Nintendo's Wii shipments have surpassed 50 million units since the console was launched several years ago, according to Reuters. "Frankly speaking, before the launches of the Nintendo DS and Wii systems, almost no one expected them to reach the current level of mainstream acceptance," company president Satoru Iwata commented at the Game Developers Conference. "It's even beyond what we possibly hoped for."
An image leak confirms rumors that Samsung has been working on a successor to the Alias handset. The updated device, known as the Alias2, provides a similar dual-hinge design to the earlier model but with several changes. The keypad features dynamic keys that show numbers when the handset is used in portrait mode, but switch to QWERTY letters when the phone is opened in the landscape orientation.
Kena Kai has announced FELTtech sleeves, a new line of laptop sleeves made from a fiber that's been created from 100-percent recycled Polyethylene Perepthalate (PET) bottles and containers. Designed initially for 13.3-inch Netbooks and 15.4-inch notebook computers, each sleeve features a wide easy-access zippered opening, and 4mm of cushioned protection to guard against scratches and scrapes. FELTtech offers four different color combinations, purple/grey, orange/chocolate, grey/turquoise, and turquoise/grey.
Eltima Software has released Flash'in'App 2.0, an update to its Cocoa framework that enables developers to load and manage Adobe Flash movies in any application on the Mac. The software will support SWF files, manage their playback, and can handle sounds, videos, and images. The new version provides several added features that allow users to set Flash background color for playback, to customize the scaling option used to display the Flash movie, and the ability to set vertical and horizontal alignment within the player region.
iPrint 2.0 ($15) allows users to select data within an application that they would like to print. The selection of data can be done through the use of a keyboard shortcut or a popup Dock menu and allows users to print only the material they desire to print. A new Preferences window has been added which allows users to set a default option of always displaying both the Page Setup and Print dialog boxes, always bypassing both the Page Setup and Print dialog boxes, or displaying just the Print dialog box. The applications graphics have also been improved along with other small internal improvements. [Download - 1.5MB]
Match.com has released an iPhone application that provides access to most of the popular features from the main website. The app enables communication with other Match.com members, along with access to profiles, images and search results. Users can also edit their profile or upload images. An option allows location-based technology to automatically find other singles in the surrounding area.
Pocket Tunes Radio ($10) allows users to listen to internet radio stations on their iPhone or iPod touch. Users can listen to any of the stations included in the application or use the built-in browser to add additional stations. Pocket Tunes Radio also provides information on the song that is playing and can link users to the song in iTunes.
The recession has brought a sea-change in the way Adobe is marketing CS4. Instead of focusing on fancy new features, the new mantra is ROI -- return on investment. To that end, the company has commissioned what it says is independent research proving CS4 can save "thousands of dollars a year" over the previous version thanks to built-in timesavers and other workflow improvements. In other words, CS4 can do more with less.
Telestream on Wednesday released Wirecast 3.5, an update to its live video production software that can be used to create real-time or on-demand streams. Version 3.5 now allows users to stream live video using the popular Adobe Flash platform. New control options provide the ability to turn streams on or off, or automatically recover a lost connection. Users can also turn off the automatic device detection.
ZeeVee has released a third beta version of its Zinc internet-video browser. The application is designed to run on a PC that is connected to a larger display or TV, enabling users to watch videos from the Internet and navigate the interface with a remote control. The update offers an expanded on-demand library, along with new content from Netflix and CBS. The available media now includes almost 15,000 movies and tens of thousands of TV shows.
Apple has released a firmware update for the aluminum-unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro. The update addresses the display problems that users recently reported, including vertical lines or distorted graphics. Posts on Apple's support forums indicated a variety of symptoms from green lines to speckles, occuring independent of a specific application but more prevalent during graphics-intensive tasks such as gaming.
Nintendo's Bill Trinnen at the Game Developers Conference announced system update 4.0 for its Wii gaming console, which most importantly allows the console to read SDHC cards, upping the maximum capacity to 32GB from the original 2GB. Thanks to the update, users will also be able to download games straight to the SD card and load channels from the storage.
Western Digital today gave all of its single-disk My Book external hard drives new 2TB capacity levels. The upgrade is equivalent to about 241 hours of full-bitrate HD and is particularly described as useful for Mac users or frequent shoppers from iTunes. At least 250 million TV shows have been bought, according to data from Apple, while over 33 million movies have either been rented or bought outright.
Omni Group says it has released OmniGraphSketcher 1.0, having originally acquired the app as Graph Sketcher from new employee Robin Stewart. Users simply draw the graphs they want to produce, after which OGS interprets the illustration as proper data. Lines are used to indicate items such as goals and cutoffs, and appearance can be enhanced with labels, shading and various shapes.
Vuzix on Wednesday at the Game Developers Conference demonstrated what it calls the first consumer Augmented Reality video eyewear. Comprised of the company's existing VR920 virtual reality video eyewear and a new augmented reality accessory kit developed in conjunction with metaio. Vuzix claims the technology will bring a new dimension to gaming, educational and business industries. For its demo, flat images in a book were seen in 3D by the wearer of the device.
Lenovo on Wednesday afternoon said it would reorganize itself into major divisions in a bid to improve its focus. At the highest level, the company plans to create a group that handles "mature" markets, such as Japan and North America, as well as a second group that handles "emerging" markets like Lenovo's native China as well as Africa, the Middle East and other areas where PCs are less widespread. Previously, Lenovo had organized itself into much smaller groups based on continents.
Following today's earlier news of AT&T issuing notices to subscribers on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America who are allegedly involved in illegal file sharing, Comcast and Cox have announced they too are informing Internet users of any potential illegal activities. At the same Leadership Music Digital Summit where AT&T broke its news, Comcast senior VP Joe Waz said the provider has issued two million notices to its clients. Sources at the event said provider Cox is also actively partnering with RIAA on informing and discouraging its customers of their illegal activities.
Online vendor GameTree Online says it has begun selling the Mac port of Prince of Persia, originally developed by Ubisoft. The game is an action-adventure title, in which players guide the Prince as he fights to restore the fertility of a deadened landscape. The player has to run, jump and swing through a variety of obstacles, engaging in the occasional swordfight along the way.
The latest handset for Motorola's iDEN network, the i856 slider equipped with the signature push-to-talk feature, has been spotted on Wednesday thanks to Engadget. The first slider device compatible to feature push-to-talk functionality from Motorola, the handset's 2.2-inch display is average, as is the rest of the handset's feature-set. It sports a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0 and a microSD expansion card slot, all features common or slightly above that of the handset maker's first QWERTY iDEN handset, the i465.
Aspyr Media and Activision have announced Guitar Hero World Tour for PC and Mac. The music game features a new Music Studio that provides tools for creating digital music from scratch. The new wireless drum kit and guitar controllers can be used for game or studio input, and the studio compositions are available to play in the game. A Battle of the Bands mode now allows eight players to join online to compete.
An advanced HTC Windows Mobile smartphone could make a rare appearance at T-Mobile if leaked firmware reflects the provider's plans. A ROM for the "Rhodium," the Pro2's codename, mentions T-Mobile by name and gives it the same US country code that identifies other HTC phones on T-Mobile, including the Dash and the Shadow. Supporting the claim is a mention that the phone's language on this release is "USA" rather than Britain.
Developer TLA has updated its two parallel versions of PCalc, for the iPhone and for Mac OS X. Both serve as advanced scientific calculators, with multiple layouts and computation modes. The iPhone version has been given a new engineering layout, containing buttons for functions like the hypotenuse, delta percentage and hyperbolic trigonometry. Another theme has been imported from the Mac software, and six new button sounds have been added. The scaled-down PCalc Lite for iPhone has been given two of the new sounds and a few unspecified enhancements.
Nintendo's DSi should make non-game apps an important core of its DSi Shop mobile online store when the console is released on the 5th, the company revealed as part of its efforts at this week's Game Developers' Conference. Having spoken with CNET earlier, Nintendo said the handheld will get a free version of Opera's browser that is described as upgraded over an earlier version for the DS that depended on Nintendo's proprietary cartridges to work; the new version can be saved either directly to the DSi's internal 256MB of storage or to an SD card.
MacHeist has launched MacHeist 3, the third time-limited software sale from the company. The bundle groups numerous apps together at an extreme discount, with early-bird and sales-goal additions of extra software, and a donation of 25 percent of funds towards charity. Big Bang Board Games is being offered to the first 25,000 purchasers as an early-bird option; the current package otherwise consists of iSale ($40), Picturesque ($35), SousChef ($30), World of Goo ($20), PhoneView ($20), LittleSnapper ($40), Acorn ($50) and Kinemac ($300).
(Update with AT&T response) Telecommunications provider AT&T has confirmed it is working with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) by issuing cease and desist notices to subscribers whose accounts have allegedly been involved in illegal file sharing. CNET reported on Tuesday that AT&T senior executive Jim Cicconi broke the news at a digital music conference in Nashville. Both AT&T and Comcast were named as partners in RIAA's fight back in January, which switched from suing file sharers to issuing notices via Internet service providers. The association has other ISP partners, but has not yet named them.
LANrev has launched LANrev 5.1, an update to the systems lifecycle suite that adds iPhone management support, on-demand software installation for users and enhanced power management reporting. The new version also adds better Help Desk integration, customized branding for client software distributions, and client versions localized for French, German and Spanish. The new "iPhone/iPod Touch Devices" window in LANrev 5.1 shows both hardware and software iPhone inventory.
Philips has announced that three of its GoGear media players are scheduled to arrive in the US. Among these is the ViBE, which uses a 1.5-inch display and a battery capable of 25 hours of music or four hours of video. While audio file support is mainly limited to MP3 or WMA files, it can also handle Rhapsody subscription tracks, and Audible audiobooks. Other integrated features include an FM tuner with 20 presets, and automated conversion of Internet video. The player should ship in April, at a cost of $50 for 4GB or $60 for 8GB.
Microsoft's long-in-development Windows Mobile 7 operating system may have been spotted in a pair of leaked images. Sent to WMPoweruser, the first shot portrays a radically revised home screen with a top row of quick-access icons, a new clock, and bottom-center button with an unspecified role. A second image shows a significantly new map utility with a touch-friendly menu and shortcuts for spoken directions as well as a shortcut to finding the phone's current position.
Feral Interactive has announced a Mac conversion of LEGO Batman, scheduled to ship on April 9th. More closely based on the comic books than the movies, the game has players control Batman and Robin, as they confront traditional villains like the Joker and the Penguin in a LEGO version of Gotham City. As in other LEGO games, players can also build and control a number of vehicles.
At the currently ongoing Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Performance Designed Products (PDP) showed off two controllers for popular gaming systems, with the Gametrak Freedom for the Xbox 360 and SmartStylus for the portable Nintendo DS. The former is a Nintendo Wiimote-like device that uses an ultrasonic 3D motion sensing technology that sends signals to a base unit hooked up to an Xbox via a USB port.
Dell is about to introduce three new Precision T-series PCs based on Intel's Nehalem platform. While the threesome has not been made fully official, Engadget has obtained early details and photos. The T3500 will have support for up to 24GB of RAM and should come priced starting at $999.
Apple has placed high in Brandchannel's 2009 brandjunkie awards. Voters chose Apple as the top brand in several categories, such as best retail environment, in which it faced off against companies including IKEA, Starbucks and Walmart. The ability to not only try out products at a store but attend lectures and talk to technicians is cited as a plus, as is a minimalist but visually appealing interior design.
Samsung today grew its touchscreen phone line by one and launched the Haptic 8M. The phone's name comes both through the haptic (vibration) feedback on its very high-resolution, 480x800 3.3-inch display but also an 8-megapixel camera that can tag and recognize faces in photos. It also carries flash, detects smiles and scans business cards.
Microsoft has shown off a new-look Xbox 360 for XNA developers at the currently ongoing Game Developers Conference, which differs from the run-of-the-mill consoles on the technical side with double the standard RAM at 1GB. Otherwise, the black exterior with blue chrome accents has special etching on it that indicates this system is meant for software developers, who often need the extra memory for unoptimized game code. Its bundled controller also matches the new color scheme.
Sprint today outlined its expansion plans for its WiMAX 4G service for the next year as well as some early hints of its 2010 plans. The carrier now hopes to launch its wide-area wireless in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland and Seattle at varying points throughout the year. It has also pushed back its originally planned Washington DC introduction to 2010 and expects to reserve other major cities for service next year, including Boston, Houston, New York and San Francisco.
Native Instruments has announced a new version of its Traktor DJ software, Traktor Duo. The title is based on the high-level Traktor Pro suite, but scales down from four decks to two. Duo also provides two effects sections with only six effects each, such as filter, delay, flanger and reverb. Likewise missing are some streaming, recording, MIDI and sync options.
Intel is determined enough to launch its CULV processors that the company is cutting prices by more than half to encourage PC vendors to buy it, notebook builders have reportedly said today. Pricing for a low-end version of the ultraportable chip is officially set at $152 in bulk but has been cut as low as $65 for companies with the very largest PC shipments, such as Acer, Dell and HP. Smaller firms such as ASUS and MSI are said getting prices as low as $70.
T-Mobile on Wednesday unveiled the webConnect USB Laptop Stick, the company's first-ever 3G networking adapter. The peripheral supports the faster downloads of HSDPA on the carrier's 1,700MHz networks and also includes its own 802.11g Wi-Fi connection for those few notebooks that don't support the standard. It can likewise connect to EDGE and GPRS both within the US and on international networks that support the slower standards.
In tandem with the release of a free developer version, id Software has also released a publicly-accessible App Store edition of Wolfenstein 3D. Players control B.J. Blazkowicz in first-person combat against the Nazis, fighting through a number of indoor environments. The game has over 60 levels divided into six episodes, and sports the original six weapons, including the chaingun.
HP this morning stepped up the performance of its higher-end, mainstream towers with the launch of the Pavilion Elite m9600t. The system is built on Core i7 processors and takes advantage of the triple-channel memory bus; it also has unusually fast video for the class with a 768MB GeForce 9600 GS. A base model at $950 comes with a 2.66GHz Core i7, 3GB of RAM, and 500GB of disk space while further options add Blu-ray drives, 12GB of memory, Blu-ray burning and Radeon HD 4850 graphics.
Blockbuster today said it would start delivering movies and TV shows over TiVo's DVRs. The tie-in will give users about 10,000 combined movies and TV shows that can be purchased or rented from any Series 2, Series 3 or HD series device. The company is offering movie rentals for between $2 and $4 and permanent movie purchases between $15 and $20. As part of the deal, Blockbuster says it will also start selling TiVo units in its retail stores.
Santok has unveiled the latest in its line of STK iPhone accessories, the STK iPhone 3G Power Pack. The device is designed as both a premium quality genuine-leather flip-case, and a 3G power pack with a rechargeable Li-ion polymer battery. It offers a maximum of 300-hours of extra standby time, 7-hours of talk time, or 24-hours of music playback for the iPhone. To charge the device a mini-USB cable has been included, which allows users to charge both the power pack and their iPhone simultaneously.
Canon early Wednesday launched its first-ever entry DSLR with HD video in the form of the Rebel T1i. The 15.1-megapixel camera uses the newer DIGIC 4 chip to record either full 1080p video at 20 frames per second or 30 frames per second at 720p, outpacing Nikon's D90 in terms of both resolution and price. Aside from the 1080p frame rate limit, the T1i has the same image setting adjustments as the 5D Mark II and records as much as 4GB (12 minutes of 1080p) of video in MPEG-4 with HDMI output to preview raw footage.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R