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Yamaha releases iPod docks
Yamaha has entered the iPod accessory market, introducing four new iPod specific audio products, the PDX-50, PDX-30, TSX-130, and TSX-120. Each model also aims to provide high-quality sound using a recently designed digital amplifier. The PDX50 model includes wireless control using Air-Wired technology, supposedly transmitting audio in a lossless stream. The 'dock less' system wirelessly connects to a small transmitter attached to the iPod without pairing common in other wireless connectors.
VP releases two games
Virtual Programming has released its two newest games, Fireglow's The Golden Path of Plumeboom for the iPhone and iPod touch, and Phantom EFX's Real Deal Card Games 2009 for Mac. The Golden Path of Plumboom is a puzzle game in which players must shoot colored orbs into combinations to gain points. The game uses real-life physics and includes 100 levels of gameplay and various bonus games.
Yahoo focuses on iPhone
Yahoo has announced it will be abandoning its mobile application development for the Blackberry on May 20th. The company plans to focus on the development of its iPhone application, says TechCrunch. Yahoo Mobile was updated for the iPhone in April, combining features such as email, mobile search, IM, social messaging streams, and personalized Yahoo content such as news, sports, stocks, and RSS feeds.
Zurich Apple Store Friday
Switzerland's third Apple store is said to be opening May 22nd. The store is located downtown in the countries largest city, Zurich, at 77 Bahnhofstrasse and will see its doors open at 12 noon. The opening of this store has been long expected, with rumors of a new store first being confirmed by the Bilanz newspaper after quoting Roger Brustio, head of Apple Switzerland.
In brief: MyService has expanded its hard drive upgrade options to include a 500GB 7200RPM Seagate drive. The option is available for both MacBooks and MacBook Pros, for a price of $345 which includes all labor and shipping costs. Apple has continued to expand its retail locations and opened a new store in Santa Barbara over the weekend. The store provides all of the Apple Store services and is located at 928 State St. Apple has also filed for a new trademark related to its iWork.com services. The service was originally announced in January and is still in its beta testing stage.
Apple tests push servers
Apple has begun testing its push notification servers, an unnamed source told MobileCrunch. The company allegedly sent invitation letters to a number of developers to download a pre-release Associated Press app for iPhone 3.0 beta 5. To stress the servers, the app has been intentionally configured to submit a large number of background push requests for creating a high-volume test environment.
LG enV Touch Specs Leak
Verizon's LG Voyager sequel has been given a more definitive name and specs though photos of the carrier's Equipment Guide for the device. Now called the enV Touch, the handset will have a 3.2-inch wide VGA (800x480) touchscreen on the outside and a non-touch but same-resolution screen on the inside. It should also get a 3-megapixel camera with autofocusing and an LED flash as well as a native 3.5mm headphone jack and support for microSDHC cards up to at least 16GB.
New Apple support network?
Apple has plans to complement its present helpdesk system with a host of "At Home" workers, ad listings and a recently exposed document are said to reveal. Recruiters are allegedly after 450 people in total, who will operate from their own computers when troubleshooting users' problems. Between July and September Apple is claimed to be hoping for 150 new personnel per month, taken from a number of US cities. The list of regions so far includes places like Charlotte, Cincinnati, Orem and Orlando.
NEC USB 3 Controller
NEC claimed a minor record on Monday by becoming the first company to produce a hardware controller that supports the new USB 3.0 standard. The µPD720200 will let computers and other devices talk to USB 3.0 peripherals and theoretically allows for the peak 5Gbps transfers of the format, or roughly 10 times the speed of USB 2.0. The Japanese chipset nonetheless remains backwards compatible with both the 2.0 spec as well as 1.1 devices, although USB 3.0 ports themselves won't support 1.x.
Pickin' Stix ($1) is a adaptation of the classic Pick-Up-Sticks game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game is played by using the touch screen to chose sticks from a pile. Players score points by grabbing sticks from the top of a pile and lose points for choosing ones that are underneath others. The game also includes a timer so players can see how quickly they can reach their top score.
China C and D on Slim PS3
Cease-and-desist requests sent today may have inadvertently supported rumors of a 120GB slim PlayStation 3 debuting at next month's E3 show. One of the notices delivered to Engadget asks the site to take down its copies of the images, claiming that they contain "confidential document [sic] and photos" that may break the law despite the photos now being widely available. No mention is made of issuing the takedown on behalf of Sony, which itself has remained silent on the subject.
Mac decline to continue
Apple may be facing a second consecutive quarter of decline in Mac sales as gauged year-over-year, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster suggests. The analyst cites new statistics from NPD Group, which show that April shipments fell 1.8 percent versus the same period in 2008. Although not as harsh as the 5 to 10 percent initially called for by Piper, the drop could foretell substantial problems with the rest of Q3, using assumptions about sales behavior in May and June.
T-Mo Delays Android 1 5 Up
T-Mobile on Monday said it will delay upgrading G1 phones to Android 1.5 by about a week. The carrier doesn't explain the setback other than to say it's only finalizing its build this week but, as a consequence, now expects all G1s to have the upgrade by the first week of June rather than the original end of May target. Moving the upgrade is needed to "ensure optimal functionality and smooth delivery," the company says.
Microsoft wand patent
A recently-surfaced patent application outlines technology Microsoft describes as a 'magic wand.' The concept could integrates a variety of sensors, such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, range-finders and biometric sensors. Possible input/output components include a keyboard, keypad, buttons, touchpad, display, or speaker, among others. The claims also outline a system for providing instruction based on the wand orientation or other factors.
Samsung i7500 1st in July
Samsung's i7500 Android phone will bow first through a French carrier and under a new name. Bouygues Telecom today said it would carry the device rebadged as the Galaxy and expects to offer it in early July. Whether Bouygues' version will be any different from stock isn't clear, as is pricing, though it's likely to use Google's stock configuration.
Bookeen Cybook Opus Soon
Well-known e-book device producer Bookeen in a presentation (PDF) late last week teased the Cybook Opus, a device it's specifically touting as pocketable. Without providing full details, the company both makes the ambitious claims for size and says it will have one of the sharpest resolutions ever at about 200DPI. It should similarly be one of the lightest at 5.3 ounces and given controls that can be used one-handed.
Pipe Dream for R.Weaver
A new RapidWeaver theme, Pipe Dream, has been launched by elixir graphics. The theme concentrates on headers and menu bars, and is geared for both home and professional design of content like blogs, business sites and portfolios. Three sidebar settings are included, along with four sets of pipe-related graphics, 15 header options and three header alignments. Likewise present are 10 menu bar styles, a pair of webpage base styles, two breadcrumb bar options and four title/slogan font possibilities.
RIM Dismisses Non Phones
Research in Motion's co-chief Jim Balsillie late last week said his company doesn't intend to expand beyond its familiar niche of BlackBerry smartphones. In an interview, the executive explained that netbooks or other, non-phone portable hardware is outside of RIM's focus and that non-phone PDAs, convertible tablet PCs and "other specialist devices" rarely gain traction. Cost, portability and networking are cited as too important to the success of a given device.
BenQ C1220 and C1020
BenQ has started the week with the appearance of two compact cameras with slight edges over other competing models in the class. Both the 10-megapixel C1020 and 12-megapixel C1220 switch out the typical 4:3 ratio, 640x480 video recording mode for a 16:9 720x400 format better-suited to modern TVs. They can also zoom while capturing video and have a smile detection mode for still shots.
AudioBook Builder 1.1 ($10) is a tool for combining multiple Audiobook CDs into a single iPod-friendly Audiobook file. Users can tag their created Audiobooks with a title, author, genre and cover art, and set up custom chapter stops with custom artwork. Version 1.1 no longer limits part lengths to 12 hours and includes new build options with additional settings for splitting audiobooks into different parts. The update also allows users to adjust the audio format before building an audiobook along with several other small bug fixes and improvements. [Download - 1.9MB]
Scorecard 2 released
Cynical Peak has released a major update to Scorecard, its flagship golf application. The software analyzes a player's statistics in order to identify weak points and better handicaps. Scorecard 2 introduces new features, while also fixing bugs from the previous version.
MS program used for OnStar
OnStar, GM's in-car telematics service used for security, safety, and communications, is collaborating with Microsoft using Virtual Earth. The addition of the mapping service will give emergency responders better location information with enhanced GPS and 3D aerial imagery technology. Microsoft Virtual Earth creates images of geographic and location-based information, combining Microsoft's 3D maps with location data from the subscriber's OnStar system.
Proxim ORiNOCO WiFi USB
Proxim Wireless on Monday announced the ORiNOCO 802.11a/b/g/n USB adapter. The device is claimed to support data transfer rates of up to 150 Mbps when used with the company's AP-8000 and AP-800 access points. Dual internal antennas allow users to seamlessly move between 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks, while Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) is supported across the 5GHz bands. Data can be protected with 64- or 128-bit WEP, WPA and WPA2/802.11i security protocols.
N97 NAM coming in June
The North American edition of the Nokia N97 should ship in early June, one of the company's major distributors is said to been informed. The smartphone is specifically expected to ship June 2nd, bearing Nokia's usual NAM designation, indicating not only its intended region but support for 3G broadband. The official unlocked price is listed as $700, though it is believed that most outlets will sell the device for $600.
Ultimate Ears UE 4 Pro
Ultimate Ears on Monday rolled out a custom-fit, in-canal earphone set positioned as a more economical option for those who still want personalized sound. The UE 4 Pro requires the use of a custom ear mold from an audiologist but has significantly less internal features than the UE 5 Pros that have normally been the only option. The difference drops the price by $200 and puts the UE 4 Pro into the price range of audiophiles as well as amateur musicians.
McAfee, Symantec on iPhone
Both McAfee and Symantec have confirmed work on iPhone-related software, according to Reuters. McAfee says it is specifically working on new security programs, described as part of a "comprehensive suite for the Apple family," including its usual Mac focus. Though the company has declined to provide specific details, including even a release timeframe, it is best-known for anti-virus software, and was last year spotted working on an iPhone app called iVirusScan.
Telus May Be Testing HSPA
(Updated with screen cap) Telus' purported early HSPA launch has gained potential support through information supplied to Electronista as well as separate leaks. A Calgary reader has noticed that the carrier selection option on his iPhone now shows Telus as a choice in addition to the expected Fido or Rogers options. It's not possible to connect, though this is unlikely due to the handset's SIM card being tied to Rogers. A Telus SIM would be necessary and wouldn't be publicly available.
HTC Hero UI Leak
The HTC Hero may not only be T-Mobile's third major Android phone but the first to include a major revision of Google's smartphone interface, an unofficial test shows. Using a T-Mobile G1 as a testbed, the interface has a significantly improved interface with more polish as well as some noticeable redesigns, including a browser with sleeker controls as well as new calendar and music player apps. A new centerpiece appears to be built-in social networking with hooks for Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and likely other services as well.
Iomega eGo hard drives
Iomega has introduced the latest generation of eGo portable hard drives, with USB 2.0 support and capacities ranging from 250GB to 500GB. The 2.5-inch drives are housed in an anodized aluminum shell measuring 16 mm thick. The company's Drop Guard system is claimed to protect against drops of up to 51 inches. Power is drawn from the USB port, while an included 'Y' cable connects to a second available port if additional current is needed.
US iPhone plan cut coming?
AT&T is indeed considering cuts to its iPhone plans, a new report suggests. Sources for BusinessWeek claim that the US carrier is mulling several options, including lowering the cost of its current subscriptions, or simply introducing a set of cheaper plans. In the latter category would be a plan offering a fixed data cap for $10 less per month; the option could become available as soon as late May.
Pentax K7D Specs Leak
A forum leak today may have provided details of the new K series camera Pentax plans to launch later this week. Using an claimed promo graphic as support, the tip supports the notion of a K7D launch and maintains that the camera will have the 14.6-megapixel resolution of the K20D but a new PRIME II imaging engine and the company's first-ever support for HD video recording in an SLR. A viewfinder with 100 percent coverage is also billed as new.
Archos Event June 11
Archos has said it will hold a special press event in its home country of France on June 11th that is believed planned for the company's Android tablet launch. While the company itself doesn't say what will appear at the Paris gathering, the green background of the graphic along with the company's stated plans for the summer suggest its first device based on Google's platform will appear at the conference. Archos has historically had one major press event per year and usually depends on these for unveiling new media players and tablet devices.
AMD Tigris at Computex
AMD is allegedly preparing a new notebook platform, codenamed "Tigris", for a formal launch at the Computex 2009 conference, according to a Commercial Times report. The system will integrate a 45nm dual-core Caspian processor, 55nm or 40nm M9x GPUs and the company's RS880M chipsets. The specs appear to match a leaked roadmap, which suggests the platform will support DDR2 800MHz memory and HD video decoding, along with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connections.
Walmart to Get Palm Pre
Walmart is undergoing a significant expansion of its electronics section that will include the Palm Pre, the retailer says. Although recent leaks had so far only pointed to a Best Buy offering of the smartphone outside of Sprint's own stores, Walmart tells the WSJ that it expects to carry the phone "soon." Most leaks have pointed to Sprint carrying the Pre on June 7th.
Acer Aspire One 751h in US
Acer today expanded the Aspire One line in the US to include its two newest netbooks. The 751h, previewed last month, is Acer's largest-ever netbook with a 11.6-inch, 1364x768 display and a full-size keyboard. It uses Intel's newer 1.22GHz Atom Z520 to emphasize power efficiency: its 6-cell battery pack is estimated to last for 8 hours.
Napster 5 Track Stream
Napster this morning tried an alternative to its struggling unlimited and per-track download services by offering an especially low-cost plan. The new plan limits unlimited access to streaming through the web but gives users five MP3 songs to keep each month; in return, subscribers pay just $5 per month. Napster continues to give access to radio stations and playlists and sees the new plan as a way of letting users explore music in a platform-independent way for those who prefer singles instead of whole albums.
Nokia 2720 2730 and 7020
Nokia on Monday rolled out three phones it sees as bringing e-mail to a budget audience. The 7020, as well as the other models, has built-in support for creating and running an Ovi Mail account without needing a PC. It specifically is designed as a fashion phone with a clamshell that lights up either when a message arrives or when the owner double-taps the display to check themselves. A 2-megapixel camera also comes stock.
Onset Computer Corporation has announced the HOBO U30/NRC Weather Station Starter Kit. The kit combines the company's data-logging weather station and a series of plug-and-play weather sensors, with a focus on agricultural research, wind monitoring and ecology studies. The U30/NRC supports a maximum of 10 plug-and-play sensors connected to the logger. Each component is automatically recognized, eliminating most wiring, programming or calibration issues.
VisionClip2, USB cable
USBfever and Switcheasy have released several accessories for iPods and the iPhone; the USB Data Sync & Charge Cable for second- and third-generation iPod shuffles, the Mini USB Data Sync & Charge Cable for the iPhone and iPods, and the VisionClip2 for the iPhone 3G. Both cables are designed to be compact and lightweight, while providing approximately six-inches (15.5mm) of cord that can be used to sync and charge the mobile devices through an available USB port. The Mini USB cable is compatible with both iPhone generations, the iPod touch 1G and 2G, and the iPod nano 2G through to 4G.
Twin 1.0 released
app4mac has released the final version of Twin 1.0, its data backup application. The software enables file transfers between online data servers, such as MobileMe and Amazon S3, while users can also back up information to an external drive when the computer is offline. To protect sensitive data, AES-256 encryption helps ensure secure file transfers.
Sony announces new SLRs
Following leaks this past month, Sony has announced three new digital SLR cameras; the DSLR-A380, DSLR-A330, and DSLR-A230. The announcement also includes four new lenses, a single flash and various accessories. The A330 and the A380 are the successors to the A300 and A350, respectively. Each camera is meant to help first-time digital SLR buyers advance their point-and-shoot camera skills.
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