7sql has released iBrowseTwo for the iPhone and iPod touch, an application that enables users to have two websites displayed simultaneously on the screen. The two web pages are displayed together by a navigation bar that features a series of drag and swipe capabilities. Users can navigate the bar up and down and resize/maximize the web windows, double tap the address labels to refresh or stop the loading of pages, and swipe the address labels left and right to go backwards or forwards.
Tycoon Games has released a new dating game for the Mac, College Romance: Rise of the Little Brother. The game follows a person who has started their first year of school at the university their brother recently graduated from, and must to decide which of the four girls to try and have a relationship with. During the game players will have a chance to interact and date up to four different girls, Jules, Jessica who is Jules twin sister, Sarah, and Teri.
Nokia is expected to use VibeTonz technology from Immersion in up to three upcoming touchscreen phones, adding evidence to rumors that the devices are set for release sometime this year, according to TheStreet. People familiar with the plan claim that the thin handsets will be available as early as this fall. The lineup might include the touch-only 'Ivalo,' a successor to the N97 but without the slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Apple has announced that it will shut down its .Mac HomePage app and Groups as of July 7th. Users will no longer be able to create new pages or edit existing pages using the web-based tools, although content that is already published will remain at the current address until the customer's subscription expires. The company recommends that any changes should be made before the the service is terminated.
For the fifth year in a row, Apple has achieved the top spot in BusinessWeek's list of "The 25 Most Innovative Companies." The report was created in conjunction with Boston Consulting Group. Companies filling the other top-five spots include Google, Toyota, Microsoft and Nintendo. Several competitors hold lower positions, including IBM, HP, RIM, Nokia, Sony and Samsung.
Microsoft has expanded its "Apple Tax" marketing campaign with a white paper (PDF) from analyst Roger Kay, although several of the price comparisons appear to be skewed. The company posted a mock up tax return showing the savings of purchasing two Windows systems compared with two Mac systems, suggesting that a family could save over $3,300. The price difference is derived from the initial cost of machines, future upgrades, software and services.
TrainPlayer Software has announced the newest version of its rail-operation simulator for the Mac, TrainPlayer-TrackLayer 3.2. Version 3.2 provides new layouts and simpler integration with the Track CAD program RailModeller that allows users to design a layout in and automatically convert it to a running TrainPlayer layout. The plan can then be used for a simulation after adding trains and beginning operations.
Today's DealNN deal of the day features the Cavalry CAXM-series 1TB external hard drive. The drive has been reduced from $386 to $114.99 at Buy.com, and until 4/22/09 a mail in rebate offer drops the final price down to $94.99. The 1TB hard drive is enclosed in a durable aluminum chassis that is claimed to offer superior heat dissipation.
BumperCar 2.2 ($30) is a web browser that has been designed with kids' safety in mind. Parents can set up various restrictions such as limiting the sharing of personal information and forcing Google to use "Safe Search" mode. The software offers simple "Low", "Medium" and "High" safety settings, as well as the ability to customize all of its features. The newest release introduces the latest version of Apple's WebKit engine for enhanced performance and increased security and also includes support for Flash 10. [Download - 16MB]
Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics on Thursday showed off a working prototype of their Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) at the Green Energy Expo. The cell is meant for military use, and is touted to power a soldier's electronic gear for up to 72 hours. The cell weighs 7.7lbs and is rated to provide 1,800Watt-hours of energy. It will be field-tested in 2010, and released for military use later that year if testing is successful.
The Samsung Trance U490 handset is rumored to be released on provider Verizon on April 24th, BGR reported on Thursday. The mid-level slider will have audio specialist Bang & Olufsen's ICEpower hardware and related sound processing software, and will be capable of streaming music to two separate Bluetooth stereo connections simultaneously. The dual-band CDMA phone sports a 2.1-inch, 176x220 display and has a 1.3-megapixel camera. It has just 1GB of internal memory, but can be expanded via a microSD card slot.
American customer support for the iPhone is expanding, says TV network WRAL. Affiliated Computer Services has announced that it is hiring 600 new workers across the US, of which at least 240 people -- based at a center in Raleigh, North Carolina -- will be assigned to support the iPhone. Although pay is expected only to be "above minimum wage with benefits," training is scheduled to begin shortly, and the corporation is promising more money for its most profitable workers.
Google and Universal Music have announced on Thursday that they will cooperate on the release of Vevo, a new music and video entertainment service that will launch later this year. According to a Thursday CNET interview, the YouTube owner and the largest recording company will share all ad revenue, with YouTube handling the technical operation of the website while Universal provides the content.
Mac versions of two Paradox strategy games have been announced, says publisher Virtual Programming. The first of these, Hearts of Iron III, is a real-time strategy title which is nevertheless based around a traditional boardgame-style map. Players control complete armies in the European theater of World War II, fighting as any one of the Allied or Axis powers. Over 10,000 territories are present, and players also have access to a diplomacy menu, showing relationships with other countries and alignment in terms of fascism, communism or democracy.
Virgin Mobile on Thursday announced a new $50 Totally Unlimited Calling plan that would give subscribers unlimited and roaming-free calling throughout the USA. Virgin spokespeople are confirming the move comes in response to similar offers from competitors, including T-Mobile and Boost Mobile. Other contract-free providers, including MetroPCS and Leap, also offer unlimited plans that range from $35 to $50, though they are only offered in certain specific markets.
Qualcomm today revealed that it's developing an add-on that could give several smartphones, including the iPhone, a tuner for FLO TV digital broadcasts. The communications firm's FLO TV head Bill Stone remarks to SAI that iPhone OS 3.0's support for third-party hardware has set Qualcomm to developing an external receiver that could give both the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as other smartphones, access to the over-the-air TV service. When it would ship isn't yet certain, as is whether it would use the Dock Connector or else attach wirelessly.
Apple may be exploring the concept of a unibody iPod, a freshly-exposed patent application implies. Apple began incorporating unibody designs into its products in October of last year, with the introduction of new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The production technology is said to make hardware lighter, thinner and sturdier, as a result of using tougher material and fewer parts.
Foxconn Electronics, the manufacturer of Amazon's Kindle e-book reader lines, may be planning to develop its own e-book reader. According to a Thursday DigiTimes report pointing to industry sources, Foxconn has recently hired a few software technicians with e-book programming experience. Foxconn has not responded to inquiries regarding the report.
Intel is poised to launch its first Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) processors on April 20th but won't necessarily include shipping hardware, an insider leak would claim. The Inquirer claims that the formal introduction will be a "paper" or soft launch, where the actual products won't be available until sometime after the public debut. When the products would be readily available isn't known, though Acer just recently launched its Timeline ultraportables with a near-term launch in its plans.
Samsung has recently introduced a pair of digital Touch of Color photo frames that can also act as secondary displays via their USB connections with PCs. The 8-inch SPF-87H has a resolution of 800x480 and is just 0.9-inches thick. It has 1GB of internal memory, a built-in battery that is rechargeable via the supplied AC adapter or USB connection and a multicard reader. Other basic features include a clock mode and slideshow feature.
T-Mobile at mid-day announced a special event for April 21st in New York City. The company provides no other details and, unlike previous invitations, doesn't hint as to the general direction of the gathering. The last event held by the company in this manner was in September of last year, when the company introduced the G1 as the world's first Android phone.
Digital Future has launched TextSpeech Pro 3.2.1, an update to its text-to-speech software. Designed for multitaskers, people with disabilities and professional industries, the program converts text from any Word, PDF, Excel or RTF document into a computerized voice. Version 3.2.1 is said to be a major update with several added functions, and extensions of current ones, though unspecified.
Sony has confirmed this week's earlier rumors that it is engaged in talks with YouTube on posting full-length movies on the free video service site, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. If the deal goes through, it would see the first major US studio to do so on a large scale, and the full-length films would be offered for viewing for free, likely supported by ad sales in the stream.
The DSi gaming handheld has done very well in its post-Japanese launches, Nintendo claims. Despite having debuted in Europe and the US on April 5th, a Sunday, some 300,000 DSis were sold in the two regions during the first two days of availability. Nintendo has also revealed some of the non-gaming apps coming to the platform, which should include tour guides, museum maps and a coupon recorder.
Hitachi Japan recently announced the upcoming release of no less than 11 new HDTV models in two series, including four LCDs in the Wooo UT800 series as well as four plasmas and three LCDs in the Wooo 03 range. The ultra-thin UT800 LCDs are all about 1.4 inches thick and all sport 1080p resolutions. Their thin profile is achieved thanks to the use of Ultra Wideband wireless tuner boxes, called Wooo Stations, that sit away from the HDTVs. Apart from dual tuners, the Wooo Stations also house a 250GB hard disk drive, an iVDR-S slot for removable DVR recordings and an SDHC memory card slot. They are available in 32-, 37-, 42- and 47-inch sizes.
The worth of Apple stocks rose more than $3 on Thursday morning, following the release of a new Credit Suisse report boosting estimates on Apple performance. Analyst Bill Shope has risen his price target for Apple stock from $120 to $133, based on March-quarter Mac and iPhone sales which he argues did better than originally envisioned. Revenue for the period is expected to be $7.76 billion, with an EPS of $1.09; Shope's had previously suggested $7.44 billion in revenue and $0.97 in EPS.
The Bluetooth SIG today provided early details of the Bluetooth 3.0 spec ahead of a full formal launch. The new format should provide a jump in bandwidth that gives it speed roughly equivalent to common Wi-Fi, or several times the 3Mbps speed of Bluetooth 2.0. Transfers will be quick enough to let songs arrive "within seconds," according to the group. It will also serve as a unique way of establishing one-on-one Wi-Fi connnections: a hand-off mode will use Bluetooth to auto-discover other nearby devices and switch to a direct Wi-Fi link as long as both devices have Wi-Fi as an option.
Apple may continue to have an interest in automatic audio or video replies within iChat, a newly-published patent application hints. Under the Apple technology, people away from their computers or simply busy could instruct iChat to play a prerecorded audio or video message to anyone attempting chat. The length of each message could be used-defined.
Verizon on Thursday became one of the later carriers to pick up the HTC Touch Diamond. The new version has a slightly customized TouchFLO interface but also brings support for the carrier's Visual Voice Mail and using its VZ Navigator service with the built-in GPS mapping. It continues to draw on the same 640x480 touchscreen, 3G and Wi-Fi as the stock CDMA version already in use at Bell, Sprint and Telus in North America.
Trumpet Improv ($1) is a trumpet simulator that takes advantage of some of the iPhone's unique abilities. The trumpet is activated by blowing into the microphone and holding down different fingers on the virtual valves. The pitch can then be changed by tilting the device up or down and vibrato can be added by rubbing back and forth over the valves instead of using a solid hold.
Dell today extended its more exotic cooling options to the XPS 625 and XPS 630. The two now have the option of replacing their fan-based cooling with an Asetek liquid cooling system that reduces the noise of the system while simultaneously increasing the possibilities for overclocking the main processor. Choosing the option is deemed particularly useful for all of the XPS 625 line as well as custom-ordered versions of the 630, as both AMD's Black Edition chips and Intel's Core 2 Extreme are unlocked and allow easier speed boosts out of the factory.
Bluetooth headset maker Plantronics has put up a teaser web page that features close-cropped, high-resolution photos of an unannounced Bluetooth headset from the company. There is purposely no specific information on the device, but Plantronics did include some details as to its manufacturing process. The site is apparently updated with new photos roughly two times per week. A release date for the headset is likewise unknown, and neither is its price, but judging from the attention to detail visible in the photos, it will likely be a premium offering.
France's National Assembly on Thursday voted down a proposed law that would have required Internet providers cut off subscribers after three detected instances of pirating music or videos. The decision was made through an unusual 21-15 vote after the majority of the Assembly's 577 representatives avoided the session. The French administration hasn't commented on the rejection other than to say a modified version is due within a few weeks.
Apple is facing a lawsuit over its increasingly central touch technology, Reuters writes. A Taiwanese chip design firm, Elan Microelectronics, has accused Apple of violating two touchscreen patents, said to be used in the displays of the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as the trackpads utilized in modern MacBooks. Elan claims to have successfully sued another company, Synaptics, for similar reasons.
Digeo on Thursday rolled out an update to its Moxi HD DVR that significantly expands its role as a media hub. The new version adds DLNA support to stream music, photos and videos from nearby PCs and other devices on the local network, such as PlayStation 3s. It also takes advantage of new paid software from PlayOn that will push web video from Hulu, Netflix and other sites from a PC to the Moxi without needing to visit the web.
LG touched a milestone today by revealing that it has sold 2 million of its Cookie touchscreen phones in the 5 months since the phone launched last October. The majority, or 1.2 million of these, were sold in Europe; 600,000 of these were sold in most of Asia and South America. LG also trumpets that the Cookie is the best-selling phone in Korea and has sold 100,000 of the handset in its home country, with as many as 4,500 trading hands in a single day.
Apple is causing a supply crunch due to a large, mystery order for NAND flash memory, leaks from "downstream suppliers" say. DigiTimes hears that the company has placed an order for 100 million 8Gb (1GB) chips from Samsung and is reportedly spurring a supply shortage. Combined with orders from Nokia and Sony, the demand may leave little for other customers until "at least" the end of May.
ProjectWizards has announced a mobile version of its Merlin application for the iPhone/iPod touch, and the release of Merlin 2.7 beta. Merlin is a professional project-management application that provides tools to help users view, search, and store their projects, and lets users host a file on the network or internet to be shared with other Merlin users. The iPhone version gives people online access to Merlin projects via WLAN, EDGE and UMTS, and the ability to view all activities, resources and elements. Users can attach photos as file elements, or view their projects in a specialized Gantt chart.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX