In brief: A new iTunes visualizer, TRAKART has been released as a public alpha. The visualizer builds slideshows based on a song's lyrics, analyzing each track to extract keywords which it then uses to search Flickr. Images are then arranged into a slideshow which plays along with the song. Three guides have been released by Peachpit which teach users how to make better use of iLife '09, iWork '09 and GarageBand '09. The guides cover the basics of using each application, along with tips to create more professional products. Meanwhile, Ascender has released a new font style that is based on one of Goudy's original typefaces. The Friar Pro font is based on the original Friar typeface that was lost in a fire at Goudy's studio in 1939.
Apple has rejected yet another iPhone app, Eucalyptus, over offensive content, according to Wired. The e-book reader does not contain the objectionable content, although it allows users to download titles from Project Gutenberg. Apple cites access to the Kama Sutra as the reason for rejection, despite the fact that the text must be manually added by the user.
Best Buy stores are allegedly restricted to an initial distribution of 4,250 Palm Pres for the June 6th launch day, an unnamed source has told the Boy Genius Report. If true, each of the 1,000 stores to sell the device will only get 4 units at first. A separate source claims that RadioShack will only receive two phones per store, with availability limited to coastal areas such as New York, New Jersey and California.
A Microsoft job listing indicates the company is working on a "Zune Mobile" project, according to Ars Technica. The Windows Mobile Phone Entertainment team is looking for a software engineer to develop the user interface for the next generation Windows phone. The company is reportedly working on a "Pink" project that integrates a number of Zune features into the Windows Mobile platform.
Syntext has released a free edition of its Serna XML editor. The application allows users to work with DITA, DocBook and other common XML formats, for personal, educational or demonstrative use. To reduce time from the authoring process, composite documents are rendered using XSLT and XSL-FO to achieve a print-like appearance.
Apple has become the focus of a conflict over worker rights in Taiwan, local reporters say. Labor groups today carried banners and microphones outside of Apple's Taipei office, hoping to put indirect pressure on Wintek, a major supplier of flat-panel displays. The latter is accused of firing over 600 workers in December without warning, moreover cutting salaries, and forcing some of its people to work unpaid overtime in order to fulfill rush orders.
Sony has been experimenting with offering game rentals for the PSP, according to a source with access to game developers. The console maker is said by Develop to have been conducting briefings since the Game Developers Conference in March that would let users download and temporarily use full games similar to a conventional video store offering. In a later survey for gamers, Sony has also asked respondents if they would use a subscription service that offers a set number of game rentals each month.
After being granted two extensions to respond to anti-trust allegations against it in Europe regarding its web browser, Microsoft has now cancelled its oral hearing scheduled for the start of June. In a Thursday blog post, Microsoft's Associate General Counsel David Heiner explains a number of the key decision-makers in the matter won't attend, as the date coincides with the International Competition Network (ICN) meeting in Zurich.
In the quest to make notebook computers lighter and quieter, researchers are developing new ways of cooling the microprocessors that power these devices. San Jose, CA-based chip-packaging company Tessera has recently demonstrated a new ionic-cooling system that was integrated into a fully functional notebook. Together with researchers at the University of Washington, Tessera believes it would provide 30 percent cooling compared to a traditional fan while consuming half as much power. It would additionally eliminate moving parts and thereby offer quiet operation.
Sharp has recently released its new RD-PM10 multimedia e-dictionary that shares many of the same design traits as a Mobile Internet Device (MID). While there is no Wi-Fi connection for web access, users can watch videos and play back music on the device thanks to its internal 8GB of storage and a microSD memory card slot. The interface for the sliding form factor device is via a 4.3-inch, 480x272 touchscreen with a QWERTY keyboard and a number of shortcut buttons.
Apple has been considering voice recognition as an option for future TV remotes, most likely for the Apple TV set-top, a newly-published patent application hints. Titled Context-aware unit selection, the filing describes a "pointing device" associated with a computer, dubbed a "Web TV" system. Embedded in the remote would be a microphone, capable of accepting commands such as "open iTunes."
Just a few days after it was leaked, the LG Glance has received more complete specs, a price and release date at wireless provider Verizon. The entry-level CDMA handset uses 1xRTT data networks to access e-mail, the Internet and instant messaging programs. Assisted GPS functionality lets users get driving directions via Verizon's VZ Navigator service. There is also a 2-inch, 320x240 LCD and a 1.3-megapixel camera.
Memory maker Corsair maintained on Wednesday that it has set the world record for DDR3 RAM memory frequency running on a Core i7 system. Using the triple-channel 6GB Dominator GT 2000C7 (PDF) memory, the 2533MHz record was verified and validated by using CPU-Z, a Windows PC statistics app used to identify system components and verify overclocking results. This marks the first time such a frequency has been achieved on a Core i7 system with 6GB of memory and three modules.
NEC today improved its longstanding MultiSync 90 series displays with a low-key update to its core 24-inch model. The LCD2490WUXi2 improves on the original WUXi with a newer 12-bit color lookup table that improves the visible gamut as well as general improvements to color brightness and stability. It continues to offer a 1,000:1 static contrast ratio and musters 320cd/m2 brightness.
Extremely low Russian iPhone sales may threaten the country's three biggest cellphone carriers, several regional reports suggest. MTS, Megafon and Vimpelkom all agreed to carry the iPhone in 2008, with the provision that each would sell a minimum quantity. MTS agreed to sell 1 million phones in three years, while Megafon agreed to the same amount in two years. Vimpelkom made the most dramatic pledge, hoping to sell at least 1.5 million phones in two years.
Sony will soon release two of its advanced but long delayed Blu-ray disc changers, according to a recent SonyInsider report. The BDP-CX960 and BDP-CX7000ES, prototypes of which were shown at a few major electronics shows, have been seen on a Swiss product page listing that indicates the latter model is already going on sale, at least in some parts of the world. Specs are still thin, though the BDP-CX960 will hold 200 Blu-ray discs, while the CX700ES model will have a 400-disc capacity. In Sweden, the larger model is priced at the equivalent of $2,250.
Canadian carrier Rogers may bring back its 6GB for $30 promo in a bid to keep subscribers interested in the iPhone and other devices, an apparent source within the company says. Although details of when it would show aren't mentioned, it's assumed by BGR that the promo would take effect for a few months this summer and would help drive sales not only of Apple's third-generation devices but also its Android phone launches within the next few weeks. The provider would otherwise give just 1GB for the same price and at best offers 5GB for $80 per month.
E-on has released Ozone 4, an update to its atmospheric simulation plug-in for 3ds Max, Maya, XSI, Lightwave and Cinema4D. The software is built on the same algorithms and technology as Vue 7 xStream, but with a focus on atmospheres and skies. Users can choose from four atmospheric models -- spectral, volumetric, standard and environment mapping. Over 100 preset atmospheres and 100 cloud shapes are included with the package.
A second leak has today confirmed many details for RIM's sequel to the BlackBerry Storm. Following an earlier slip that confirmed its existence, Engadget vouches that the phone drops the problematic click-down touchscreen in favor of a straightforward model that behaves like the iPhone's, including the feel of its surface and its scrolling. It also continues to have dual-mode CDMA and GSM for roaming outside of Verizon's network.
the second time this year, flat panel HDTV maker Vizio has sued competitor Funai. Made official on Wednesday, the Vizio lawsuit is seeking an injunction of the sales of the offending Funai hardware in the US and unspecified monetary damages, arguing Funai has infringed on a number of patents held by Vizio related to manufacturing, importing and distribution of HDTVs. Vizio is seeking "millions in damages" for profits from the past sales of infringing products from Funai.
TomTom has announced a new GPS unit, the XL LIVE. The device is notable mainly for carrying LIVE services over to XL models, the option having previously been limited to the GO line. Through LIVE users have access to real-time camera and traffic data, as well as figures on fuel prices. A Google search function translates results into destination points.
Product Manager 1.3 ($30) is used to help companies manage their products, through the creation of an unlimited number of documents, which can further contain an unlimited number of products inside. All items stored in the program can also be organized into subdivisions and contain generic data fields, releases notes, press releases, bug lists and to-do lists. In version 1.3 the upper bar has been updated to display the selected products icon, family, and product name. The new version allows allows users to lock any element of a products and includes a bug fix for the Browse mode. [Download - 0.93MB]
A Texas federal jury has ordered Microsoft Corp to pay out $200 million in damages to Toronto-based software maker i4i Limited for allegedly infringing a patent, the software giant announced on Wednesday. Microsoft, which is regularly at the receiving end of such lawsuits, went on to say it is planning on appealing the verdict, as it believes the award is unsupported by the evidence.
The CFO of Verizon, John Killian, has refused to comment one way or another on ongoing rumors of iPhone negotiations, Reuters reports. Speaking at the news agency's Global Technology Summit, Killian initially responded to questions by saying that data and smartphone revenues are "growing incredibly nicely," and that the company's strategy revolves around having multiple devices. "I'm not going to comment on Apple or the iPhone," he elaborated, "but...we don't feel we're going to be at a market disadvantage in the PDA space as we go through today or 2009."
Accusations that Intel has forced prices upwards on netbooks based on NVIDIA's Ion platform gained momentum through a purported leak of component pricing. As Intel charges nearly half the price for an Atom processor when linked to an Intel mainboard chipset versus buying it by itself, dropping from $45 to $25, it becomes less expensive to simply buy Intel's whole platform than to adopt Ion. The NVIDIA part is now believed by the Inquirer to cost $30 and would result in a barebones cost of $55 even with Intel's bundle and would spike to $75 if the chips were bought separately.
Adobe will be adopting a quarterly patch cycle, at least with regard to Reader and Acrobat, explains the company's security and privacy director, Brad Arkin. Patches for the PDF tools should now be released every three months, and on the second Tuesday of said month. The timing is meant to coincide with Microsoft's famous "Patch Tuesdays," Arkin notes, thereby giving IT workers an opportunity to test updates from both companies before propagating them across a network.
Equilibrio ($2) is a ball rolling game that is gravity based and requires players to tilt their iPhone or iPod touch to guide the ball the to end. Players have to be careful though as if the ball begins to move to fast and hits something it will shatter, but if it isn't moving fast enough it may not make it over the different jumps. The game includes 60 different levels, five different balls each with their own properties and gameplay characteristics, and three game play modes, conquest, challenge and random level.
Verbatim on Thursday announced the launch of its Color Nano Wireless Notebook Mouse that is compatible with Windows and Mac systems. It uses 2.4GHz RF wireless for communication and a small nano receiver that can be left connected to a notebook computer without getting easily caught on notebook bags or other obstacles. When the receiver is removed, it can be stored in a compartment at the bottom of the mouse itself.
Dell this morning quietly expanded the options for the Inspiron Mini 10 and 10v to include both its first TV tuner and a pair of new color options. The company's promised USB digital TV tuner should be available today and, in North American form, will supply owners of the 10-inch netbooks with free over-the-air ATSC HD broadcasts. It should cost $50 in the build-to-order process for any Inspiron Mini 10 model.
LG in its home market of Korea has recently added two new plasma HDTVs to its XCanvas lineup with the 50-inch 50PS70 and 60-inch 60PS70 sets. Apart from the different sizes, the two are expected to use the same 600Hz panel and LG's Time Machine functionality that boils down to an integrated DVR system that can record HD programming either on its 160GB hard drive or a USB 2.0-connected external drive.
Apple has announced details of the 2009 iTunes Live London Festival, which is being staged at The Roundhouse in Camden. The event will run throughout the entire month of July, and headline acts such as Oasis, Kasabian, Snow Patrol and The Saturdays. Paolo Nutini and Flo Rida are also confirmed as acts, but Apple notes that some 50 more spots in its concert lineup have yet to be disclosed.
Apple has posted a job listing that hints at the company's future hardware direction for the iPhone, iPod touch and possible other devices. The position for a High Perform/Low Level Programmer asks for someone familiar not only for programming assembly-level code for ARM processors, which Apple already uses in its handhelds, but for the NEON vector math units used in the newer Cortex architecture for the mobile chips. Apple is especially concerned about experience with vector math and particularly values anyone with additional knowledge of vector units through general CPUs, such as Intel's SSE or the AltiVec units found on PowerPC G4 and G5 cores.
Although Apple is allegedly working on some form of media pad, it will probably not ship until 2010, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The tablet has been described by other sources as Apple's answer to netbooks, but focused around tasks like web browsing, reading books, and music and video playback, as well as possibly making VoIP calls. Correspondingly, its specifications may also be just weak enough to avoid competing with MacBooks.
Panasonic late on Wednesday said a real chance exists that it may develop an Android-based phone of its own before the end of its fiscal 2010 year, which ends next March. The company's mobile device director Keisuke Ishii told guests of a press conference for its new phones that Panasonic is "seriously considering" Google's mobile OS. He couldn't provide a timeframe but said the market for open-source smartphones would explode to 100 million phones by 2012, giving the electronics giant a strong reason to do well in that area itself.
Sony may bolster the PSP's role as a media player by giving the device its own music store, leaks from late Tuesday suggest. Those within the music industry have reportedly told CNET that Sony is in early talks with major labels to possibly add music to the PlayStation Network with the PSP as the primary focus. No agreements have been made, and questions of format and pricing haven't been revealed as part of the tip.
Panasonic today set a record with its SDHC card line by launching the first-ever Class 10 cards. The rating promises a minimum 10MB per second and is better tailored to high-end compact cameras, entry digital SLRs or HD camcorders where baseline speed is essential: a still camera with 3MB shots can capture 3 frames per second without the SDHC card becoming the bottleneck. It also peaks at 22MB per second and is about 40 percent faster than a Class 4 (4MB per second) card in sustained transfers of large files.
Acer on Thursday contributed its own more frugal entry into the home server space within the US through the Aspire easyStore Home Server AH340. Similar to HP's MediaSmart LX195, the easyStore runs on a 1.6GHz Atom to manage traffic to and from the server without the cost overhead of other processors. Acer's larger design, however, affords it four 3.5-inch drive bays that can take as much as 8TB of storage if completely filled.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
WhatsApp working on Mac desktop app?
Allegedly-leaked information from a WhatsApp beta enthusiast account on Twitter appears to suggest that the messaging service and app maker may be developing native Mac and Windows versions, allowing users who sign up with the service to text each other all over the world using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. The source of the documents is in question, but it would not be unusual for the service to expand onto Mac and Windows desktops. WhatsApp is currently available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, and Windows Phone. http://bit.ly/1Ura0zN
Drake's Views an iTunes, Music exclusive
Drake's new album Views (formerly known as Views from the 6) has debuted on iTunes and Apple Music as an exclusive in the first week of its release. The singles Once Dance and Pop Style, however, are available elsewhere in the interim. Securing exclusives from leading artists has been a key strategy that Apple has adopted in trying to attract users to its services. Most notably, Taylor Swift's hugely popular 1989remains unavailable to users of competing services like Spotify or Tidal. http://apple.co/1NLwsSH
TSMC chip sales to Apple jump $2B in 2015
Apple A9 and A9X chip supplier TSMC saw sales to Apple jump $2 billion in 2015. TSMC's fabrication partnership with Apple on the A-series processor helped drive its revenue to $26.4 billion, up six percent over the previous year, although its dependence on Apple's chip orders meant that without its business, TSMC's revenue would have actually declined by two percent. The Taiwan-based chip maker is currently sharing Apple's A9-series chip supplies with Samsung, although is rumored to be gaining all Apple's orders for the next-generation Apple A10 chips. http://bit.ly/24tCE6e
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel