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In brief: Tekkeon has released a new iPhone case which also integrates a built-in battery. The battery is said to double the life of the iPhone and is directly integrated into the leather exterior of the case. Craneballs studios has announced that its new iPhone game, Blimp: The Flying Adventures, should be available next week. The game takes players on a journey where they must protect their planet from an invasion. Meanwhile, Citrix has posted a new video which briefly outlines how to use an Apple TV to remotely access a computer. The video is fairly brief but shows the basic functionality of an Apple TV running XenDesktop such as running PowerPoint and Windows Media Player.
Thursby Software Systems has expanded its ADmitMac product line with a new variant geared specifically for use with personal identity verification (PIV) cards. The software is designed to ensure that server networks remain secure, while allowing administrators to manage individual users. It also includes Thursby's SMB and CIFS implementation for bidirectional file and printer sharing with Microsoft networks. ADmitMac for PIV adds the ability for Microsoft Entourage 2004 users to access e-mail using their PIV card instead of passwords.
Sandvox Web Designs has announced a new design, My Life, for the Sandvox website-creation software. The My Life design offers a series of new built-in features to help with creating websites, including snippets of code, 11 pre-designed headers that can be used via the banner selector in the inspector, and a “boxes” snippet that allows users to create boxes in the sidebar. My Life also comes with the original Photoshop file for users who want to create their own custom header.
Nocsos has released myDBR, a report-generating application for MySQL and Microsoft SQL Sever. The application features support for the iPhone and other smartphones. myDBR reports are highly automated, generating the graphics using information accessed through server databases.
Apple has confirmed intentions to allow direct purchase of iTunes videos from an iPhone, sources close to the company's training programs say. Originally a blogger is said to have discovered the option's existence by accident, though users of the iPhone 3.0 beta can now gain a glimpse through a custom link. Graphics and downloads in the early browser are currently broken.
TRI-EDRE has released the first public beta of Space-In-Time. The program is used to monitor a computer's disk data in order to understand which folders and files are taking up the most space. Space-In-Time records the space usage for each folder, while keeping a log of file values and totals.
PlayFirst plans to release three new games later this year, Passport to Perfume, Gemini Lost, and Avenue Flo. Beta versions of Passport to Perfume and Gemini Lost have already been released, and the Avenue Flo beta will be released in June.
Canadian wireless provider Rogers will soon offer the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic handset, if the attached photo of a billboard advertising the fact is correct. The ad, located at a The Source retail store in Ottawa, is reported to be one of many placed across the provider's locations throughout Canada.
An additional image has surfaced that allegedly shows the back case of an iPhone with a matte finish. The photo, posted on MacRumors, appears to match an earlier leak indicating a new finish for an unconfirmed revision. The form factor does not appear to be changed from the existing 3G model. It is unknown if the company has chosen a different material, possibly metal, to construct the back case.
Sony Ericsson on Thursday announced the launch of its PlayNow movie delivery service. Bundled with certain handsets, PlayNow will let users watch up to 60 full-length movies per year on their cell phones. There will be 15 titles to choose from in a given month, and Sony Ericsson will replace four titles each and every month. Movies downloaded to a PC and then transferred to a handset can be watched as many times as users wish within a 90-day period.
For on Friday announced it has made its SYNC 3.0 updates, including the Traffic, Direction and Information (TDI) application, now available for download via the Ford SYNC website. The automaker's 2010 models equipped with the SYNC entertainment system will ship with the update already installed, though owners of some early-launch 2010 models will need to perform the update themselves.
A limited edition version of the upcoming DJ Hero video game will include exclusive greatest hits CDs from rappers Jay-Z and Eminem, along with an advanced version of the turntable controller, USA Today said on Friday. How the controller differs from the standard unit was not detailed, however. An offshoot of the highly popular Guitar Hero franchise from developer Activision, the limited edition game will also have a DJ stand and metal traveling case for the turntable.
An expected replacement for DirecTV TiVo DVRs that would allow them to record HD programming has been delayed yet again, as revealed by TiVo's CEO Tom Rogers in the company's recent quarterly earnings call. Instead of sometime in 2009, the new expected date for the upgraded products is early in 2010. No specific reason was given for the delay, though it is likely tied to TiVo's loss of $4.1 million during the past quarter.
Apple has been recruiting the help of professional video editors, asking them to test out major updates to the Final Cut line of software, say sources. The biggest of these is Final Cut Studio 3.0, incorporating Motion and Final Cut Pro among other production utilities. The suite is allegedly codenamed "Sideways," and currently in the middle of beta testing, as well as compatibility checks with Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
Computer hardware maker ASUS will soon add two new EeeBox small form factor desktop PCs, the EB1002 and EB1006, according to a Friday NotebookItalia report. The former is said to have an integrated graphics processor while the latter will ship with dedicated graphics.
Verizon on Friday said it would deliver a key firmware update for the BlackBerry Storm. The 22.214.171.124 patch should be available through RIM's update site at 9AM Eastern on Sunday, May 31st and as an over-the-air download for the phone itself at 4PM the same day. Verizon is vague on details of the fix beyond improving the "overall user experience" but is believed to fix important bugs, including one which would blank the screen or freeze during incoming calls.
An early Palm Pre review today suggests Palm has mostly achieved its goal with its device but that hardware may be the limitation. Using a phone that may have pre-production firmware, BGR says webOS is a "great" first start and particularly praises the web browser, which is particularly quick and stable. The examination also compliments the quality of the multi-touch screen and notes that it's just slightly behind Apple's iPhone in terms of its feel.
Intel and Psion are said today to have reached a settlement in their mutual lawsuits over the use of the term "netbook." The latter company is reported by BlogEEE as having agreed to drop its claims to the word and would let Dell and other PC makers use the word to describe their PCs without demanding royalties or threatening lawsuits. What, if anything, Intel would offer in compensation hasn't been detailed.
A company from California, Quo, has outlined plans to sell Mac clones from a Los Angeles storefront, according to CNET News. The brick-and-mortar location sets the operation apart from other clone makers that rely solely on sales from the Internet. The owners are reportedly aware of the potential legal troubles their endeavor is likely to bring.
ASUS is developing a new high-end video card, the MARS 295 Limited Edition. Although officially branded as a variant of the GeForce GTX 295, the MARS in fact combines two GTX 285s -- creating a more powerful card, and a combined memory pool of 4GB, though each GPU only has access to 2GB. The cards are enclosed in a single casing, and said to be bridged together with a third-party chip, not an nForce 200.
Tankz ($1) is an arcade style game in which players can control one of three hover tanks. Players must work through three different levels collecting flags along the way and destroying enemy tanks and towers. Each level includes multiple enemies and obstacles along with hover pads and jump pads that can be used to regenerate health and launch a tank to higher areas. The game includes two different difficulty levels and two different game modes, Best Time and Best Score.
A new version of the MSI WindBOX nettop PC, the DE200, was spotted in Europe recently. The main and most significant change of the DE200 from lesser WindBOX nettops is its use of an ATI Radeon HD 4350 graphics card with a dedicated 512MB of RAM instead of the integrated Intel GMA 950 chipset. Otherwise, the new WindBOX shares the same 1.6GHz Intel Atom 230 CPU, 1GB of RAM and Wi-Fi.
A number of minor but cumulatively important interface changes have been made in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, observes a Flickr user with access to the developer beta. Beyond some known tweaks, such as the addition of sliders for icon size, the software is also expected to warn users who have not created a password hint, and enable Quick Look within Open and Save dialogs, not just Finder. The System Preferences pane has meanwhile been rearranged, for instance splitting the Keyboard and Mouse sections, removing QuickTime, and moving Bluetooth under a new Internet & Wireless header.
On Friday, LG has unveiled its GW520 Calisto handset for the UK market. The horizontal slider sports both a 2.8-inch touchscreen and a full hardware QWERTY keyboard. The handset will support the by-now standard 3G over HSPA. Like the GT505, it supports push updates from social networks; it also supports push email from Microsoft Exchange.
Sprint may drop its controversial mail-in rebate for the Palm Pre in a bid to keep customers. A contact within Sprint said late Thursday that there are "minor rumblings" within the carrier that could switch the $100 mail discount to an instant rebate. The move is said by Palm Goon to be a reaction to pricing at Best Buy and Radio Shack, both of which are already promising an immediate discount to sell their Pres at $199.
AMEX Digital on Friday unveiled a networked media hub intended to surmount the limits of most of these devices. The Venice-V38HD can play strictly digital video, including H.264 as well as less common formats like Matroska (MKV) or XviD, but has its own DVD drive to rip movies and music CDs for later use. Accordingly, it can play VOB files and has 2TB of disk space to store its owner's media library.
Canto has updated its flagship product, Cumulus 8. The program is used to manage digital assets including digital images, animations, videos, and music over an online server. Cumulus 8 now gathers usage statistics and includes a reporting feature which assigns a value to assets by noting which are used most. The update can also organize assets via e-mail, enabling mobile device photos or security-camera feeds to be uploaded over a secure network.
Hulu, jointly operated by NBC, Fox and Disney, has launched a new desktop application meant to simplify streaming the site's video. Mac and Windows versions are available, supporting Front Row and Windows Media Center remotes, respectively; aside from controlling playback the software provides a special tracking display, and a distinct menu for browsing categories and subscriptions. Windows systems require XP, 2GB of RAM and a 1.8GHz Core Duo, while Macs differ by needing a 2GHz Core Duo and at least Mac OS X 10.4.
Retina-X Studios has released v3.0 of its iPhone security software, Mobile Spy. The software is used to track an iPhone's SMS messages, GPS location and call history. The GPS location feature is new to the update, recording the device location every 30 minutes. Location data is based on triangulations of the phone's signal, and therefore cannot be monitored if the phone does not have a wireless signal.
Nokia on Friday announced it will soon begin shipping its Nokia 6730 classic handset exclusively to Vodafone in all the markets it serves. Vodafone's services, including mobile Internet and e-mail, Vodafone Music Client, and navigation will be supported. Users will have access to yellow and white pages listings, making getting to places or people easier thanks to turn-by-turn driving and walking directions. Furthermore, the handset uses the Symbian S60 operating system, which means users can download smartphone-level apps.
HTC's Hero Android phone has been pictured in a video (shown below) that also elaborates partly on its custom interface. Matching earlier leaks, it depends almost exclusively on its touchscreen rather than the trackball of the Dream and Magic and is now believed to come in several colors rather than the basic black or white of most earlier Android phones. Most of its other details remain unknown.
Tweetie ($20) allows users to post tweets, organize conversations, and search for popular topics on the popular social networking site Twitter. With the latest update the software is now capable of recording and posting videos through an iSight camera. Videos can also be uploaded by dragging the source files to Tweetie's main window. The update has also improved Growl notifications and fixed a bug that could occasionally affect the compose countdown. [Download - 1.7MB]
Sprint late yesterday quickly tried to downplay Verizon's Palm Pre moves by clarifying its exclusive for the smartphone. Carrier spokesman James Fisher said simply that Sprint had sole rights to the phone "through 2009" and thus that Verizon could at best hope for an early 2010 launch. Verizon Wireless head Lowell McAdam had previously implied, though not stated, the possibility of a late 2009 rollout.
Macgamestore says it is now offering Youda Marina, a new strategy game. Players administer the marina, working to ensure visitors are happy while simultaneously generating the income needed for upgrades. The game features four different maps, numerous ships and boats, and a collection of building types to incorporate into the landscape.
LG picked Friday to launch another full touchscreen phone to its rapidly growing mix. The GT505 has the 3-inch touchscreen and 5-megapixel camera that define most of LG's 2009 phones but centers on social networking with updates 'pushed' to the phone in real time, much as smartphones handle e-mail. LG also promises a better start on GPS than for most non-smartphones with both native support and a trial version of turn-by-turn app WisePilot.
Wintek workers say they are growing more aggravated by a lack of Apple response to labor rights complaints, and are now asking the latter company to publicly acknowledge workplace violations by May 31st. The employees have been pressuring Apple to enforce its ethics standards, charging Wintek with cutting salaries, neglecting safety problems and demanding unpaid overtime, as well as firing 600 people without warning in December, and wrongfully terminating 19 more workers during a strike in April. Rights groups have also asked for the Electronics Industry Citizen Coalition to investigate Apple's conduct.
ViewSonic has recently unveiled three new upcoming digital photo frames in the TrueView line, including the 10.4-inch VFD1020, the 8-inch VFD820, and the 7-inch VFD720. All three share a 4:3 aspect ratio, have 2GB of integrated memory along with a USB port and SD, MMC, or MS memory card. A wireless remote control is also included with all three new digital frames.
Dell late yesterday reported bleak results for the first calendar quarter of 2009 that showed it faring poorly in the economic climate. The Texas PC builder's net income dropped a full 63 percent from the same quarter a year ago to $290 million and was hurt primarily by rapidly shrinking business sales in the world economic collapse. Large, enterprise-level business revenue fell a significant 31 percent, indicating a steep drop in PC shipments, and was nearly matched by a 30 percent drop in small- and medium-sized business revenue.
Apple has posted a minor update for iWork '09, the company's in-house productivity suite. The v9.0.2 patch is said to implement only two changes: improved reliability when saving a document, and similar stability when playing a presentation more than once during a Keynote session. The update is a 42.75MB download from Apple's website.
Samsung today said it would hold a press conference in Milan on June 11th to launch a new Armani-branded phone. While details are absent, the company includes Microsoft in the release and effectively confirms that the device will be a Windows Mobile smartphone. Whether it ships with 6.5 or the existing 6.1 isn't apparent.
Apple has released a v1.3 System Management Controller (SMC) update for 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro systems. The upgrade adjusts the fan behavior of a Pro when the system is operating under high-workload conditions. Software is installed in the Applications/Utilities folder, and then launched automatically.
Pixel Qi late yesterday demonstrated its unique 3-in-1 hybrid display, known as the 3qi. The technology works as a traditional, backlit LCD but can switch its backlight off and convert to an e-paper mode. Besides saving battery life, the switch renders the display more readable in bright light. A third mode keeps the display in LCD mode but puts in monochrome to save energy.
Alienware today tipped its hand early and showed its reworked version of its flagship M17x gaming notebook. The 17-inch system has the brand's typical array of customizable lighting but is modernized, particularly in its graphics: in addition to supporting up to two GeForce GTX 280M chipsets in SLI for desktop-level performance, it has a GeForce 9400M chipset that it can switch to for conserving power when the notebook is on battery. Processors are also updated and scale up to quad-core Intel Core 2 Extreme chips.
Verbatim has added three new devices to its line of Mac accessories, the TuneBoard Speaker Keyboard, Bluetooth Notebook Laser Mouse and Desktop Wireless Laser Mouse. The TuneBoard keyboard integrates with iTunes to control music playback, and features keys for muting, volume adjustment, play, pause, previous track and next track control. Two hot-keys included allow users to switch the enhanced bass on and off as well as toggle backlighting. TuneBoard is compatible with VoIP software such as Skype, and provides built-in mini-microphone, headphone and mic connections.
Ten One Design, creator of the iPhone and iPod touch-compatible stylus, has released its Clip Pack. The package come in a set of four clips with various sizes and shapes to fit the iPhone and iPod touch and hold the Ten One Stylus. The clips are designed to fit over iPhone and iPod touch cases as well to ensure the devices can be protected while still carrying the stylus.
Servoy has released iPhone Application Builder Solution, aiming to simplify the production of iPhone apps by enabling users to create apps without having to learn coding languages. Users can The interface allows users to select databases to pull information from, adds objects, text fields, combo boxes, radio buttons, checkboxes, special navigation items, and other things commonly used in iPhone app development. The program also includes a preview window in which the user can navigate the application like the finished app would function.
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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