallel processing.
Sprint is hoping to embed its cellular networking in devices from at least Garmin, Kodak and SanDisk, a leak (registration required) on Tuesday suggests. The Wall Street Journal claims to known an individual aware of talks that would see Sprint provide Internet access on these partners' devices as it does with Amazon's Kindle 2. Such deals would have similar arrangements and have companies pay in bulk for the data used on the network rather than demand regular subscription fees from the device owners.
Apple has lost some status as one of the most reliable major computer builders, claims RESCUECOM. The support company has released its latest quarterly analysis, measuring the number of cases taken at its call center against the number of computers shipped by a given manufacturer. RESCUECOM notes that while Apple ended 2008 as the most reliable computer builder, the first quarter of 2009 has seen it fall to second place with a score of 324.
Pioneer more formally bowed out of TVs today by launching four final Kuro models in Japan and setting out formal plans for its exit strategy. The external-tuner-equipped KRP-500A and KRP-600A as well as their all-in-one equivalents, the KRP-500M and KRP-600M, all produce 1080p images at 50 and 60 inches respectively. Although their contrast ratios aren't mentioned, they all have four HDMI inputs with support for deep color, support media from a USB port and have input over D4 (component) as well as VGA.
Apple has been newly granted two different US patents, both relating to mobile technology. The first, Portable electronic device with interface reconfiguration mode, essentially describes the method used to rearrange icons on the iPhone and iPod touch. To begin with users hold their finger on an icon, at which point all icons start "floating" free and can be repositioned. Users hold again to fix icons in place.
OCZ on Monday unveiled two new laser mice meant for gamers with the Behemoth and Eclipse. Either can be customized by each user, with four programmable profiles that can be switched between on the fly, while five removable metal weights that add up to 0.8oz (23g) can be removed or added for a personalized feel to the way the mouse feels in a user's hand. The USB 2.0 mice are plug-and-play and don't require users to install any software.
PopCap Games has launched a port Bookworm for the iPhone and iPod touch. Players build words from a series of letter tiles on a grid, attempting to make the longest and most difficult words possible for the greatest points. Complicating matters are burning tiles, which force a game-over if not used before they hit the bottom of the screen. The iPhone port is said to have all the features of the Mac version, along with some additional ones.
Apple's iPhone continues to have the largest share of the smartphone market based on data traffic, according to February data from AdMob. The touchscreen cellphone accounted for exactly 33 percent of all tracked requests worldwide and an even higher 49.5 percent within the US. Other devices trail significantly behind, with the Nokia N70 having just 7.1 percent of world traffic and the BlackBerry Curve 8300 representing 9.1 percent of US data.
Game developer id Software has posted an iPhone port of its classic first-person shooter, Wolfenstein 3D. The release is an open-source version primarily intended for developers, but which nevertheless remains playable; new features in the game include more hidden treasures, and the ability to try any level out of order. Players assume the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he first escapes Castle Wolfenstein, and then confronts secret projects of the Nazi Party.
Zeebo this morning unveiled a self-titled console which it says could bring video gaming and other Internet features to countries that previously haven't had widespread access to the technology. The system combines a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM processor with a free, 3G link over HSPA that lets the console perpetually remain connected to the Internet without requiring a hardwired connection. Users can buy and download games anywhere the console gets coverage; the cellular link will also allow frequent system updates and, eventually, the ability to share the Zeebo's connection with computers or other devices that might be relegated to dial-up in developing areas.
Peek on Tuesday followed up its teasers with the launch of the Peek Pronto, its second-generation messaging-only device. The hardware earns its name through an emphasis on speed and adds support for push e-mail that arrives almost as quickly as it's sent; this includes new Microsoft Exchange support for business users. The interface is also roughly 50 percent faster and now supports SMS text messaging, letting users talk directly to other cellphone users for the first time.
Dell's namesake founder Michael Dell has reportedly told industry members in Taiwan that his company has already been working on not one but multiple smartphones. Speaking as part of a private visit to Taipei, the CEO said the devices are "on schedule" but didn't say when this would be. Those at local cellphone makers speculate that any phones are most likely to use Windows Mobile but that Google Android is also a possibility.
Chronos has released the Chronos Utility Suite, a new bundle that provides the F10 Launch Studio and iClipboard software. F10 Launch Studio is an application and document launching manager, and features a document sidebar, the ability to configure multiple docks that can be customized with favourite applications, and a smart search that helps users find their programs. The software comes complete with the ability to automatically find all the users applications, and to edit shortcuts for custom program launching.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k