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Genius has announced its G-Shot HD520, a pocket-sized HD digital video camera it hopes will break price barriers for the class. The six-ounce camera features a 2.4-inch screen, records 11-megapixel stills and records in 5-megapixel MPEG 4/H.264 video that produces a 720p picture. The HD520 has some features reserved for higher-end cameras, such as facial detection and image stabilization, and its LCD screen rotates through 270 degrees.
ProfCast 2.5 ($60) is a tool for recording lectures and creating enhanced podcasts. Users can make audio recordings and then include either PowerPoint and/or Keynote slides to enhance the presentation. ProfCast sports live presentation recording, synchronization of slides with audio, Keynote and PowerPoint support, RSS generation and publishing support. Version 2.5 includes the ability to export recordings as .m4v files and has fixed several. [Download - 21.8MB]
Apple is in the middle of a new lawsuit that could test the limits of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The lawsuit was filed jointly by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and attorneys representing OdioWorks, the company that runs Bluwiki, a technology forum website that hosted iPodhash, which discussed use of open-source iPod technology. The lawsuit comes in response to Apple's demands that the iPodhash forum be closed because it violated the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions.
Sonnet has released the Fusion R400P, a four-drive RAID SATA rackmount storage system. The system supports RAID 0, 1, and JBOD and arrives in a 1U rackmount enclosure. It is available in configurations from driveless to 6TB and has an eSATA single-cable port. The new unit is based on Sonnet's Fusion R400Q series and can reach speeds of 220MB/sec in a RAID 0 configuration.
Macware has launched MacTuneUp 3.5, an update that improves the software's optimization tools, promising faster downloads, app launches and app performance. The software diagnoses and repairs problems, and further works to create bootable backup volumes. The update is said to provide yet quicker launches and performance for apps running on Intel Macs. File deletion can now be interrupted, and miscellaneous tweaks for Leopard have been implemented.
VinotekaSoft has released a new version of its wine cellar management app, Vinoteka 1.0.3. Designed to help users organize their wine collections, the program creates virtual cellars resembling a user's own, and supports planning tasting sessions using various tasting methods, and editable tasting notes. Users can also edit categories, customize bottle shapes, choose from different rack types and tag references or bottles.
Lexcycle this afternoon said it had been bought out by Amazon. The deal puts the creator of the popular Stanza e-book app for iPhones under the wing of the creator of the Kindle reader but otherwise isn't expanded upon by either company, including the intent for future products or the financial terms of the takeover. Lexcycle vows that Stanza won't lose functionality for the book services it already offers, some of which are paid stores that compete with the Kindle bookstore.
Seattle-based VholdR recently introduced the first wearable HD camcorder in the industry with the ContourHD. Aimed at individuals who are into extreme sports or other sports activities where users want to record their point of view but do not have a free hand to hold a camera, the water-resistant ContourHD can be attached to goggles or a helmet and shoot 720p HD video at 30 frames per second or standard-definition video at 60fps.
RecordStudio ($5) is a four-track recording application for the iPhone and iPod touch. It allows users to record up to four tracks of audio and then layer and mix the tracks together. Sound can be recorded using either the iPhone's built-in microphone or an external microphone and is saved as 16 bit AIF files. RecordStudio also includes a metronome, WiFi sync for exporting recordings and loading instrumental loops into tracks.
Belkin today quietly released the CushDesk as its solution for notebook owners who want a cooler and more stable surface on their systems. The simple accessory has a hard surface capable of supporting most 17-inch or smaller notebooks and a soft underside that both distances heat from the owner's legs and has enough give to remain comfortable. It also gets a tapered design that angles the notebook up slightly for a more natural viewing angle on a couch or bed.
Autodesk has released the Mac version of Mudbox 2009, one of its newest graphics utilities. The software is designed for texture and modeling artists, and provides tools for painting, texturing and retouching 3D models. The texturing workflow -- which supports bump, diffuse, specular and reflection textures -- is said to be new, with options like a Projection brush and the ability to apply multiple maps to multiple meshes at the same time.
Sony Europe on Monday announced the upcoming release of two sets of Bluetooth 2.1 headphones with Sony's cVc echo and noise cancellation software, the DR-BT100CX in-ear earbuds and headband DR-BT101. Both can handle phone calls thanks to a built-in microphone and call answer controls as well. The earbuds use 9mm Neodymium drivers while the latter sport a 30mm speaker made of the same material. Integrated music controls include volume adjustment and track forward and back buttons.
Computer memory maker Kingston has introduced a Mac OS X-compatible version of its DataTraveler Vault -- Privacy Edition (DTVP) USB flash drive on Monday. The drive is labeled ultra-secure thanks to 256-Bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware encrypted, and will lock down after 10 unsuccessful logins, requiring a reformat to be usable again. All DTVP drives are made of aluminum and waterproof in depths of up to 4 feet.
MetroPCS COO Tom Keys today said it has tapped China's ZTE to make smartphones for its upcoming 4G cell network. While not revealing the full scope of the lineup, Keys tells Forbes that one of these will include a large screen and an "HTML-compatible" browser to take advantage of the faster Internet access. Whether or not the phone would involve a touchscreen isn't mentioned.
The UK division of Vodafone has launched a beta version of an iPhone web portal, regional reports observe. The site is customizable, and offers access to news content from the likes of Sky and the BBC, as well as games, weather and traffic info, plus access to services such as Flickr and Twitter. Notably, the Vodafone Homepage is described as "available to all iPhone users including non-Vodafone customers."
Computer component and system maker IBM on Monday said its Question Answering system, codenamed Watson, will make an appearance on the Jeopardy TV game show and compete with human contestants. Watson has been in development for nearly two years, and its creators believe the computer will have the precision and speed necessary to challenge the brightest humans contestants. Watson will not have access to the Internet, but instead rely on what IBM calls massively parallel analytical capabilities.
Hynix today revealed that it has produced the first 1-gigabit (256MB) mobile DDR2 memory based on a 54 nanometer manufacturing process. Shrinking the chip design has let the company simultaneously raise its maximum clock speed up to 1,066MHz -- the same as desktop memory -- but also to drastically reduce the power versus earlier mobile RAM. The denser memory consumes about half as much power as earlier mobile DDR2 and just 30 percent that of full-fledged desktop memory.
The next version of QuickTime, QuickTime X, should incorporate features for uploading directly to media sharing sites, people experienced with the current beta say. The video playback software is described as having a new "Share" menu, offering the ability to upload to YouTube without a separate encoder or browser. Options should also include uploading to MobileMe Galleries, the only requirement for any upload being login info.
Seagate started its week today by launching a device which comes closest to replicating the behavior of Apple's Time Machine backup for Windows PCs. The Replica performs an automatic, continuous backup of an entire Windows system and lets users either restore all their third-party apps and documents after a crash or else return individual files that might have been deleted or lost. The drive maker promises a simple process where the drive will auto-install and configure itself over USB.
Apple has quietly signaled a new emphasis on graphics by hiring an influential graphics chipset designer from AMD. The former CTO for the company's ATI graphics product group, Bob Drebin, has indicated on his LinkedIn profile that he is now a Senior Director for an unnamed group within Apple. What products he covers are unknown, though in addition to leading GPU engineering at ATI since 2000, he also spent significant time developing products at Silicon Graphics and, during a 2-year span at ArtX, helped create the "Flipper" GPU that formed the heart of the Nintendo GameCube.
Last week, the European Parliament has extended music copyrights from 50 to 70 years, just in time to keep early rock-and-roll songs out of the public domain, according to a Monday Ars Technica report. The move will allow bands such as the Beatles and some 1950s bands to avoid having songs fall into the public domain. At the same time, Parliament asked the European Commission to launch an assessment of movie copyrights by January 2010, which could see their copyrights extended as well.
Taking action on earlier accusations, lawyers for The Pirate Bay have submitted a petition for a retrial, according to Reuters. Four of the people behind the website were each sentenced to a year in prison on April 17th, as well as paying $3.6 million in compensation to copyright holders. The judge for the case was unfairly biased however, claims Pirate Bay laywer Per Samuelson.
A leaked image reveals that the Samsung T349 handset, equipped with a 20-key interface, is coming to wireless provider T-Mobile on May 20th. The keypad isn't being touted by BGR as having a QWERTY keyboard, but exactly how it differs isn't clear. The brick form factor handset is being marketed as a messaging device, however. Otherwise, the handset has a 1.3-megapixel camera with video capture capabilities, along with Bluetooth support, e-mail and IM functionality. While this is not confirmed, the device is expected to sport a high-contrast AMOLED display.
Semiconductor giants NEC and Renesas today said they would merge in a deal likely to change the electronics industry. The two plan to finish talks by July that would create a single company by next April. Such a deal would give them roughly $13 billion in combined yearly sales and would make it the single-largest Japanese company building processing technology.
The iPhone is pushing the demand for location-based services, claims Skyhook Wireless. The company produces software which unites GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular information in order to deliver location data; the technology is integrated into the iPhone, which it notes is amassing a dramatically escalating number of location-based apps. Whereas only a few dozen existed in August of last year, there are now over 2,000 as of April, and it is predicted that 2010 could see five times that number. Some 200 million location queries are served by Skyhook each day, the company comments.
Hoping to expand its 4G access beyond just notebook adapters and a few phones, Korean cellular provider KT today launched a new network gateway simply known as the Egg. The round device pulls a WiBro (WiMAX variant) connection of its own and shares it over Wi-Fi, effectively creating a local hotspot with download speeds as quick as 37Mbps. KT specifically sees it as ideal for giving the iPod touch wide-area wireless and expects to sell the Egg at Apple resellers, though handhelds like the Nintendo DS and others that need Wi-Fi will also work.
A version of the iPhone for Verizon could be coming next year, claims USA Today. The newspaper cites "people familiar with the situation," who say that Apple is in negotiations with Verizon, and in fact has been talking with the carrier for several months, back to point before Apple CEO Steve Jobs took a medical leave of absence. The diminished participation of Jobs has not stopped efforts, say USA's sources.
General Electric on Monday announced it is working on a holographic storage medium that resembles a typical optical disc and allows it to store the equivalent of 100 DVDs, the NY Times reported this weekend. Holography, used for the three-dimensional images on some older credit cards for security, can also store binary data in the form of 1s and 0s. The next step involves GE making the technology usable in hardware that can be mass-produced at affordable prices.
Vodafone Spain today got the edge on its other European counterparts by saying it would launch the HTC Magic early. The carrier's countdown has the phone shipping at midnight Tuesday and will make it the first country to get the handset, which is the second-ever Android phone and the first sold outside of T-Mobile. Unlike the G1, the Magic uses Android 1.5's on-screen keyboard alone for input and uses this to significantly slim down the design.
An Italian rmor from this weekend claims that Samsung is developing a new, flagship Omnia that would significantly improve on even the i8910, which itself was originally named the Omnia HD. Supposedly titled the Omnia Pro, the new model would get a 3.5-inch, 480x800 AMOLED screen but would also be the first Omnia with a hardware QWERTY keyboard, sliding out from underneath the screen. It would still have a 5-megapixel camera and would get a fast 624MHz processor.
Apple has submitted a major correction to an SEC filing, one which could substantially alter the company's financial future, an announcement reveals. The corrected document is a 10-Q form, which includes the results of voting on various shareholder proposals. The tallies in the original 10-Q were inaccurate, Apple now admits, because a mistake from someone working on its behalf counted abstentions as "no" votes.
TriGem's American label Averatec today gave its N2700 notebook a major update with better performance and other extras. The 12-inch notebook now uses a more modern 2GHz Core 2 Duo T6400 and comes preloaded with 4GB of RAM; to match the extra memory, it now ships with Windows Vista 64-bit. It now comes with a 250GB hard drive standard and, in a significant shift away from larger rivals, keeps preloaded trial apps and other 3rd-party software to a minimum to prevent the "bloat" that artificially slows down other Windows systems.
After weeks of trying to reach a settlement and put an end to the long-standing legal battles between them, lawyers at rival chipmakers Broadcom and Qualcomm came to an agreement, with Qualcomm agreeing to pay $891 million to Broadcom over four years. This marks the second payment Qualcomm will be making to the smaller Broadcom in lawsuits, though the first, at $19.6 million, was significantly smaller. Reuters reported the first payment of $200 million to settle the supposed patent infringements will be made in the current quarter.
Samsung today became the second company ever to formally launch a smartphone based on Google's Android platform. The i7500 is one of the thinnest full touchscreen phones at 0.47 inches deep and is also billed as one of the most advanced: it centers on a 3.2-inch, 320x480 AMOLED screen that not only provides much better color accuracy and brightness but also helps extend battery life. A 5-megapixel camera with autofocusing and flash gives it the most advanced photography of any Android phone, while it's also the first with the OS to have 8GB of built-in memory on top of a microSDHC card slot.
Verizon on Monday claimed to have defied the economy with results for the first quarter of the year that were particularly strong. The company said it added 1.3 million new cellphone subscribers outside of its Alltel takeover, bringing it to 86.6 million total users. The company also notes that its revenue from wireless data also spiked 56.2 percent from a year earlier to $3.6 billion and that the amount of churn, or turnover of old subscribers replaced with new, was very low at just over 1.1 percent.
Toshiba on Monday revealed that it has started shipping its 32 nanometer NAND flash memory ahead of schedule. Originally planned for the fall, the higher-density storage is already being sampled today and should be in mass production by July. The process allows a single, thin 32-gigabit (4GB) chip and, with eight stacked chips, will allow 32GB of memory in a single package.
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HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko