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News Archive for 09/06/03

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Zinc Internet video browser comes to Mac

06/03, 11:55pm

Zinc released for Mac

ZeeVee has released a Mac version of its flagship program, Zinc. The application is an Internet video browser that compiles movies, television shows, news, and other videos from the Internet. The application is designed for use with either a keyboard and mouse, or a wireless remote control. Using Media RSS feeds, the program enables users to share their content with other users.

AAA iPhone app finds, tracks discounts

06/03, 11:45pm

AAA Discounts for iPhone

AAA has released AAA Discounts, an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that uses GPS technology to find nearby business offering deals for AAA members. The application contains over 100, 000 places within Canada and the U.S, and has a variety of discounts ranging from hotels and restaurants to clothing and computers. In addition to finding discounts the program can also pinpoint the user's location, and provide a detailed map that displays the best route to take for reaching their destination, along with other possible paths that can be taken.

Opera 10 beta speeds web browsing by up to 40%

06/03, 11:35pm

Opera 10 open beta

Opera on Wednesdsay launched the first beta version of its Opera 10 web browser, offering enhanced speed and performance, along with a newly designed user interface. Changes in the beta include improved browsing speeds over limited-bandwidth connections, a resizable tab bar, and customizable features for the speed dial that allow users to choose from 4-25 web sites for quick access, and to add a custom background. Other speed enhancements noted by the company include a faster engine by up to 40 percent and increased support for resource intensive pages such as Gmail and Facebook.

Electric Image v8 improves lighting, shadow rendering

06/03, 11:25pm

EIAS v8 released

EI Technology has released v8 of Electric Image Animation System. The update includes various new features such as textured Area lights that can replace a series of small lights to create a more realistic looking indoor scene. There is also an additional Area light function that creates light with arbitrary luminance shapes using real geometry instead of an abstract light shape. Photon Mapping can be used to calculate indirect illumination and light bouncing. The maps can also be stored and reused without re-rendering a setting.

LTB Light 8 implements new CAD data management system

06/03, 11:00pm

LTB Light 8.0 released

LTB Soft has released v8.0 of LTB Light. The program is used to calculate and generate natural and artificial lighting, implementing OpenGL software. It also utilizes a color radiosity method that is applied to a finite element plan. Using its CAD system for data management, the software can flatten surfaces with colored glazing, furniture, curves surfaces, and more complex objects such as cross vaults. The application can also share information with other CAD, exporting DXF and PICT files.

Roland updates V-Synth GT keyboard operating system

06/03, 9:55pm

Roland updates V-Synth GT

Roland has released V-Synth GT 2.0, an update to the operating system used for the Elastic Audio Synthesizer keyboard. The upgrade adds 22 new multi-effects and five new reverbs, as well as a new chromatic-scale pitch bender function. The software provides more USB storage functionality and an improved user interface. Roland believes the upgrade is better at importing sound features such as patches, tones, waves, and samples than its predecessor.

Briefly: iPod touch repair, Mac games, InDesign util

06/03, 9:50pm

LinkOptimizer beta

In brief: MyService, an Apple certified repair company, has announced that it is now offering overnight repairs for both the first and second generation iPod touch. Depending on the repair the price can go from $99 up to $199 and includes a free diagnostics and covers all shipping costs. Mac gamers can now find games for their computers at GamersGate.com. The company has updated its online store and now includes a new Mac game section along with sever new social tools. Meanwhile, Zevrix has released a new beta version of its LinkOptimzier software. The software is designed to help streamline the editing process by eliminating manual optimization.

Adobe previews BrowserLab for consistent web designs

06/03, 9:45pm

Adobe unveils BrowserLab

Adobe has unveiled its newest application, BrowserLab, releasing it as a free downloadable preview. The program, originally code-named Meer Meer, is used to compare webpages in Safari, Internet Explorer, and Firefox to ensure designs remain consistent between each browser. The program uses virtualization technology hosted through a cloud-based application, eliminating the need to install all three browsers.

TechCrunch refines CrunchPad concept, adds aluminum

06/03, 7:10pm

Updated CrunchPad concept

TechCrunch has refined the design of its CrunchPad concept tablet, with a launch prototype that adds an aluminum housing and a flush display. The device has developed an appearance that resembles a large iPod touch, with slightly rounded corners and a glossy black bezel surrounding the touchscreen. Stepping away from a plastic case allowed the thickness to be trimmed down to 18mm, while also increasing rigidity.

iRex announces color display tech for e-book readers

06/03, 5:55pm

iRex color displays

iRex has announced new developments in its color display technology that will likely be used in upcoming e-book readers. Current electrophoretic displays found in readers utilize additive color mixing and filters that can potentially deteriorate the reading quality. The iRex technology, however, uses subtractive color mixing that follows a similar process to physical printing and is claimed to offer three times the brightness of other color displays.

AirPort 5.4.2 fixes bugs in Apple's wireless routers

06/03, 5:30pm

AirPort 5.4.2 fixes bugs

Apple today released an update to its software for its line of branded wireless routers, including the AirPort Express Base Station, the AirPort Extreme Base Station, and Time Capsule. AirPort Utility 5.4.2 includes general fixes and compatibility updates for the following applications: AirPort Utility and AirPort Base Station Agent, Apple said. It also also installs AirPort Disk Utility on Macs running Tiger. An updated version for Windows PCs is also available.

Flash Decompiler Trillix 4.0 adds Flex support

06/03, 5:05pm

Flash Decompiler Trillix 4

Eltima has released v4.0 of its Flash Decompiler Trillix software. The program deconstructs SWF files, allowing conversion into other formats. The update supports converting SWF files into Flex code, and can also process several files simultaneously, or break out content into elements such as images, sounds, videos and fonts.

Acer announces it will use Moblin Linux in PCs

06/03, 4:40pm

Acer bringing Moblin Linux

At a press conference at Computex in Taiwan on Wednesday, PC maker Acer announced it will soon offer the Moblin Linux operating system in its products. This will include Aspire One nettop PCs and regular notebook and desktop PCs. Several Moblin-powered Aspire One netbooks are currently being shown at Computex, along with netbooks from other manufacturers, albeit there was more than one version of Moblin. The Linux-based operating system was developed by Intel to get the most out of the Atom CPU used in ultra-portable netbook PCs.

Smith Micro to publish Pixelmator image editor

06/03, 4:35pm

Pixelmator software ships

Smith Micro has announced that it will distribute Pixelmator, a photo and graphic editor from Pixelmator Team. The software offers over 130 effects and filters, and uses layers to handle tasks like painting, color correction and retouching. Using built-in Automator actions, Pixelmator can run batch processes, applying specified filters to a collection of images.

LaCie intros LaCinema Black multimedia drives

06/03, 4:35pm

LaCie LaCinema Black

LaCie announced on Wednesday it has released two new products meant to enhance a user's home multimedia experience. The LaCinema Black PLAY and RECORD are wireless HD media players connect to a user's home network via their built-in Ethernet ports or Wi-Fi connections. Available in 500MB or 1TB capacities, the drives sport an integrated UPnP client for easy access to media stored on networked PCs or Macs.

Sony Ericsson X2 spy photo leaked?

06/03, 4:20pm

Sony Ericsson X2 spotted?

A leaked photo reveals a new handset that is said to be the eventual successor to the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 smartphone. The spied device apparently goes by the codename Vulcan, though little other information is known about it. While the low-resolution image does not reveal much, similarities between the new device and the old one are clearly visible.

iTunes code points to Nike+, FM support for iPhone

06/03, 4:15pm

iPhone FM tuner and Nike

The recent iTunes 8.2 update allegedly includes code strings that point to several iPhone features, including Nike+ Sport Kit and FM radio support, that may arrive with next-generation devices, according to AppleInsider. The radio capabilities would allow users to tag songs to be purchased from iTunes. The Nike+ support is also new to the iPhone, although the receiver has already been built into the second-generation iPod touch.

Mac Notepad 7.0 improves user interface

06/03, 4:05pm

Mac Notepad 7.0 ships

Apimac has released Mac Notepad 7.0, upgrading its text software with an improved interface, including new drag-and-drop features. Both imports and exports of data can now be performed through drag-and-drop commands: dropping a folder into the source notes list imports text, while dropping notes into a folder exports. Version 7.0 also adds a new categories source list, along with support for mail notes. Import and export formats now range from plain and styled text through to RTF, HTML, Word and OpenOffice, including DOCX and XML files.

MSI shows NVIDIA Ion-based WindBOX PC

06/03, 3:55pm

MSI outs Ion-based WindBOX

At the Computex show currently taking place in Taiwan, MSI has shown off its WindBOX nettop PC powered by NVIDIA's Ion chipset. The computer's presence at the show indicates MSI is the latest to jump on the NVIDIA Ion bandwagon, with Acer and Lenovo confirmed to be releasing Ion-based PCs, with ASUS, Foxconn, Pegatron and, most recently, Dell and HP, rumored to be releasing their own as well.

TechSmith intros Jing Pro screen capture app

06/03, 3:45pm

TechSmith intros Jing Pro

TechSmith has released Jing Pro, a new version of its screen capture and recording application. Users can add screen-captured images and videos to online conversations, through links in e-mail and instant messages as well as online forums. The Pro version allows sending video postcards, switching back and forth between screen and webcam video, and recording video greetings.

Sony Ericsson W995a reaches US unlocked

06/03, 3:35pm

Sony Ericsson W995a in US

Sony Ericsson today said it has brought the W995a Walkman phone to Americans as an unlocked device. The slider is Sony Ericsson's most advanced non-touch media phone and has 3G, an 8.1-megapixel camera and Wi-Fi to complement its signature music jukebox app. In US form, it comes with both native AT&T 3G as well as Sony's just-launched Media Go software for loading tracks.

BenQ intros light Joybook Lite U121 Eco netbook

06/03, 3:10pm

BenQ inros new Joybook

Taiwanese hardware maker BenQ on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of its latest ultra-portable netbook PC, the 2.9lb, 11.6-inch Joybook Lite U121 Eco. Sporting a screen resolution of 1366x768 and a 16:9 aspect ratio, combined with the availability of large-capacity storage drives and an HDMI output, the Joybook Lite U121 Eco is intended as a minor media hub. Processing power comes from a 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520 that, with the optional six-cell battery, gives it a life expectancy of eight hours. A three-cell battery is the default choice.

Collins Stewart, BMO Capital boost Apple ratings

06/03, 3:05pm

Collins Stewart on AAPL

Analyst Ashok Kumar of Collins Stewart has upgraded his rating for Apple stock, shifting it from Hold to Buy, and simultaneously setting a new price target of $170. Kumar argues that lower material costs should allow an 8GB iPhone to go on sale for just $99, spurring demand; when such a model would launch is uncertain. Next week's WWDC meeting may be the first realistic opportunity.

Synaptics emulates MacBook's click-down trackpad

06/03, 3:00pm

Synaptics ClickPad

Timing its launch for Computex, Synaptics has unveiled a new notebook trackpad design to close the gap between MacBooks and Windows PCs. Similar to Apple's design, the ClickPad removes discrete mouse buttons in favor of a larger unbroken surface. Users press down to click the button and get more space for multi-touch gestures, which are now a staple of the design. Pinching, scrolling and zooming are all possible with two fingers, while three fingers can either swipe or else produce an alternate click.

BlackBerry Tour shows in Bell garb

06/03, 2:20pm

BBerry Tour Bell Leak

RIM's BlackBerry Tour is now known to be headed to Canada and has had its specifications confirmed through a late leak. Now due for Bell, a brochure for the smartphone obtained by BGR has both CDMA and EVDO for the carrier's own network but also quad-band GSM and EDGE for basic use in the US; in a conscious decision to limit 3G roaming in the US, though, it would have just 2,100MHz HSPA and so would only support 3G on European networks like Vodafone's.

Sony Ericsson to open app store via PlayNow

06/03, 1:50pm

Sony Ericsson PlayNow Apps

Sony Ericsson at mid-day said it would jump into the mobile app store field by bringing apps to its PlayNow service. Similar to the iPhone's App Store and other services, developers will have to submit apps to Sony Ericsson but can optionally put their apps in a central portal across all 13 countries PlayNow serves. Developers won't be locked into a single operating system, however, and the company plans to offer both Symbian apps for its upcoming phones and Java ME for more limited phones.

SanDisk ships next-gen pSSD storage for netbooks

06/03, 1:30pm

SanDisk pSSD for netbooks

SanDisk has begun shipping its next-generation SSD drives geared for netbooks, the pSSD P2 and S2. Both series of components feature new non-volatile nCache technology which is claimed to enable a five-fold increase in random write performance compared to HDDs, an important advancement for netbooks that use full-featured operating systems such as XP or Ubuntu. The technology is designed to reduce instances of stalling or "shuddering" experienced with earlier-generation SSDs.

Kingston ships SSDNow V series upgrade kits

06/03, 1:00pm

Kingston SSD upgrade kits

Kingston at the Computex show in Taiwan on Wednesday announced it has released the SSDNow V Series solid-state drive (SSD) upgrade bundles for desktop and notebook PCs, allowing users to swap out their hard disk drives or small-capacity SSD drives without losing any of their data. The bundles include the SSD itself, cloning software from Acronis, step-by-step instruction, a SATA data and power cable extenders and 3.5-inch mounting brackets and hardware in desktop bundles or a 2.5-inch USB external enclosure in the notebook bundle. The enclosure allows users to turn the hard drives they have just removed into external backups or else further storage.

Wi-SKY promises 45Mbps in-flight Internet

06/03, 1:00pm

45Mbps airline Internet

Having presented the technology during the Immarsat Aeronautical Conference, one company claims it can significantly boost the speeds of in-flight Internet. Wi-SKY is promising download rates as fast as 45Mbps, potentially dozens of times quicker than the access offered by airlines like Virgin America. Taking to the air, Wi-SKY is last Tuesday said to have demonstrated seamless streaming for functions like Skype video calls.

Acer F1, L1 handsets show up at Computex

06/03, 12:15pm

Acer F1, L1 at Computex

Acer has been showing two of its Tempo-series handsets, codenamed F1 and L1, first shown at CES in January, at the Computex show in Taiwan. The display model for the F1 revealed some of the smartphone's specs, including a particularly quick 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional for its operating system. It also centers on a large 3.8-inch, 800x480 touchscreen.

iPhone apps: YouSendIt, GlobeJot, RadarCanada

06/03, 12:10pm

Blossom, Flight Control

YouSendIt Tracker (free) is a tool for tracking the status of files sent through the YouSendIt website. After logging into their account users are presented with a list of all of the files they have sent and how many times each has been downloaded. Each item can be opened for additional details including the original message that accompanied the file and a list of which recipients have downloaded the file.

Apple, Google contemplating direct app sharing?

06/03, 12:05pm

App sharing for iPhone?

Apple and Google are both considering improved methods of sharing cellphone apps between users, reports say. Although it is not uncommon for developers to allow recommendations, there is presently no easy way for an iPhone or Android device user to send an app directly. Hooks for the technology are said to exist in the iPhone 3.0 firmware however, even if they are currently unimplemented. Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock has refused to comment on any details, insisting only that there are "no announcements at this time."

Oracle considering netbook following Sun deal

06/03, 11:50am

Oracle Considers Netbook

Oracle chief Larry Ellison late Tuesday said (registration required) his company may jump into the netbook field in the aftermath of its buyout of Sun. While referenced casually at the JavaOne conference, the expansion into computers is considered a logical offshoot by Ellison given Sun's experience in hardware and other fields outside of Oracle's preferred database apps.

Nokia losing teen appeal to Apple, Sony Ericsson

06/03, 11:20am

Nokia Losing Teen Appeal

Nokia's lead in appeal to a younger audience is quickly giving way to newer companies, a study by online community Habbo has revealed today. A study of more than 112,000 teens in 30 countries has seen just 21 percent declare Nokia as their favorite phone brand. The tally is enough to give it the lead but is a major drop from 29 percent a year ago. Sony Ericsson, normally sixth place in actual market share, garnered second place but itself dropped from 21 percent to 18 percent.

AT&T cuts BlackBerry Bold, Curve 8900 pricing

06/03, 10:50am

AT&T cuts BB phone prices

Wireless provider AT&T has quietly lowered its subsidized pricing of two BlackBerry handsets, the Curve 8900 and Bold. Despite being released just at the end of May by the provider, the price drop of the 8900 to $150 puts it on par with pricing at rival T-Mobile. It was reduced by $50 thanks to a larger mail-in rebate in the form of an AT&T promotion card.

Apps: Batch File Rename, AudioRefurb, iPhoto2Twitter

06/03, 10:50am

BirthdayScanner, Cloak

Batch File Rename 1.6 ($14) allows users to rename multiple files simultaneously. A series of files can be dragged to the main window of the application and then select options for how to rename each files. Some options include, "Add Prefix", "Replace Text", and "Trim Characters from Start". This update has improved the softwares compatibility with older versions of Mac OS X. [Download - 0.05MB]

Probe targets hiring practices of Apple, others

06/03, 10:50am

Justice Dept. Apple probe

The Justice Department is investigating the hiring strategies of some of America's largest high-tech corporations, according to the Washington Post. Companies involved in the probe include the likes of Apple, Google, Yahoo and Genentech, which are accused of making agreements to avoid recruiting from each other, thereby cementing their powerbase. Should allegations prove to be well-founded, the companies could be considered in violation of antitrust laws meant to ensure fair competition.

ASUS O!Play HDP-R1 brings HD media sharing

06/03, 10:25am

ASUS outs O!Play HDP-R1

Computer and accessory maker ASUS on Tuesday announced it has added an O!Play Series digital media player line and its debut product, the O!Play HDP-R1 HD media player. The device is meant to bring both HD and SD video, as well as audio, into users' living rooms via a wired connection. It supports a relatively wide range of codecs, including MPEG1/2/4, H.264, VC-1 and RM/RMVB. Virtually all video formats are supported as well. The device itself connects through HDMI and RCA for video and brings optical output for sound.

Rogers to offer 15GB data plan mid-month?

06/03, 10:15am

Rogers 15GB Data Rumor

Rogers is poised to more than triple the amount of data it can offer in a plan within two weeks, a leak says. Referred to as the Data Plan for Heavy Users, it would allot 15GB per month for $150, or three times as much as the current 5GB plan at less than twice the extra price. It would be usable with any smartphone, including the iPhone, as well as computer modems. Handsets will also have the option of tethering under the plan.

MS redefines "netbook" to push up Win 7 price

06/03, 9:45am

Microsoft Relabels Netbook

Microsoft at Computex has said it wants PC builders to avoid using the term "netbook" in the future. Application Platform and Development marketing general manager Steven Guggenheimer told the press that Microsoft now plans to call them "low cost small notebook PCs" as the original emphasis on web-first use has become outdated. Many of these devices are capable of extra features and are no longer just for the web, the executive insists.

WWDC 2009 banners go up at Moscone West

06/03, 9:30am

WWDC 2009 banners

With less than a week to go before the 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference, staff at the Moscone West conference center have begun putting up various promotional banners in order to greet visitors. The centerpiece is a display spanning much of the Moscone lobby, bearing 2009's slogan: "One year later. Light-years ahead." The phrase is a reference to third-party iPhone apps, which during WWDC will occupy a central place in presentations.

AT&T launches CruiseCast mobile satellite TV service

06/03, 9:05am

AT&T launches CruiseCast

Wireless provider AT&T on Tuesday announced its CruiseCast mobile satellite TV service has now launched in the US. Introduced in January at CES, the service offers 42 video and radio channels on existing rear-seat entertainment systems, including the NFL Network, Disney, Cartoon Network Mobile and Discovery channels. CruiseCast streams the mix of adult and children's TV programming into the car, via an antenna that mounts to roof racks or thanks to a magnet on a bare roof.

Zune HD Amazon listing hints apps, Xbox link

06/03, 8:50am

Zune HD on Amazon

A listing for the Zune HD has appeared on Amazon today that hints at broader support for software on Microsoft's media player. Its description indicates that owners can "play games and use apps" using the accelerometer, suggesting both the expected third-party games as well as possible third-party apps; notably, Zune HD images to date have shown a "more" option that suggests additional features. The possibility remains that Microsoft is referring to built-in utilities like the photo viewer and web browser, both of which use the accelerometer for rotation.

AMD demos DirectX 11-class graphics chip

06/03, 8:00am

AMD Demos DX11 GPU

AMD this morning said it has demonstrated the world's first graphics processor capable of supporting DirectX 11 and matching features in other software standards. The part is capable of tessellating polygons in real time, or breaking them down automatically into smaller shapes. Games and other apps that use the feature can have smoother details to characters or terrain without requiring as much processing power or that artists add all the information themselves.

EchoStar patent suit damages rise to $190M

06/03, 12:35am

EchoStar fines raised

A federal judge in Texas has awarded TiVo approximately $190 million in damages in the continuing legal battle with DISH Network and EchoStar, according to Reuters. The conflict involves infringement of patents for technology used in the company's DVR set-top boxes. The judge previously ordered an injunction to prevent the accused companies from using the patented technology in their devices, although TiVo claims the products continue to replicate its Time Warp features.

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