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 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 userís 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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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'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.
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.
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]
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl