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HTC Rhodium for T Mobile
The FCC has passed a variant of the HTC Touch Pro2, also known as the Rhodium, for T-Mobile. The approval confirms earlier reports that spotted the carrier name in the handset's ROM. FCC documents (PDF) indicate the device will support T-Mobile's 1700MHz 3G band, along with EDGE and GSM. HTC claimed the handset would be "broadly available" in most areas, with the first launches beginning later this spring.
Mass Effect for iPhone
BioWare has announced that it is working on bringing its Mass Effect game to the iPhone and iPod touch. The game is based on the same Mass Effect universe featured in the Xbox 360 and Windows editions, although the story does not bridge Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. Rather, it offers a side-story surrounding a character from the upcoming version. The developers claim it is not "required reading" for the core trilogy.
Dash Monitors, CropaRatio
ProteMac Meter 2.3 ($30) is a network-traffic logging application that allows users to monitor all Internet and network activity. A stopwatch function can be used to time downloads and calculate average transfer rates. Users can also set alarms that will sound if the bandwidth or time limits have been exceeded by a particular application, or if a desired traffic volume has been reached. The update has added a new notification engine and improved the user interface. Overall stability has also been improved and several bugs have been addressed. [Download - 5.2MB]
Verizon requests extension
Verizon has asked the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for a 60-day extension to complete divesting the markets it currently shares with Alltel, with which it recently merged. The wireless provider is citing the poor state of the economy as one reason for the request, as well as the sheer size of its assets, with each marketing area containing about 200 pages worth of assets that need to be auctioned off. When the Verizon merger with Alltel was approved, it was under the condition that it divests from 105 markets where Verizon and Alltel services overlap.
iPod touch gains OS share
Shortly after Apple surpassed 1 billion App Store downloads, research by Net Applications suggests the iPod touch has significantly outpaced the iPhone in growth of overall browsing usage. From November 2008 to April 2009 the Touch showed a 300-percent increase, rising from .05-percent to .15-percent of overall usage. Through the same period, iPhone share increased by 49-percent and accounted for .55-percent of overall usage.
Siberian Strike for iPhone
Gameloft has produced a new game for the iPhone and iPod touch, Siberian Strike. Players assume the role of a 1940s fighter pilot, Elliott Freeman, whose mission is to track and destroy a Soviet cyborg. Users can select from one of four difficulty levels, and choose between accelerometer or touch controls.
Thrustmaster DSi chargers
Accessories maker Thrustmaster has recently introduced two upcoming accessories for the new Nintendo DSi with the T-Standee Charger and T-Strap Charger. The former charges the DSi via a standard wall plug and doubles as an adjustable stand that can hold the device in either landscape or portrait orientation. The T-Strap Charger replaces the standard carrying strap of the DSi and can be removed to charge the portable gaming console from any USB port.
IdeaPad Y550s now shipping
Lenovo has started shipping its latest 15.6-inch notebook, the IdeaPad Y550, and offers six models of the portable PC, with prices ranging from $669 to $1,199. All include a 1366x768 widescreen display and an integrated dual-layer DVD burner. The base model has a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of RAM, along with a 250GB hard drive preloaded with Windows Vista Home Premium.
Psystar holding back?
Psystar is failing to follow proper legal procedure, Apple has claimed in a petition to a federal court judge. The Mac cloner is specifically accused of interfering with the discovery phase of a current lawsuit, by refusing to produce balance sheets, monthly statements and other financial documents, although it has provided some cost and revenue receipts. "Moreover," states Apple attorney James Gilliland, "at the deposition regarding Psystar's revenues, profits, assets and liabilities...Psystar's CEO and founder Rudy Pedraza, the person designated by Psystar to testify on this topic, would not answer basic questions about Psystar's financials."
Court allows iPCS lawsuit
iPCS, an affiliate of Sprint, announced on Friday that the Cook County Circuit Court has denied Sprint's motion to dismiss parts of iPCS's lawsuit against Sprint for violating its exclusivity agreement with iPCS. Back in May of 2008, Sprint and Clearwire formed a partnership that would see the joint company provide access to the next-generation 4G WiMAX network to its customers. iPCS' lawsuit aims to block Sprint from receiving benefits from its Clearwire deal unless it shares these benefits with its affiliates.
Alias 2 coming May 11th
Adding to earlier reports of the Samsung U750, or the Alias 2, the unofficial ship date for the handset at wireless provider Verizon is now set at May 11th. The flip phone is special as the first with a variable e-ink QWERTY keyboard. Its buttons change assignments depending on whether the dual-hinged 2.6-inch, 320x240 pixel display is opened horizontally or vertically but don't consume extra power until the change.
iSuppli on Netbook Cooloff
Despite currently strong interest, the netbook industry is likely to cool off sharply in as little as a year, an iSuppli estimate said today. The research predicts that netbook shipments are likely to surge 68.5 percent in 2009 versus the year earlier but that this growth rate will be cut almost in half to 39.6 percent in 2010 and by two thirds to 13.1 percent in 2013. The growth will still be relatively strong as each figure builds on the earlier year's numbers, according to principal PC analyst Matthew Wilkins, but shows the rapid expansion of 2008 quickly tapering off.
Cooliris update for iPhone
Cooliris has released an update to its iPhone app, Cooliris 1.4, which features a revamped user interface. A visual Twitter client now allows users to Tweet their favorite content from the 3D wall within the application. Favorite content can also be viewed, or synced with a Mac or PC using a Cooliris account. New options allow Media RSS feeds on the wall, while Google SafeSearch can be disabled.
KB Keyboard series
KB Covers has introduced its KB Keyboards, a new line of application keyboards based on Apple's aluminum designs. The series displays shortcut keys for Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Media Composer. A special Midnight Keyboard utilizes black keys, and is meant to resemble the new MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards. With the exception of the Midnight model, each keyboard combines icons and colors to help users find shortcuts.
Xbox Full Body Sensor Leak
Microsoft will try to chase after the Nintendo Wii's popularity by introducing a motion controller of its own, a photo leak implies. In place of detecting the behavior of a controller as with the Wii, the Xbox 360 peripheral shown to Engadget would amount only to a bar with two sensors, a microphone and a webcam that all detect players' body movements. Users could mimic the exact actions of the characters they control, such as punching or jumping, and could perform general interface actions such as pinching or scrolling.
Adjust Photo, Balloon Head
Squashem ($2) is a game where the players goal is to chase and squash 10 runners with a large ball. Players control the ball by tilting their iPhone or iPod touch and can choose from 10 different ball models including a soccer ball. The game includes six different time based levels and both hard and easy game modes.
NovaMind 5 announced
A new version of NovaMind's self-titled software has been announced. NovaMind 5 should begin shipping in September or October, and both the Mac and Windows versions have been redesigned. The software includes multiple new topic shapes, and "FlexiLine," a feature that allows the creation of custom shapes and linking lines, helping to polish the look of mind maps. The themes and styles system has meanwhile been redesigned, making it possible to generate over 100 theme variations.
Palm Foleo Revival Rumor
Palm is reportedly poised to revive its canceled Foleo companion as a webOS device, an investor note from Global Equities Research says. Analyst Trip Chowdhry claims to know that the design will largely be similar to the original concept on the outside but will use webOS and serve as a true, stand-alone computer. By using an ARM processor and a Qualcomm Gobi chipset for 3G, the Foleo remake would get 8-10 hours of battery life while still having Internet access most anywhere.
Archive 6 update
Yenco has released Archive 6, an update to its software that helps users find or store particular documents on removable media or devices. The latest version adds a new catalog engine that obtains more data about each file than the previous release. The software is claimed to execute faster searches as the user types, while a new sidebar provides quicker access to catalogs. Users can also take advantage of multi-column browsing, or launch files from within the program.
Motorola outs Clutch i465
Motorola has recently revealed specs of its first push-to-talk handset that has a full QWERTY keyboard, the Clutch i465. Originally spotted at the end of February and expected to reach Sprint or its subsidiary Boost Mobile, the phone is said to meet military-grade specifications for resistance to shock, vibration, dust and solar radiation.
Windows 7 on ARM chips?
Windows 7 may eventually be capable of running on ARM processors, suggests the company's CEO, Warren East. The operating system is expected to become common on netbooks, a consequence not only of new features such as touch support but lower system requirements than Windows Vista. Windows has so far, however, been almost exclusively limited to processors based on Intel architecture, blocking ARM's mobile-oriented CPUs.
Apple in Brandz Top 100
Apple and its US carrier AT&T are some of the most important technology companies in terms of brand worth, the latest Brandz Top 100 ranking (PDF) from MillwardBrown indicates. Gauging them not just on their actual income but also their social impact, the firm estimates that Apple has the sixth-largest brand value in the world and has seen the rough value of its brand climb 14 percent to about $63.1 billion. AT&T ranked 28th but was also one of the fastest-rising companies, jumping 67 percent to just over $20 billion.
Blackmagic Converter Util.
Blackmagic Design has launched the Converter Utility, a software update for the company's series of Mini Converters. New features provide an HD down-converter in the Mini Converter SDI to Analog model, and support for 1080p/50, 1080p/59.94, and 1080p/60 via 3Gbps SDI. The Utility also offers new functions for some specific Mini Converters, enabling them to check for a firmware update automatically via USB.
Google sued over Android
A software developer is seeking about $94 million in damages from Google and 46 other technology companies for their use of the term Android, which Google used to name its open-source operating system. According to a Thursday report, Erich Specht, who runs Android Data Corp. in Illinois, claims Google infringed on his trademark and is seeking an injunction on Android-branded products.
Byline 2.5 released
Phantom Fish has updated Byline, a news reader and offline web browser for the iPhone and iPod touch. Version 2.5 offers a new user interface, and progressive syncing with Google Reader. The latter loads articles in sections while maintaining a responsiveness, enabling users to start reading their articles faster.
Palm Eos Sprint Rumor
Although initially figured as a GSM-first device, the Palm Eos is now said on its way to CDMA carriers and may show within just a few months of the Pre's debut. PhoneNews refers to supposed Sprint insiders who say the Centro sequel is coming to that carrier this summer. Its only differences would be those in networking, with CDMA replacing GSM and EVDO Revision A replacing HSPA for 3G data access.
Apple refurb: $999 or less
Apple's online store today has six refurbished Mac models for $999 or less. Starting at $419 is the 1.83GHz Mac mini with 1GB of memory and 80GB hard drive. Two white MacBook models are being offered for $849, both have 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive as well as an 8x SuperDrive, one has a 2.1GHz processor and the other has a 2.0GHz processor. Two iMacs are also included for $999. Both models have a 2.66GHz processor, 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive however the one has an ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO video card while the other has a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M video card. Last on the list is the 1.6GHz MacBook Air (also priced at $999) with 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive.
Piranesi 5.1 coming in May
Informatix says it is preparing a new version of Piranesi, 5.1, for release later this month. The software handles 3D design and imaging for the sake of mockups, with a special focus on products and architecture. Completed renders can be made to resemble illustrations, in styles such as watercolor or impressionism.
Eee PC Seashell official
After months of teasing with images and preliminary specs of its MacBook Air-fighting Eee PC Seashell netbook, ASUS has officially released specs for the portable PC. It sports a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280 with the faster 667MHz system bus, 1GB of RAM and a 10-inch, 1024x600 display with an anti-glare coating. The optical drive-free netbook weighs just 2.2lbs and earns its name from the glossy exterior that acts as a scratch-resistant protective shell.
PSP Go M2 Micro Rumor
Rumors for the upcoming PSP Go! may have been corrected on Friday by a follow-up rumor. Pointing to supposed insiders aware of PSP development, PC World downplays the likelihood of the Sony console getting internal memory and instead claims that it will use a high-speed card format, such as the Memory Stick HG-Micro format that was teased at CES this year. The card is meant for cellphones but would be about 3 times faster than the Memory Stick Duo cards used for the existing PSP, topping at 60MB of data per second.
Rue HalÚvy store progress
Active construction has begun at the site of the Rue HalÚvy Apple Store in Paris, a MacNN source informs. The location is across from the Garnier operahouse, and may be strategically situated in the middle of high tourist traffic with the added benefit of wealthy locals. Like many buildings in the neighborhood, the one containing the Apple Store has historical value.
T-Mobile UK May Merge
T-Mobile's UK division may merge with a rival or even sell off its assets if it can't recover from major losses, its CFO Timotheus Hoettges said at the cellphone carrier's annual shareholder's meeting. The British group may have to write down the equivalent of $2.4 billion in costs for just the first quarter of 2009 and is considering any steps it can take to cut these expenses. Which is more likely isn't known, though the executive sees a merger as one of the most practical ways to address the problem.
11.6-inch Aspire One specs
Acer's recently introduced 11.6-inch Aspire One netbook has received a full spec sheet thanks the model's appearance on the company's German web page. Called the Acer Aspire One 751, it now appears powered by Intel's 1.33GHz Atom Z520 CPU along with a maximum of 2GB of RAM rather than the 1.6GHz model of before. The largest netbook in Acer's lineup also sports a 1366x768 resolution and offers Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and triband UMTS/HSPA 3G as options.
Win 7 RC Until June 2010
Microsoft with the release of the Windows 7 Release Candidate has acknowledged that the test version will last until June 1st 2010 in a bid to attract users to the finished, paid version. The time span is much longer for the Windows 7 beta, which expires in August, and is uncharacteristically long for any Windows release candidate. The company's Windows Client Group head John Curran doesn't specifically justify the extension to PC Pro but does say he encourages a wide range of technology enthusiasts, though not necessarily the general public.
Quicken iPhone app coming
Intuit is preparing a dedicated iPhone application to complement some of its existing platforms, a product manager for the company says. The app is based on the company's Quicken Online service, and provides simpler financial tracking than the conventional desktop versions of Quicken. Users can browse a chart showing the progress of their finances over time, and zoom in using touch controls to see specific transactions.
Sony Motion PS3 Rumor
Sony is purportedly set to revitalize its sagging PS3 sales through a new motion controller, if a rumor proves authentic. An apparent source for Variety claims to have seen a controller that uses a combination of a webcam, presumably mounted in front of the TV, as well as LED lights on the peripheral itself. As the system would detect the pattern and colors of the lights, it's purportedly more accurate than the Nintendo Wii's default infrared remote and can track distance from the TV as well as speed.
Palm May Cut Pre Launch
Analyst Ashok Kumar of financial group Collins Stewart has said that Palm has had to significantly scale back its build numbers for the Pre. In an investment note obtained by All Things D, Kumar claims to have access to Palm's supply chain and hears that "multiple hardware and software issues" have forced the company to scale back its production to match. The cuts are steep enough that the researcher doesn't see Palm shipping 1 million Pre phones in the second half of 2009.
Peewee Pivot Tablet Laptop
Peewee PC has released a spill- and drop-resistant notebook for children aged 3-10, the Peewee Pivot Tablet Laptop. It has typical notebook specs with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and 60GB of storage, but, as a convertible tablet, lets users rotate the display 180 degrees and use the touch display alone along with the conventional netbook layout. A thick handle eases carrying the notebook for kids in either mode.
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