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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is allegedly involved in discussions with Apple to extend the carrier's exclusive iPhone contract into 2011, unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal. The current deal is said to expire at the end of the year, although both companies have been publicly quiet about the exact terms of any negotiations.
LaCie on Tuesday expanded its Rugged series of hard drives with the Rugged XL, a larger variant that doubles the storage capacity to 1TB. The device features an aluminum casing and rubber sleeve for protection. Internally, the drive is also supported using a bumper to help absorb shock and prevent damage from an accidental drop.
GizFever.com has announced its latest iPod accessory, the Crystal Case for the third-generation iPod shuffle. The case features a lightweight ergonomic design and is made from hard clear plastic to help protect the iPod from bumps and scratches during everyday use. The form is designed to closely fit the Shuffle 3G, without covering the clip, and provides full access to all ports and controls.
Apple has released a third beta of the upcoming iPhone 3.0 operating system, build 7A280f. The company has advised of compatibility issues, although any significant changes to the interface or features will likely be reported after developers have a chance to take a closer look at the OS. "Applications targeting devices prior to iPhone OS 3.0 beta cannot be tested in this seed," a note read. "This bug is intended to be ﬁxed in a future seed.”
Native Microsoft DFS support for the Mac platform is the headlining feature of Group Logic's ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 update release. ExtremeZ-IP supports Mac and Windows mixed networks, allowing file- and print-sharing between Mac desktops and Windows servers. Native Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) support for Macs, along with support for Network Spotlight, brings Mac and Windows users to the same level of network compatibility and file/print sharing capabilities. Version 6.0 provides virtual DFS Namespace access to Mac clients and supports full DFS replication and site costing, while allowing the Mac to maintain its AFP file-sharing protocol within the DFS environment.
The U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has rejected several claims included in a patent held by Alcatel-Lucent, following a request by Microsoft and Dell to have the patent re-examined in May of 2007, according to IDG. The interim decision is the latest chapter in a lengthy dispute, potentially leading to a successful appeal of a federal court ruling that asked Microsoft to pay $358 million in compensation to the telecommunications company.
Intel on Tuesday reported its first-quarter financial information, showing a 55-percent drop in income while revenue slid 26-percent to $7.1 billion year-over-year. The company also experienced a drop in gross margin from 53 percent last year to 45.6 percent this year, explained by higher factory-underutilization charges and startup costs.
Apple today released updates to consumer movie editing application iMovie as well its professional photography application Aperture and remote administration tools for Mac OS X Server installations. iMovie 8.02 fixes an issue with projects having a size of 0KB where attempting to open these projects would cause iMovie to quit unexpectedly at launch. According to Apple, the update also addresses a problem where full-screen mode could not be accessed on some systems. Apple's Aperture 2.1.3 update improves overall stability and addresses minor issues in a number of areas, including the display of thumbnails on import and image rotation. The free update is recommended for all users of Aperture 2.3 and is available as a 48.1MB download.
Today's featured deal of the day from DealNN is on the Altec Lansing inMotion Digital Mini-Theater from Marketwarehouse.com. It is regularly priced at $349, but has been reduced to $119 with FREE shipping. It features two 3" neodymium speakers, a built-in 4-inch side-fireing subwoofer and a 8.5-inch widescreen display for viewing photos and videos from dockable iPods.
Apple's online store has a wide variety of refurbished Apple products at reduced prices. The MacBook Air SuperDrive is available for $79. Twenty-inch iMac models start at $849 for the 2.4GHz model with 1GB of memory and 250GB hard drive. MacBook Airs are available for as low as $999 for the 1.6GHz model with 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive. The unibody MacBook with 2GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 250GB hard drive can be purchased for $1099. MacBook Pros start at $1699 for the 2.4GHz model with 2GB of RAM and 250GB hard drive and go up to $2799 for the 2.8GHz model with 4GB of memory and 128GB Solid State Drive.
GT SecuriKey has released an update to its security tool, SecuriKey for Mac v3.1. The system combines software and hardware that are designed to prevent unauthorized access to computer data. Users must insert a USB key into any available USB port and enter the correct password before access to the computer is granted. The new version offers enhanced AES encryption features that can protect any amount of data.
Packard Bell is unveiling the 13.4-inch Butterfly EasyNote S notebook for European markets. Its LCD widescreen is LED backlit, which helps to attain the rated battery life of 8 hours, also thanks in part to an Intel Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) processor and Energy Star 5.0 certification. The one-inch thick netbook will also have a switchable graphics mode feature that switches from the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4300 graphics chipset to integrated graphics to save power in those models that have the two visual cores.
PDFClerk Pro 3.7 ($45) provides tools for performing a larger number of manipulations to existing PDF documents, as well as allowing the creation of PDF documents from non PDF files. Version 3.7 fixes a number of bugs, and adds other enhancements such as mixed editing of static and dynamic annotations and control over tab order of form fields. [Download - 7MB]
REAL has posted REALbasic 2009 Release 2, the latest version of its cross-platform development suite. The software is capable of operating on Mac, Windows and Linux systems, and in its two higher-end editions can compile for any of the three platforms. The updated code is said to include 70 basic improvements and 18 new features, such as official support for the Community Edition of MySQL. Windows apps created with the software can now control others that support COM automation.
The upcoming The Beatles: Rock Band game that was confirmed back in October will be offered as part of a Limited Edition Premium Bundle and will also include a Höfner Bass controller, Ludwig-branded Rock Band drums with classic pearl finish, a metal kick pedal and a vintage replica drumhead. The bundle will also include a microphone with stand and other unspecified "additional special content," as per an e-mail from GameStop.
MetroPCS is the latest wireless provider to offer the Motorola QA30 Hint, with its signature vertical QWERTY slider form factor, in its range of cellphones. The phone has a 2.5-inch display with 320x240 resolution, and opens up to allow the 2-megapixel camera to capture photos and videos that are stored on the integrated 140MB of memory or installed microSD memory card.
Portable digital audio player and other personal electronics maker iRiver has teamed up with Speedo to create an underwater digital audio player, the LZR Racer Aquabeat. The same device is available in Japan, albeit with 2GB of internal memory versus the North American version's 1GB. Either device is IPX5/IPX7 certified, allowing it to operate safely while submerged in up to 10 feet of water. There is no display, only basic controls that include play/pause, volume, and track skipping.
Microsoft has released a trial edition of Office 2008 for Mac. The download is free, but operates only for 30 days before a paid registration key is required, at which point it can be converted into either a Standard or Home & Student edition. Included as part of the trial are versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Messenger and the Entourage mail client.
Microsoft is taking bids for an ad campaign that would center around Zune-influenced phones within the next several months, sources speaking to AdWeek say. Ad agencies Crispin Porter + Bogusky, JWT and McCann Erickson are all reportedly fighting for promotion rights for "Pink," which is referred to only as a "mobile application" in the rumor but is believed to be a codename for reference Zune phones that should include the music services as well as certain design guidelines.
Other World Computing has launched the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2, featuring four interfaces, four drive bays and multiple RAID settings. The unit runs RAID 1, 0, 1+0/10, 5 and NRAID configurations, and supports up to 8TB of SATA-connected storage using 2TB drives. Connection types include eSATA, FireWire 400/800 and USB 2.0, offering speeds up to 300MBps. The casing is shock-resistant, uses heat-dissipating aluminum, and is equipped with status LEDs as well as a keylock that limits hard disk access.
Toshiba had its long-term smartphone plans revealed today through a leak by Greek site Techblog and is now known to be focusing very heavily on full touchscreen devices. After the TG01 launches this summer, the TG02 will appear at the end of the year with an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5 as well as a water-resistant shell. It should have the same 4.1-inch touchscreen, 3G, GPS and likely Wi-Fi.
An iPhone version of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed is in development, says Gameloft. The title is technically a prequel to the PC and console games, and has Altair, the Assassin protagonist, travel to Jerusalem in 1191 in order to steal a chalice and help halt Christianity's Third Crusade. Like the original game, the iPhone version mixes aspects of stealth with action, combat and some minor puzzle-solving.
Architect's Formulator ($10) includes over 200 formulas for carpentry, electrical and plumbing. The application also includes several concrete and excavations formulas that can help calculate how much concrete is required for a job and how many bricks are required to complete a wall. Formulas in the carpentry section can help calculate things like the number of joists and studs required for a job and the load on headers, walls or beams. The plumbing sections formulas can help calculate the area of a pipe wall, the weights of different pipes, and the temperature of two mixed bodies of water.
Taking advantage of Apple's royalty-free Mini DisplayPort spec, Collins America has launched a set of LCDs under the CinemaView label that it says are the first to use the format outside of Apple. The designs all shadow the aluminum, black and glass look of Apple's LED Cinema Display but use less costly panels while keeping most of the functionality through an all-in-one cable. Collins keeps the display and USB links but replaces the MagSafe connector with a direct audio minijack connection for the display's speakers.
Pioneer on Tuesday announced the release of its latest Blu-ray, DVD and CD writer, the BDR-2203. The SATA-attached burner can write to dual-layer Blu-ray discs at up to 8x speeds. This translates to filling up a single-layer 25GB Blu-ray disc in just 15 minutes, and about 30 minutes to completely fill up a dual-layer disc's 50GB of data capacity. DVD recordable discs can be written at up to 16x speeds, with maximum speeds for dual-layer DVDs topping out at half of that. CD-Rs can be recorded at 32x speeds, with maximum speeds for rewritable CDs rated at 24x.
app4mac announced two entirely new applications, Jump 1.0 and Projector 1.0. Jump is a quick-access utility, aimed at making the launch of apps, documents and folders more convenient; Projector, meanwhile, tracks and calculates a project's tasks and costs.
AT&T has announced that it is now carrying the Propel Pro, a Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone from Samsung. The device features a slide-out, vertically-arranged QWERTY keyboard, and is mainly intended for e-mail and text messaging. Also present is Wi-Fi and 3.6Mbps 3G access however, along with assistive GPS, the last of which can be employed in turn-by-turn navigation software.
Three important cultural groups have introduced new content to iTunes U, the educational section of the iTunes Store. Preeminent is the Tate series of galleries from the UK, which has further divided its material into three different sections. The first, Tate Symposia, features serious examinations of exhibits and culture by experts.
The largest wireless provider in South Korea, SK Telecom, announced at a gathering of over 1,000 industry professionals and software developers on Monday that it will launch an application store in trial stages this June, with a full-fledged debut coming in September. The store will differ from originator Apple's App Store as it will cater to four cell phone operating systems, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android and Linux. As well, all cellphone users will be able to access the store, regardless of their carrier or type of phone they own.
Sanyo Electric in Japan has shown off a prototype projector on Tuesday that is capable of throwing up 1080p, 16:9 images sized at 100 inches from just 23.6 inches away, translating to a throw ratio of just 0.28 and making it possible to place the projector nearly anywhere in a typical room. Move it 37 inches away from the screen, and the projected image grows to 150 inches. The RGB laser light source is sent out via a three-panel DLP system embedded in the TV stand-like enclosure. Brightness is rated at 7,000 lumens, touted as the world's highest.
A Microsoft job listing for a Lead Software Development Engineer hint that the company is planning to greatly simplify updates for Windows Mobile devices. Proposing a new service known as Device Update, Microsoft envisions owners receiving patches and feature updates through a single, simple utility, as with Windows Update. It would also have rare remote features, such as pushing updates to family members' phones.
Vision Effects has released Twixtor Express as an FxPlug for Final Cut Express. The plug-in enables users to speed up or slow down image sequences while maintaining quality. In order to do so, Twixtor synthesizes unique new frames by wrapping and interpolating frames of the original sequence, using technology that calculates the motion for each individual pixel.
Napatech has unveiled the latest in its line of four-port, gigabit Ethernet network adapters for PCI Express, the NT4E-STD. Created as an enhanced PCIe version of the company’s XF adapter for PCI-X, the device is used for data capture and processing and the delivery of network data traffic to a host system. The adapter offers support for four Ethernet ports using either electrical or optical gigabit interfaces, as well as complete RMON1 standard support that enables the full offload of statistics collection from host CPUs.
UMPC developer OQO may be close to shuttering if it can't find a buyer, investigations show. A post at fan forum OQOTALK cites multiple sources who say that the company is trying to sell itself and that cutbacks have been put into place to keep OQO running, including reduced hours. Doubts exist that the company's Model 02+ handheld will successfully ship.
HighPoint Technologies has announced the RocketRAID 4311 PCI-Express x8 SAS RAID controller, with an Intel IOP348 processor. The 4311 is designed for the newest Mac Pro systems, and offers 256MB of DDR2 memory along with a single external SFF-8088 connector that supports up to four SAS or SATA hard drives. JBOD and RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 6 and 10 are supported, as well as scaling up to 128 devices if an SAS expander is used.
Sony on Tuesday announced the Japanese pricing and release dates for its two Walkman NX-X1000 series media players first introduced at the start of the year at CES. The NW-X1050, which has 16GB of built-in flash memory, will cost the equivalent of about $403, while the 32GB NW-X1060 will cost $503. Either will be available in red or black when they are released on April 25th.
Apple has little active interest in releasing a South Korean iPhone, claims a regional news site. Telecoms Korea cites KTF's VP of handset strategy, Won-Do Lee, who comments that while his carrier is in negotiations with Apple, progress appears to have stalled in part because of a lack of motivation on Apple's part. KTF has objections of its own though, Lee observes.
Microsoft on Tuesday dipped into entry gaming mice through the Sidewinder X3. The mouse sits at just $40 but has a 2,000DPI laser sensor that can step down to 800DPI or 400DPI for subtler movements. It additionally has eight buttons in an ambidextrous layout, a textured scroll wheel and special feet to provide smooth motions.
Microsoft today quietly acknowledged ongoing problems with the Xbox 360 and posted a warranty extension for consoles affected by failures accompanied by the E74 error message. The game system producer now considers these the same as the 3-red-light issue (commonly known as the "red ring of death") and will fix or replace systems affected by E74 under the same 3-year warranty extension, which triples the normal repair period. Those who have already paid for a fix before the extension will also get an automatic refund.
Nintendo today set a date for its MotionPlus add-on for the Wii. The device by itself will ship on June 8th for $20 and will let any supporting game get much more precise movement tracking through 3D space, including rotation, by adding the peripheral to an existing Wii remote. Its signature launch game, Wii Sports Resort, will ship on July 26th and will come bundled with a MotionPlus adapter for $50.
The companies responsible for manufacturing parts in the next major iPhone release have potentially been named by industry contacts of DigiTimes that also predict ship dates and numbers. The Taiwan-area site reinforces its previous claim that OmniVision is making a 3.2-megapixel sensor for the Apple handset's camera and now says that Largan Precision is making the rest of the imaging unit. Infineon is continuing to provide the cellular baseband (likely upgraded to 7.2Mbps 3G) as well as the GPS chipset.
Logitech's high-end earphone label Ultimate Ears this morning launched a higher-end set of personal in-canal models. The Ultimate Ears 700s have dual drivers like more complex earbuds, separating higher and lower frequencies, but are most notable for their frequency range. Sounds range from a low 10Hz up through to 16.5kHz.
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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