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BFG Technologies has announced that its Phobos Advanced and Elite edition gaming and home theater computer systems now integrate Intel's Core i7 950 and 975 processors, respectively. The Advanced version features a liquid cooling system for the CPU, along with three 1GB GeForce GTX 285 GPUs and two 300GB Velociraptor hard drives. The basic configuration also includes 6GB of DDR3 memory and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit.
The QuickTime 7.6.2 update, released on Monday, allegedly addresses a security vulnerability that was partially described in "The Mac Hacker's Handbook," according to PCWorld. Apple usually succeeds in addressing bugs before they are made public, although the book written by Charlie Miller and Dino Dai Zovi provided many of the details surrounding an issue with the way QuickTime reads files compressed using the JP2 format.
Sony Ericsson plans to drop the controversial Memory Stick Micro (M2) standard, according to TrustedReviews. The company's global marketing director, Fortuné Alexander, acknowledged the transition to microSD and microSDHC formats for upcoming devices. Sony Ericsson recently announced the Aino and Satio handsets, both integrating microSDHC slots instead of requiring Memory Sticks.
An alleged approval by the PCS Type Review Certification Board suggests that Apple may be ready to launch new iPhones in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities, according to Engadget. If the source is correct, the certifications would add evidence to several rumors regarding Apple's upcoming handsets, including the possibility of an entry-level iPhone and a high-end model that doubles the storage of the current 16GB version.
Although Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T is expected to last at least through 2010, Bernstein Research analysts Craig Moffett and Toni Sacconaghi claim iPhone sales could double if the device was also distributed by Verizon. The catch, however, would be a drop in subsidies attached to each phone. While AT&T has been estimated to pay a $450 subsidy per device, a non-exclusive deal would likely bring the value down to around $250 to $350.
In brief: TheMacBundles.com is now shiping its first software package, with a savings of approximately $200. The bundle is available for $50 and includes nine applications such as HoudahSpot, iPrint and CoverStream. EDUmobile has announced a new course for iPhone developers that teaches beginner- and intermediate-level concepts. The course can last up to 12 weeks and costs $200. Meanwhile, Alertec has announced price reductions across its line of flash memory duplicators.
As promised in late May, onOne has released DSLR Remote for the iPhone and iPod touch. When linked through a Wi-Fi network, the software lets users control Canon DSLRs at a distance. The Lite edition simply lets users trigger a camera and see the end result of photos; the more expensive Professional activates precise controls.
PC and games console peripherals maker Nyko has recently announced the upcoming release of two new peripherals, the Zoom Case for the portable Nintendo DSi gaming system and the Type Pad Pro for the Nintendo Wii console. The former adds an 8x optical zoom to the DSi's 640x480 camera thanks to a detachable lens and has the added benefit of protecting the DSi as it wraps it entirely.
A pre-production version of the upcoming Nokia 6790 Mako has been photographed and tested in a new hands-on. The messaging slider is described by BGR as "ridiculously lackluster" despite veering sharply from Nokia's usual designs and appears more an advanced feature phone in the vein of the LG Xenon than suggested by the presence of Symbian S60. As the prototype runs beta software, however, expectations are that the device could improve by the time it's released.
Apple has published updates for two of its main media playback utilities, iTunes and QuickTime. The most crucial is iTunes 8.2, which introduces support for the yet-to-be-released iPhone 3.0 firmware; the upgrade may signify an iPhone 3.0 debut on or around Apple's imminent WWDC event, scheduled to begin June 8th. Also addressed in the download are unspecified bugfixes and accessibility improvements.
Apple on Monday released iTunes 8.2, a software update which also addresses a security vulnerability. A stack buffer overflow existed when parsing "itms:" URLs, potentially allowing a maliciously crafted website to cause application termination or arbitrary code execution. The issue has been addressed through improved bounds checking.
As part of its E3 introductions, Microsoft has said it will add both a full game download service as well as social networking components. Tentatively called Games on Demand, the former will give gamers the option of buying entire Xbox 360 games that then exist solely on the console's hard drive. Buying itself will also be easier and, for the games alone, will allow purchasing directly with a credit card instead of having to first buy Microsoft Points.
Alereon on Monday announced it will show off an Ultra WideBand (UWB) AL5301 peripheral for iPhone and iPods that would allow users to sync the devices with PCs and Macs wirelessly. At the same time, the adapter has an extra battery pack that provides extra operating life for the Apple devices, though its capacity or how much time it will add is unknown. The AL5301 will be shown to the public at the Computex show in Taipei scheduled for later in June. In the future, the AL5301 will allow for a wireless connection to HDTVs for showcasing photos or videos.
Toshiba this afternoon confirmed that it would bring its NB200 series netbooks to the US. Now called the NB205, the line is much thinner and sleeker than its earlier counterparts while also including a more comfortable, optional "chiclet" keyboard. It also promises to upstage competitors with a six-cell battery as standard and making one of its USB ports a sleep-and-charge port that can power media players, phones or other devices while the system isn't fully active.
Adobe has posted the first public beta of Flash Catalyst, a new tool for Flash website and application designers. The software helps convert art from Photoshop and Illustrator into practical interfaces, through the creation of interactive prototypes. No coding is done within Catalyst; instead designs are published in the form of SWF files, which can be shared with developers in order to demonstrate plans.
Microsoft this afternoon unveiled a technology meant for the Xbox 360 but which is also a technology first. Nicknamed Project Natal, the system uses a camera to detect a player's entire body movement. It can not only recognize limbs and posture but is intelligent enough to distinguish between active players and those in the background. It also has a microphone and recognizes voice commands, effectively creating a true hands-free game console.
It is "all but a done deal" that Apple will build its North Carolina server farm in Catawba County, state officials are said to have confessed. The word has allegedly been passed on to the backers of a site in Cleveland County, typically thought of as Catawba's only major competition. Both counties are some of the poorest in the state, making them suitable for the conditions of a corporate welfare bill directed at Apple. After some delay, the bill is expected to be given a final vote Monday night.
Microsoft today launched a range of changes to the Xbox 360's video features. Now rebranded as a Zune service, the former Xbox Video Marketplace will now provide videos in full 1080p and promises an "instant-on" feature that starts streaming videos almost immediately on faster connections. The extension will be available in all countries and should come along with an expansion of video rentals and purchases to 18 countries from the current 8.
LG Europe has introduced its HR400 Blu-ray player that also has a 160GB hard drive for recording TV broadcasts. There is an integrated digital DVB-T tuner in addition to an analog tuner, and YouTube support once the HR400 is connected to the Internet via its Ethernet port, which also allows for BD Live 2.0 functionality. HDMI 1.3 outputs and the necessary related internal hardware allow for 1080p, video playback with 24FPS as an option for moives.
Activision today provided fuller details of the Tony Hawk Ride controller. The board sits on the floor and is fully aware both of pressure on the board as well as movement on its sides; users can lean on the board for manuals and other such moves while using a free foot to "push" the board or assist in tricks. It can further recognize spins on the board itself for reverts or other rotation-based moves.
AMD on Monday launched the latest AMD Opteron, codenamed 'Istanbul,' as the company's first six-core server processor utilizing Direct Connect architecture. The component is designed to balance performance with power consumption, with up to 34-percent more performance-per-watt than earlier generations running on the same platform.
The Zune HD portable audio player, recently unveiled late last week, is unofficially expected to be released on September 5th, according to a recent report by long-time observer Paul Thurrott. The device had already been rumored for fall but would now launch relatively early in the year, roughly in time with Apple's yearly iPod updates.
Sony Music and online digital music retailer eMusic announced on Monday that music that is more than two years old from the record label will be added to eMusic's online store. While specifics of the deal were not disclosed, a direct result of it will see eMusic raise its prices slightly and reduce the number of downloads in its monthly plans. The classic recordings from Sony Music labels that include Columbia, RCA, and Jive, as well as artists such as Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Johnny Cash, will be added to eMusic's catalog in the third quarter of the year.
Although the usage of Android for web browsing is continuing to increase, that growth has slowed substantially, figures from Net Applications are said to show. Some six months after launch -- through devices like the T-Mobile G1 -- the OS came to represent 0.0783 percent of the web market, a slight rise from the previous month's share of 0.0728. Growth has remained relatively modest since Android's fourth month however, no longer rising in bounds.
Today's featured deal from DealNN is on the 2.8GHz 24-inch iMac from MacMall.com. It has been reduced from $1799 to $1199, and until June 30th 2009 a mail in rebate offer drops the price again to $1124. This iMac has a 2.8GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive as well as Bluetooth, iSight webcam, microphone and 8x SuperDrive.
Amazon this afternoon said that it would ship the Kindle DX on June 10th, shipping its largest e-book reader ahead of the promised summer schedule. Launched just last month, the e-paper device centers on a 9.7-inch, 1200x824 display large enough to be used for textbooks and for a larger view of newspapers and other common literature. It accordingly gets an accelerometer to auto-rotate documents for viewing in landscape while gaining native PDF support to read many free documents without needing them converted.
Taiwan-based Prime View International (PVI), one of the larger suppliers of e-paper displays, today set out plans to acquire e-paper display maker E Ink for $215 million. E Ink's displays are used in the relatively successful 6-inch Amazon Kindle 2 e-book reader as well as its rival, the Sony Reader. The company also makes a 9.7-inch display for the
iDonutConnect 1.1 ($1) is a puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch where the players goal is to create groups of donuts. Depending on the level players will have to get donuts into groups of two or three using horizontal and vertical lines. When the groups are made the donuts disappear and the only way to complete each level is to eliminate all of the donuts. The game includes 460 levels that have been broken down into 4 different level packs of increasing difficulty.
iPhone inventory is now extremely limited in the Best Buy supply chain, a memo from the retailer's corporate division is said to warn. Shipments of the device are expected to be light or non-existent over the course of the next few weeks, the memo elaborates, and it is suggested that some stores may run out of product completely. The Best Buy situation follows reports of low stock at AT&T and Vodafone Australia.
Samsung continued its OLED launches on Monday by providing some added early details of its first TV-sized active matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays. Calling both "production-ready," the Korean company says the 31-inch screen will be the first-ever OLED set to produce a native 1080p resolution and will have particularly high image quality: it manages 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio while showing more than 100 percent of the NTSC color range. It will also be thinner than LCDs at just 8.9mm (0.35in) deep.
Qualcomm upped its stake in the mobile space today with an upgrade to the Snapdragon line of mobile processors. The QSD8650A jumps from the previous 1GHz to a new 1.3GHz but is also Qualcomm's first 45 nanometer processor; it's about 30 percent faster than its predecessor but simultaneously uses 30 percent less average power than earlier parts. Video performance in 3D and elsewhere has also been given a boost, the company says.
iPhoto2Gmail 1.1 (free) is a plug-in for iPhoto which allows users to send images through a Gmail account. Users can select which pictures they would like to send and then add contacts, a subject, and a message to the email. The plug-in also allows users to define how large they want the sent image files too be. The new release is now able to preserve EXIF and ColorSync data when it resizes images and can remember the last used resizing and sending options. [Download - 0.7MB]
Service has been extended for some older MacBook Pro models, an Apple support page reveals. In an article discussing problems with absent or distorted video, Apple notes that machines based on NVIDIA's GeForce 8600M GT may now be repaired for free up to three years after purchase, even if officially out of warranty. The latest the option should be available is September 2011.
Panasonic on Monday released pricing and release information for the first portable Blu-ray disc player, the DMP-B15. First shown at this year's CES, the device sports an 8.9-inch LCD screen with 1024x600 resolution and, more importantly, Internet access via Panasonic's VIERA CAST technology along with Bonus View and BD Live functionality. This allows users to access some websites from any connected TV in their home or on the DMP-B15 itself.
Intel today confirmed previous rumors that it had reached a settlement with Psion over the use of the term "netbook." An official for the semiconductor company told the Register that the two have struck an agreement out of court but hasn't said what the terms of the deal would be. An earlier tip had suggested Psion had agree to waive any trademark claims to the word "netbook."
Apple may be ready to start charging for redownloading iPhone apps, if only when using a mobile connection rather than a computer, a report observes. Although inconsistent, at least some users of the iPhone 3.0 beta claim to have seen a new dialog box when attempting to redownload, informing them that they will either have to pay for an app again or save money by going to their computer. The message does not appear for free apps, or updates to existing paid titles.
AMD took its graphics in a new direction on Monday by rolling out the ATI Radeon E4690. The embedded chipset has the same feature set as modern Radeon HD 4000 chipsets but fits the visual core and 512MB of GDDR3 memory all into a single 35mm package small enough for very tight spaces. It's estimated to be about three times faster than the previous E2400 and can not only produce advanced 3D but, in a rarity for the class, handle two displays at once.
ASUS may soon release its Eee PC netbooks and Eee Box nettop PCs running on the NVIDIA Ion mainboard that would tie in Intel's Atom CPU with NVIDIA's hybrid graphics and system controller combo. The computer maker is apparently already testing such configurations, Digitimes reported on Monday, citing industry sources. The same source has an Ion-based Eee Box B1006 coming to stores in the summer of this year, though no estimated dates are being guessed at.
Belkin today unveiled a pair of updated TuneBases built with the iPhone in mind. Both the TuneBase Direct and TuneBase FM route audio from Apple devices to the car stereo while simultaneously charging them over the 12-volt port and cradling them on a flexible neck that puts the iPhone at a more viewable position. Users only have to tap a button on the TuneBase itself to take or end the call in speakerphone mode and can use either model for listening to music.
Google this weekend signaled its plans to offer paid e-books through its site. The approach would let users effectively "unlock" books and view them over the web; offline reading will rely on browser caching. While potentially less convenient than downloads, the approach is said by Google senior partnership director Tom Turvey to avoid creating a "silo" that limits access and should let smartphones as well as any other devices with sufficiently advanced browsers read the text.
Samsung's Mobile Display group has unveiled a new display likely to improve the quality of touchscreen smartphones. The 800x480 AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen has the resolution of the latest mobile LCDs but is far more color-rich, thinner and power-efficient. Despite the resolution increase, the panel actually increases brightness to 350 candelas and consumes 40 percent less power than an earlier 400x240 AMOLED display.
Dell on Monday gave its Studio XPS 13 and 16 notebooks the choice of a Merlot Red lid color. The option gives a matching red leather accent near the hinge and is the Studio XPS line's first color choice outside of black. Changing colors is free for either model and is available immediately through Dell's online store.
Samsung this morning bowed a new flagship camera phone. The Pixon12 upgrades the original Pixon with a namesake 12-megapixel camera that offers the highest resolution in a cellphone camera. It also gets a 28mm wide-angle lens and Xenon flash to produce shots closer to a dedicated compact camera. A 3.1-inch AMOLED screen also plays into the photography role: it more accurately reflects the view with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio and lets owners autofocus on a specific point just by touching that area on the screen.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k