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Verizon Wireless is ready to begin selling netbooks, possibly as soon as next quarter, an unnamed source told Bloomberg. The carrier is allegedly working with more than one PC maker, according to the person that is close to the project. If true, the company appears to be stepping up competition against other carriers that have seen an opportunity in low-priced computers paired with data contracts and subsidized for extra discounts.
Bitfield has launched iSubtitles, an application that adds non-destructive subtitles to movies on the iPhone/iPod touch and Apple TV. The software enables people to use the interface of the device or application to turn on or off subtitles synced in real-time, and to watch the subtitled movies in full screen. Support is offered for all major subtitle file formats such as SubRip, SubViewer 1 and 2, Substation Alpha, and MicroDVD, and for applications including iTunes, QuickTime Player, and any other program that can play a QuickTime movie.
Southpaw Technology has released an update to its digital asset management application for the Mac OS X, Tactic 2.5. The software provides tools for creating and keeping track of projects, is designed to automate the processes between and within production departments, and enables a person to review both assigned tasks and work thatís been submitted. With the latest version the software can now index and track each component of every project, in order to help create an organized system that keeps track of all assets.
Meadows Publishing has announced a new plug-in for Adobe InDesign CS4, DesignMerge Pro. The software works within the InDesign application and enables variable data publishing, personalized printing, document automation features, and professional mail-merge. It supports text, picture, article, complete InDesign layouts, and master pages. DesignMerge Pro also includes a printing function designed for digital short-run color printers and copiers that are in need of quick throughput, and supports PostScript, PPML, and Creo VPS data printing formats.
Samsung has begun mass production of ultra-slim LCD panels for its upcoming large size TVs. Edge-lit LED backlighting is designed to reduce component weight while allowing a thinner overall profile. The company claims the new panels are just 10.8 mm thick, compared to conventional LCDs in the 40-inch, 46-inch and 55-inch sizes that are approximately four times thicker.
Microsoft has released a new series of ads that takes aim at Macs, specifically regarding features versus pricing compared to Windows machines. The company hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ad agency behind the commercials featuring Gates and Seinfeld, to pose as a research firm that recruited unsuspecting people into a mock study, according to the Associated Press. If the volunteers could find a computer meeting certain criteria and within budgets ranging from $700 to $2000, they could keep the system.
Batch File Rename 1.4 ($14) allows users to rename multiple files simultaneously. A series of files can be dragged to the main window of the application and then select options for how to rename each files. Some options include, "Add Prefix", "Replace Text", and "Trim Characters from Start". Version 1.4 has added a new serialize rename option. [Download - 0.44MB]
Litmus has announced Alkaline, a cross-browser testing tool that allows Mac-based website designers to preview their site designs on 17 different Windows browsers, without leaving the Mac interface or installing additional software. The service connects to a grid of remote Windows-based computers to obtain the screenshots. Users can also test sites from within Panic's Coda or Macromate's TextMate coding tools.
Sling Media has submitted its application for the iPhone and iPod touch, SlingPlayer Mobile, to the App Store for approval. The app will allow users to access their television content including local or cable channels, video on demand, pay per view and more. The company currently offers similar software for Symbian, BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile platform. The service streams video over Wi-Fi when available, or "acceptably well" over 3G if Apple approves the technology.
Filings with the FCC confirm that Samsung's upcoming A877 handset will support dual-band GSM, EDGE and WCDMA networks, while offering Bluetooth connectivity. The handset is said to feature a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard with a fourth row of keys. An internal accelerometer will allow the screen orientation to automatically switch from portrait to landscape mode when the phone is turned.
Calf Trail has launched Geotagalog 1.0, a new software utility for geotagging photos using a GPS tracklog. The application provides a live view as it aligns camera times and tracklogs. Geotagalog also supports iPhoto '09's Places feature. It works with GPX tracklog files from handheld GPS receivers and offers a visual map display, showing the user where photos will be mapped. The software can make adjustments for camera time-zone settings and can correct inaccurate camera clock information.
Samsung today inadvertently showed its hand by revealing details of the SWD-M100 Mondi, its first dedicated WiMAX device for the US, in its RSS feed [since pulled]. The hardware resembles a counterpart to Nokia's N810 and centers on a large, full touchscreen with a slide-out directional pad and QWERTY keypad. Little else is revealed by Samsung itself, though a conspicuous front camera points to video chat while a Windows key points to either Windows Mobile or a desktop Windows OS as standard.
Apple has released maintenance updates for iPhoto, iWeb and iMovie, along with general support updates for the iLife and iWork '09 software suites. The iPhoto 8.0.2 update improves overall stability, while addressing minor issues in Faces, Places, photo sharing, slideshows and other parts of the software. The download weighs in at 87.86MB. The iWeb 3.0.1 update is 14.23MB in size and fixes issues related to publishing to an FTP server and other minor bugs. iMovie 8.0.1 is a stability and usability fix, and is contained in a 24.53MB file.
Taiwan's Wistron has shown off its Firstbook, an ultraportable netbook about the size of Sony's VAIO P, powered by the same 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset used in the Toshiba TG01 smartphone. The Linux-based PC is the first such netbook with an integrated 3G mobile broadband module. Snapdragon is a chipset made for upcoming mobile devices, incorporating a 1GHz processor core, DSP and 3G radio.
Speck is launching fitted hardshell cases for the iPod touch 2G and iPod nano 4G, expanding on the line that is already available for the iPhone 3G. The new cases are carrying patterned designs; some are colorful, others are designed with a refined look in mind. Among the cases are the BubbleSpotDot Aqua and CheeryPlum Purple for the iPod nano 4G and the Lovely Roger White/Pink, Lovely Roger Black/Grey and CheeryPlum Purple for the iPod touch 2G, all with textured vinyl around a hard shell.
Due to changing consumer demand and the weak economy, LG has relaxed its plans regarding notebook and smaller netbook PCs will, says a Wednesday MobileToday report. Instead, LG will focus on growing its successful smartphone market, including its QWERTY keyboard-equipped and touchscreen handsets. To this end, its future handsets due for a release later in 2009 will either be thinner, more advanced with higher quality cameras and more memory, or basic to meet lower price points. To appeal to a wider audience, they will also sell the handsets in a selection of colors.
DLO has launched the TransDock Micro for iPhone, an FM transmitter and car charger designed specifically for the iPhone. Central is a dial-based interface for one-handed operation, allowing a user to keep his eyes on the road. The TransDock's IntelliTune technology scans the radio dial for the clearest FM frequencies, and displays the best station on an OLED display.
Karelia has released Sandvox 1.6, updating the website creation software with the ability to adjust content for search engines on a page-by-page basis. Inserting information into new fields in the Page Details area in a Sandvox document now indicates exactly how a title and short description should appear in search engine listings. Version 1.6 also adds a Discover Plug-ins window, which previews designs available for purchase or for free from other companies.
A trio of Samsung smartphones that should be released to market sometime in 2009 have been leaked on the Internet on Thursday, revealing the near-identical S8000 and M8000 as well as the Windows Mobile-based B7300. The twins do not have a physical keyboard save for three buttons at their base and instead rely on touchscreen displays believed to offer 240x400 resolution. Apart from a 5-megapixel autofocus camera that is equipped with a dual-LED flash, no other specs are known about the S8000.
Convertbot ($1) is a conversion tool that allows users to convert between different units such as, currency, length, mass and time. The interface features large input buttons with audio feedback and allows users to enter mixed units such as a combination of feet and inches or pounds and ounces. In addition to the previously mentioned units Convertbot also features support for categories such as area, angles, pressure, speed and power.
iLuv has a launched a new pair of case options, designed for the third-generation iPod shuffle. The iCC12 and iCC14 are both intended to provide protection against various scrapes and scratches. The iCC12 is a pack that includes four silicone cases, arrayed in black, white, blue and pink colors.
Sony officially abandoned plans to purchase a plant and equipment to develop its Field Emission Display (FED) technology in February because it couldn't locate funding for the equipment. Sony owned 37.8 percent of FE Technologies, a company that was devoted to developing and releasing a commercial 26-inch TV by the end of 2009. Sony has already began liquidating its remaining assets related to the technology.
Luxury mechanical timepiece maker Ulysse Nardin has partnered up with SCI Innovations to create its first cellphone, the Chairman. Like its watches, the phone is assembled by hand and has a winding rotor that provides auxiliary power for the device when its battery is nearly or fully depleted. More traditional specs include a fingerprint sensor for security, a 2.8-inch touchscreen and a 5-megapixel camera with video recording capabilities.
Apple's plans to enact variable music pricing at the iTunes Store will take effect April 7th, says the LA Times. Although Apple has yet to publicly announce a firm date, the information is said to be circulating in the music industry, as a result of Apple telling record labels in preparation. Many mainstream hits, including both new and old songs, will be raised in price from 99 cents to $1.29.
Blizzard executive VP Rob Pardo yesterday told guests of the Luminaries Lunch that his company and Microsoft were already discussing the latter's plans for a sequel to the Xbox 360. While not providing details on any of Microsoft's goals for the future game system, the developer mentioned to GI and others that his firm was in active talks and suggested he would advocate for a new controller method that would solve many of the roadblocks for porting over PC-like games that need more advanced input, such as real-time strategy games like Starcraft II.
Maingear on Thursday hoped to add a unique feature to small-but-fast notebooks by launching the mX-L. The 13.3-inch platform is rare among factory-built notebooks in its option for a custom laser engraving on the back that personalizes its look. The system is also still rare for its size in having the choice of up to a 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo for its processor and storage that scales up to either Intel's 160GB X25-M solid-state drive or a traditional 500GB Western Digital rotating disk. Custom orders can similarly outfit it with up to 8GB of RAM.
Skype may be ready to launch an iPhone version of its VoIP and IM client, a source told gigaOM. The "very reliable" tipster claimed that the iPhone launch could come as soon as next week, possibly at the CTIA Wireless trade show which kicks off on April 1st. Skype can already be used on the iPhone, but through third-party apps such as Truphone that combines a number of messaging and VoIP services.
The Samsung Alias, also known as the U740, is due to be replaced with this dual-band CDMA handset, the U750, which sports the first dynamic keypad in the industry. The dual-hinged phone will display numbers on its keys when opened up in a portrait orientation or a full QWERTY keyboard when flipped in the landscape view. Rumors have it that the feat is accomplished thanks to e-ink technology on each key, though this is not confirmed.
A lawsuit accusing Microsoft of misleading over its Vista Capable logo program may have renewed life based on the results of a hearing held yesterday. Having previously denied class action status for the original lawsuit because its scope was too broad, US District Judge Marsha Pechman now says she will issue a ruling next week on whether the case can go forward using a narrower class of plaintiffs. The case would now include just those who either qualified for an upgrade from Windows Vista to XP separately or else who bought Vista Capable PCs whose graphics weren't capable of Aero Glass and thus couldn't handle the full feature set.
Apple has officially announced the dates for its 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduling the event for June 8th to the 12th. It will as usual take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and concentrate primarily on technical sessions dedicated to various aspects of Mac and iPhone development. Visitors should also have access to lab help, and a variety of special events. Passes to the conference are now on sale for $1,295, but following April 24th, will increase in price to $1,595.
Acer on Thursday announced that the Veriton X270 series of business desktop PCs is now available in North America. The small form factor PCs can be had with a choice of Intel processors, including the Intel Core 2 Duo, as well as SATA hard drives as large as 500GB and up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM. NVIDIA's integrated GeForce 7100 chipset gives all the systems support for hardware HD video decoding.
Japanese manufacturer PhotoFast has produced the G-Monster PCIe SSD, a new solid-state drive designed around extreme specifications. Whereas most SSDs are limited to 256GB or less, the G-Monster starts at that level, and additionally comes in 512GB and 1TB capacities, rivaling some hard drives. The G-Monster is substantially longer however, closer in size to a high-end video card.
New analysis indicates that iPhone owners are using the data functions of their phone far more than other people in the UK, Reuters notes. Figures from comScore suggest that over 90 percent of British iPhone users are making use of "mobile media," defined as including aspects like websites, e-mail, social networking and games. Some 79.7 percent of iPhone users are said to have regularly accessed news and information in a quarter ending with January, as compared to 48 percent of other smartphone users, and 19.8 percent of general cellphone owners.
A recent report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is naming Graphene, a form of pure carbon founded in 2004 that could be applied to microchips to make for faster processing speeds than is possible with current silicon chips. Researchers outside of MIT have created prototype transistors and similar simple devices using one-atom thick Graphene, but the newer MIT findings could make for more advanced applications. The researchers built an experimental Graphene chip that acts as a frequency multiplier, capable of doubling the frequency of an electromagnetic signal, or effectively doubling a CPU's clock speed.
Microsoft has outlined plans to standardize Windows 7's multi-touch support across PCs. Called the Windows Touch logo program, the approach will test displays for their accuracy and responsiveness to ensure that users can perform the same finger-based commands on any system, including tapping some smaller on-screen buttons, pinching to zoom, or rotating. The program would reward PC makers for providing truly accurate touch input.
Apple has begun selling an official 8GB RAM upgrade kit, designed for the latest 15-inch unibody MacBook Pro. The kit contains two 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SO-DIMMs, and costs $1,200. It is only being offered for 2.66 and 2.93GHz MacBook Pros though, not the low-end 2.4GHz model. It is unknown if the RAM might be compatible with the previous mid-range, clocked at 2.53GHz.
Sony Ericsson took advantage of the pre-CTIA run-up today and launched the T707. The clamshell stands as the company's new signature fashion phone and has a unique outer shell that both hides an OLED for call and message notifications and lights up in different patterns depending on the caller. Basic gesture input also lets users finish a call or silence an alarm by waving a hand near the phone surface. Time-sensitive themes on the inner 2.2-inch display also keep the design fresh.
Developers may soon get to see the new user interface planned for Mac OS X Snow Leopard, sources claim. Described only as "people familiar with the matter," the sources say that the next developer build of Snow Leopard will introduce a major revision to the look of Mac OS X, such as an abandonment of the current color scheme, possibly in favor of a dark chrome aesthetic. The change has actually been planned since the beginning of the update's inception, the sources suggest.
Research in Motion may be preparing to further compete against Apple and others as leaks on Thursday point to the company offering its own TV service. Multiple contacts for NewTeeVee say RIM will have an unlimited, subscription-based plan that gives BlackBerries access to full episodes from several TV networks' catalogs. Rather than stream shows like most carrier-specific TV, the service would let users pick shows themselves and download them individually.
International phone carrier Orange is preparing to sell subsidized MacBooks, according to Mobile. The UK magazine says it has learned that MacBooks will go on sale through Orange this summer, significantly discounted as a result of being tied to a two-year mobile data contract. No deal has been firmly cemented, but it is believed that negotiations are in a late stage, only requiring details to be arranged.
Hoping to bring some of the improvements of the 1000HE to other models, ASUS today quietly put out a second and likely lower-cost model in its new wave of netbooks. The Eee PC 1002H has the same 10-inch screen, 1.66GHz Atom and Chiclet-style keyboard of its counterpart but has a more conventional 5-hour battery instead of a 9.5-hour pack. The trade lets ASUS drop the weight from 3.2 to 2.6 pounds and slim the design down to just under 1.1 inches.
Sony is likely to be launching a significant update to its VAIO P mini notebook based on a leak of new model numbers. Six system IDs obtained by Sony Insider point to the model numbering jumping from the 500 series of today to the 700 series while keeping the same black, green, red and white colors. While four of the models share the same P710 naming scheme, two P730 models hint at higher-spec versions.
Systems based on Intel's CULV budget ultraportable platform may be used for systems with displays as large as 15.6 inches, sources in the industry have reportedly told DigiTimes. Intel is officially defining the typical size for one of the budget ultraportables as between 11 and 13 inches, but "several first-tier" notebook makers that include Acer, Dell and HP are all believed building ultra-thin 15.6-inch systems using the very low-power processors.
Fast Rabbit Software has launched the latest game in its series of educational applications for the Mac, Little Hoppers Treasure Hunt. The game is geared towards students in grades 2-to-5, and designed to introduce kids to two dimensional graphing and the Cartesian coordinate system. While trying help students learn to read and identify points on a graph using the Cartesian coordinate system, the playerís goal in the game is to search the ocean floor for various surprises and treasures.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir