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Microsoft has expanded its "You find it, you keep it" series of television ads, now bringing the cash limit up to $2000. The segment features a filmmaker, Sheila, as she tries to find a notebook with a fast processor, big screen and "able to cut video." She migrates to "the best Apple," a MacBook Pro, but eliminates the choice because it only has 2GB of RAM.
Graphisoft has introduced EcoDesign, an energy evaluation utility that works in conjunction with the company's ArchiCAD 12 modeling tools. The software enables users to optimize the energy consumption of their building designs. Rather than analyzing the buildings when the project is in its advanced stages, architects can assess a variety of factors in the beginning steps.
Aquafadas has updated PulpMotion, its slideshow animation program. Both standard and advanced versions of PulpMotion 2.2 include slideshow themes from the first generation PulpMotion, as well as an additional four new themes. All of the four new themes feature the ability to include 3D animations. Several bugs from the previous PulpMotion have also been fixed, making it more reliable than its predecessor.
iPhone developer SGN (Social Gaming Network) has launched a cross-promotional network between itself and other iPhone developers. The first two companies to join the network are games developer Punch Entertainment and Smallmedium, publisher of eMees Avatar Creator. The network aspect involves in-game banner ads promoting products for network members, with direct-download support in the ad, and revenue sharing for all members. Consumers also get bonus points in the games they are playing for downloading games from the banner ads.
Zillow.com has launched Zillow Real Estate for the iPhone and iPod touch, an application that provides real-estate data and information on U.S homes. The app uses GPS to pinpoint the correct location before displaying Zestimate values and information on the surrounding homes. The map moves and updates as the user travels around. Details are provided for approximately 88 million U.S homes, including photos and contact information for 3.4 million for-sale listings.
Developers Keith Lee, Brian Morrisroe and Sam Christiansen have received funding for their new start-up, Booyah, that will specialize in apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. The $4.5 million Series A financing is drawn from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' iFund. The trio of company founders draw previous experience from Blizzard Entertainment, Activision and Insomniac Games.
First-quarter cellphone shipments showed the worst fall ever, with a 13-percent drop from last year's numbers, according to a Strategy Analytics report. The industry experienced a similar drop in 2001, with a slide of 11 percent. The analysts explained the results as a consequence of retailer de-stocking and lowered consumer spending. All of the top five manufacturers saw a similar decline, although Samsung's sales only fell by one percent.
GrandTotal 1.3 ($65) is an invoicing application for Mac OS X that is designed for freelancers and small to mid sized companies. GrandTotal features a built-in editor that allows users to adjust their layout to fit a companies corporate design. Version 1.3 allows users to set invoice and estimate values to be reset on either a monthly or yearly basis along with several other advanced preferences. The update also adds support for custom paper sizes to the built in layouts and fixes several bugs. [Download - 9.6MB]
At an earnings conference on Wednesday, Time Warner Cable COO Landel Hobbs said that the cable provider will begin using the newer, multi-channel DOCSIS 3.0 standard to provide Internet and data access to homes and businesses this summer, although it will be limited to New York City only. Time Warner Cable is currently testing DOCSIS 3.0 in NYC, Hobbs says. Testing has netted 138Mbps download speeds and and 18Mbps upload speeds, the COO says, adding that these won't be offered initially.
The Sony Ericsson W518a clamshell has been approved by the FCC, with specifics in the report indicating it will soon be available at AT&T. The quad-band GSM/EDGE handset has dual-band HSDPA support for 3G in addition to a GPS sensor and Bluetooth support.
Without fanfare, Archos on Thursday revealed some of its plans for the US by posting teasers for the Archos 2 on its online store. The replacement for the Archos 105 has the familiar 1.8-inch screen and audio, photo and video formats of the French firm's earlier player but has an FM radio, a microSDHC card slot for additional storage and, in Europe, a purple tint along with the black and white models available everywhere. Voice recording is similarly an option.
Other World Computing has announced new Mercury SuperDrive Internal Upgrade Kits for MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The drives burn at 8x speeds with DVD+/-R media, and at 6x using DVD+/-R-DL. 5x DVD-RAM and 24x CD-R burning are also possible. The new SuperDrives work in all MacBooks and MacBook Pros prior to the new unibody design, and come with an optional bundle including Prosoft Data Backup 3, NTI DragonBurn and 10 8x DVD-R discs.
Toshiba Corporation and Fujitsu Limited on Thursday today announced the terms of the definitive agreement, following the pair's memorandum of understanding completed in mid-February. Under the agreement, Fujitsu will transfer its hard disk drive (HDD) business to Toshiba, with a target completion date of July 1st.
CS Odessa has released ConceptDraw NetDiagrammer, a new plug-in for ConceptDraw Pro 8. The plug-in is geared towards IT personnel who develop and administer corporate infrastructure; users can detect, plan, design and document computer networks. ConceptDraw Pro 8 is a business graphics suite designed to create charts and other illustrations.
RealSnowGlobe ($1) allows users to turn their iPhone or iPod touch into an a portable snow globe. The application features smooth and realistic physics that react to movements of the device including shaking, rotating and tilting. RealSnowGlobe also includes its own music tracks, a clock and calender, and a 15, 30 and 45 min auto sleep timer. Several different themed snow globes are available including Paris, Hawaii, and Venice.
Amazon on Wednesday announced its Personal Document Service for the Kindle e-book reader has been updated and, starting May 4th, will support RTF text files in addition to DOC, HTML, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TXT, AZW, MOBI, and PRC. At the same time, Amazon changed its fee structure for sending personal documents to the Kindle, now basing it on the file size. Each megabyte costs 15 cents to send, and Amazon rounds up to the next whole megabyte. Previously, file transfers cost 10 cents each, no matter how big in size. The service, offered via Whispernet wireless delivery system, will also now send through DOCX files for conversion to be compatible on the device, though Amazon warns some complex PDF and DOCX files may still not format properly on the Kindle.
Today's DealNN deal of the day is on the Polk Audio miDock studio. It is regularly priced at $99, but for today only has been reduced to $54.99. The Polk Audio miDock sound system is compatible with most dockable iPods and includes an iPod port that allows you to plug it directly into a computer and upload songs without having to undock the iPod.
Visual Data Tools has released v2.0 of its graphing application for the Mac, DataGraph. The software allows users to create graphs out of combined data, and includes statistical functions such as function fitting, histograms and box plots. Changes in the update include a factoring together of line styles, fill styles and masks, and the moving of various settings from the old Axis controller into either Canvas or the new Style controller.
Sony has added six new models to its digital voice recorder line-up, all sporting new designs, long recording times, improved recording quality and support for both Macs and PCs. All devices allow for recording and playing back audio in MP3 format as well as store files on their built-in flash memory. At the top of the range are the ICD-SX700 and ICD-SX700D. The former is capable of recording in Linear PCM as well as MP3 formats and, for Windows users, ships with Sound Forge Audio Studio LE software that lets users edit, mix and burn recordings onto CDs.
The iPhone version of Peggle should finally be released on May 12th, reports say. The game was originally set to debut through the App Store in March, but was delayed for reasons unknown. Little else is known about the port, except that it should be consistent with other versions.
Apple today landed another key employee with word that Microsoft's senior Xbox strategy director Richard Teversham has left his company to join the Mac creator. Although Microsoft itself will only confirm that Teversham has left for a "new opportunity" beyond the company, MCV understands that he has quit his employer of 15 years to take up an education-related position at a European Apple office. Why he has made the switch or his specific role at Apple haven't been made public.
Apple is allegedly in the process of restructuring its Mac offerings to include a number of lower-priced models, an unnamed source has told AppleInsider. Specific details remain unavailable, but the company is believed to be readying more affordable variations of the 13-inch MacBook and iMac, two of its best-selling products.
In spite of a fledgling attempt at chip design, Apple will likely stay with third-party components when it comes to building most of its hardware, says Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. Bringing design in-house is said to have several possible advantages, such as faster and more power-efficient iPods, iPhones, Macs and other devices. The move could also increase barriers to competition, preventing other companies from basing designs on shared technology.
Oppo Digital's BDP-83 Blu-ray player, first spotted at CEDIA last fall, now has a release date and pricing info for those early customers who e-mailed the company and expressed interest in the advanced Blu-ray disc player. This is Oppo's first Blu-ray player, as the company is most famous for its upscaling DVD players capable of supporting multiple formats that include SACD, DVD-Audio and HDCD.
Acer today potentially spoiled Microsoft's Windows 7 launch plans by revealing a launch date for the operating system. The PC builder now says to Pocket-lint that the OS will be available on October 23rd and come in time for a new all-in-one nettop from Acer, the Z5600, to come preloaded with the software. Systems will also ship as early as late September for a hands-on experience, and those who buy a system 30 days before Windows 7 releases will get a free upgrade to the new platform.
T-Mobile UK has announced on Wednesday that it is beginning to send out the Android 1.5 operating system that contains the so-called Cupcake updates to current T-Mobile G1 handset users. The update will give the G1 a long-awaited virtual keyboard for texting capabilities when the handset is closed, along with better support for accelerometers to adjust the display when the phone is tilted on its side.
Palm's just-spotted second webOS phone has been given much greater detail in a new leak that appears to confirm nearly all details of the device. Now known as the Eos, the design pictured by Engadget is built as a replacement for the Centro but with features that would establish it as a lower-cost alternative to an iPhone. It would have a slightly smaller 2.6-inch, 320x400 multi-touch display but would still have a fixed QWERTY keyboard and an extremely thin design: it would measure just under 0.42 inches thick.
Dell has substantially extended the amount of art available for its Studio notebooks, according to an announcement. Buyers of 15- and 17-inch models can now choose from 120 more designs, for a total of over 200. The art is divided into categories such as artists, patterns and plain colors, as well as a special (PRODUCT) Red series, which directs $20 of Dell's profit from each computer towards combating AIDS in Africa.
Disney this morning said it has obtained an equity stake in Hulu. The deal, which puts three Disney executives on the Hulu board, gives the studio equal influence along with original founders NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox) in addition to the ability to publish content on the streaming web video service. Most of its initial lineup will center on current and back-catalog TV shows from ABC and Disney, such as Lost and Dancing with the Stars, but should also include "popular library titles" from Walt Disney Studios.
Apple may be toying with the notion of introducing carbon fiber into future products, a newly exposed patent application reveals. Carbon fiber is extremely durable, and when mixed with plastic can also result in a very lightweight material. The difficulty, Apple suggests, is that even in many alternative methods of forming a carbon fiber shell, the result is a black surface with visible fibers that can dictate how a product will look.
Microsoft this morning made the Windows 7 Release Candidate available to those who subscribe to MSDN or TechNet, providing the first widely available glimpse at the next-generation OS since the public beta from February. The new version includes a handful of new features added since the beta, such as the previously revealed XP emulation mode for Business and Ultimate editions as well as an upgrade advisor tool and the ability to stream music and video to other Windows 7 PCs outside of the local network.
Palm's mystery second, smaller webOS device may be a heavily redesigned version of the Centro, based on an escaped photo. Appearing to come from a slideshow, the device spotted by BGR has the same basic candybar design but a much larger screen and the same interface, including the multi-tasking button and the gesture area. Little else is known other than that the phone has a fall release date consistent with the late Wednesday rumor.
Not only is Apple is the middle of designing its own chips, it is experiencing some initial difficulties, claims the Wall Street Journal. The company acquired chip designers PA Semi approximately a year ago, and is acknowledged by people including CEO Steve Jobs to be using the expertise to help prepare for future multi-touch devices, namely iPods and iPhones. Such devices are expected to produce better graphics and battery consumption, while supporting special features.
JD Power on Thursday gave Apple's iPhone the highest score on its consumer satisfaction study for cellphones in early 2009. The touchscreen device earned a score of 791 out of 1,000 and beat out both those in its own smartphone category as well as traditional phones. The owners commenting on the phone gave it especially high marks for ease of use, the quality of the operating system, the feature set and the hardware design.
Acer's recently introduced Timeline ultra-thin notebook computers are suffering from a panel shortage, company chairman JT Wang confirmed to DigiTimes in a Thursday report. Poor yields from a particular supplier are now said to have temporarily set back Acer's plans. A new supplier was found, however, and the shortage will be resolved, with just three of ten planned models delayed for about eight days.
Motorola today warned that the company's cellphone business has continued to drag on its performance over the first quarter of 2009 ended in March. The company said its shipments of phones plunged from 27.4 million in early 2008 to 14.7 million a year later, a drop of 46.4 percent. The Mobile Devices group itself lost $509 million and was the primary factor behind a $231 million total loss for the company versus $194 million the year before.
Adobe has released an update to its web content maintenance tool for professional web designers, InContext Editing 1.5. The program is hosted online, and enables users to update content from any browser; supporting hooks in Dreamweaver CS4 are optional. Changes in the new version include the ability to assign editable regions to a website from within a browser, and simplified administration controls for protecting design integrity.
Lenovo is developing a version of the ThinkPad X200s that would use a processor fitting roughly into the CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) category, a leak says. Instead of the SL-series Core 2 Duo processors that have pushed the price upwards on the system, Lenovo is said by Fudzilla to be using an ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Celeron M chip that would drop the price substantially. It would also have relatively modest specifications with 2GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive.
Apple's update to the iPhone this year will not only be necessary for the new video recording feature but will also have a better display, according to a purported leak from those with access to the new hardware. Without entering into detail, the source for BusinessWeek says the 2009 refresh has an "improved screen" beyond the 320x480 LCD that has been a staple of the iPhone since 2007. Whether this is a resolution increase or a change to a different display technology, such as AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode), isn't known.
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Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ