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DAZ 3D has released a new version of its flagship software, DAZ Studio 3. The application is used to design 3D models and features pre-rendered virtual animals, props, vehicles, people and environments. The application can also add lighting and shading to models. The update supports 64-bit systems, COLLADA import and export functions, figure mixing, and animation keyframe editing.
Disney has collaborated with Asus to produce a Disney-branded netbook, known as the Netpal, that focuses on the market for kids aged six to 12. The device is based on the computer maker's Eee PC, with a 8.9-inch display, Wi-Fi connectivity and an Intel Atom processor. Each machine will run on Windows XP, but with a customized interface featuring themes such as Mickey Mouse, Cars, Toy Story and WALL-E, among others.
FileMaker has announced Bento 1.0.1, an update to its mobile personal database for managing contacts, coordinating projects, and tracking bills, as well as the launch of its Bento Template Exchange. Bento for the iPhone (and iPod touch) offers users a portable database to store information ranging from birthdays to home expenses, and provides 25 pre-designed templates to start. Bento mobile can sync with the desktop version or work as a standalone, and includes integration with the address book, dialer, Safari browser and e-mail in-box. The newest version of Bento adds compatibility for the iPhone OS 3.0, and is said to resolve customer-reported issues relating to data entry, stability, and data displays.
YouMail has released an iPhone version of its Visual Voicemail Plus application. The software provides users with the standard caller display, along with information not loaded into a user's address book. The application also converts voicemail messages into readable messages and can forward voicemail to other contacts. Users can change their greetings in order to inform callers of their whereabouts and when they will be available next.
Dracons has released an update to its e-mail plug-in, Mailit 4. The software is used to extend FileMaker's text messaging capabilities, enabling management of e-mail content. The update can retrieve e-mail messages using the IMAP protocol, and is designed to handle simultaneous outgoing messages. V4 can also attach any kind of container-field data types such as images, video or FileMaker layouts.
Macvide has updated its Flash SWF and FLV converter tool, releasing FlashVideo Converter 3.0. The main feature of the 3.0 upgrade is a new video engine that supports true 30 frames-per-second movie creations. Version 3.0 also includes bugfixes. The converter works with SWF and FLV Flash videos, supporting MP4, MOV, 3GP and MPEG outputs for easier video editing. It also converts with customizable output dimensions, allowing for transfer to mobile devices.
Avenza Systems has released V8.1 of MAPublisher, its plug-in for Adobe Illustrator. The software is used to create maps from GIS data for both print and electronic distribution. The update includes a MAP Web Author tool that can export maps as interactive flash documents, along with a Vector MAP Crop tool eliminates information outside of the selected area for cleaner map edges. MAPublisher can also import data from GIS applications such as ArcGIS, MapInfo, MicroStation, and Google, while preserving the map's attributes and georeferencing.
BlobmanLabs has released V2.0 of its flagship application, Blobman. The software is used to view video of golf swings and compare the form to the swing of a computer generated model. The model is designed to showcase what a good golf swing should look like. The update boasts an AngleFinder feature that allows users to specify any viewing angle they would like to see the model from. Blobman 2.0 utilizes a video player designed for cameras that shoot video at high frame rates.
Jumsoft has expanded its clipart image package with the new Pages Clipart 4.0. The package consists of various clipart content that can be used for making documents more visually appealing. Pages Clipart 4.0 adds 100 new images to the package, bringing the total to 300. The update boasts both image themes and high-quality renderings.
T-Mobile is reportedly set to launch a new Android-based handset sometime this summer, unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal. The new device is allegedly called myTouch 3G, with a slightly rounded back and gloss finish, and will be manufactured by HTC. Confirming FCC filings, the myTouch carries the same basic design as the HTC Magic, an Android device currently limited to Vodafone distribution in the UK.
Apple has been granted 12 new patents, including a surround mixing patent for Final Cut Studio which covers the use of a graphical user interface to engineer sound movement across multiple channels. Two other featured patents are for Apple's spring-loaded folders and a method of controlling movement of a cursor on a screen and a computer-readable medium containing such a method as a program code. The later primarily relates to GPS data on an iPhone.
Several European carriers, including Orange in France and T-Mobile in Germany, have announced pricing for the iPhone 3G S. The new handset will be available from Orange on June 19th, with the 16GB model carrying a price of €149 (~$205 USD). Customers choosing the 32GB variant will have to pay €229 (~$315 USD) for the device.
CodeWeavers has released an update to its Windows virtualization software, CrossOver Mac 8.0. The latest version now supports a number of new programs including Internet Explorer 7 and Quicken 2009. Performance has been improved while running Microsoft Office 2007, particularly with Outlook. The company attributes a significant portion of the expanded compatibility to the growing Wine Project, an initiative that is working to allow Windows-coded programs to work on other operating systems.
Syabas Technology on Tuesday released a couple of photos and announced the specifications of its latest Popcorn Hour network media hub, the C-200. Compared to the company's existing products, such as the A-110, the C-200 has front-panel mounted 3.5-inch drive bay that can house a Blu-ray drive; it also gets a gigabit Ethernet connection.
The Palm Pre handset will be coming to some European markets by the end of September, says the official distributor of Apple products in Romania, Apcom/IRIS. Zsolt Kadar, the marketing director of Apcom/IRIS, said the late September European availability depends on how well the Pre sells in the US. Palm products are distributed in Romania by Omnisoft, which has not released any statements.
Sony has recently taken the wraps off its latest portable music player, the Walkman NWZ-B142F (JE) Zappin, which is effectively an update to the company's B-series players. Chief among the changes is a Zap button that is also found on other Walkman players, such as the W series, that lets users find tracks by listening to five-second samples. The Zappin has an integrated USB interface and contains 2GB of memory that is filled simply by users dragging and dropping MP3 and WMA audio files into it, without having to install any special syncing software. An FM tuner is built in, as is a voice and FM radio recorder.
Pixel Research Labs has released Ringer, an application used to create and edit ringtones for the iPhone. Users can import any unprotected MP3, AAC, MOV, AP4 or M4V file, which is then converted into the appropriate format. The app's interface features a waveform viewing bar, which lets users pick precise start and end points.
Wireless provider Cricket on Tuesday announced it is now offering the Samsung MyShot II SCH-r460 handset. The flip phone is a replacement for the current MyShot and sports MP3 music playback capabilities, a microSD memory card slot, stereo Bluetooth, and a 1.3-megapixel camera. It will be the first Cricket phone to offer MyHomeScreen, which lets users customize their home screen with their choice of widgets to quickly access account information, Internet websites or social networking services.
Life Core has announced aTV Flash 3.6, the latest version of it Apple TV enhancement software. aTV Flash adds a series of features, including video playlists, additional file formats, and the ability to drag-and-drop media. Among the supported file formats are DivX, XviD, AVI, WMV and VIDEO TS. Further tweaks allow the use of an external USB hard drive.
Samson has released the R16, a new addition to its Zoom audio capture roster. The R16 is used to record up to eight audio tracks simultaneously (16 if a second R16 is attached) while controlling the sound of each track individually. The device is portable, running on 6 AA batteries, and can take a 32GB SDHC card to help make the device lighter. The SD card also simplifies file transfers, is less susceptible to crashes and holds up to about 100 uncompressed audio tracks.
FileWave has released version 9 of its self-named distribution and management application. The title is mainly intended to install and configure operating system upgrades across large networks, saving the time demanded by manual installations. The update improves inventory management, provides purchase order and maintenance contract management, and includes a vendor and product database. FileWave 9 also includes security features which limit data accessibility by department, OS type or location.
BenQ recently announced the upcoming release of its ultra-portable netbook, the 13.3-inch Joybook Lite T131. Weighing in at just under 4lbs, the 13.3-inch T131 sports a 1.6GHz AMD Sempron 200U processor based on the same platform as the Athlon Neo and which should give performance better than netbooks without a major increase in bulk. A minimum of 1GB of RAM is onboard, as is an ATI Mobility Radeon X1270 graphics chipset that can drive HD video playback. The standard 250GB hard drive -- a 320GB drive is an option -- comes preloaded with Windows Vista Home Basic.
The iPhone 3G's price drop to $99 is a large enough move that it could overhaul the entire cellphone industry, according to research by Nielsen. Analyst Roger Entner believes the cut "completely changes" the worth of every phone already on offer and won't just hurt smartphones, where the comparisons are more evident, but any limited "feature" phone that nears the price point. Any cellphone over $49 is "kneecapped" and will look like either it costs too much to make or that the carrier is asking too high a price, Entner says.
An iPhone version of TweetDeck is coming soon, says Digg founder Kevin Rose. Already in beta, the iPhone app is said to reproduce features of the desktop Twitter client -- namely its signature groupings, which are organized into columns. Users should be able to flick through columns to switch groups.
The recent Firefox 3.0.11 update is causing problems for many Mac users working with network-based home folders. Several bug reports indicate the browser is unable to locate the history or bookmarks, while the search field is inoperable and users cannot enter a URL into the access field. The problem reportedly affects both PPC- and Intel-based Macs.
Apple showed "hostility" towards attendees at a key session of last week's Worldwide Developers Conference, claims Marco Arment. The lead developer behind Tumblr and Instapaper, Arment observes that the session on publishing to the App Store ended 45 minutes early, despite having only offered "lightweight" examples. More seriously the company is accused of skipping the standard Q&A, which lets WWDC attendees interact with both presenters and Apple engineers.
Air Sharing Pro ($10) allows users to access, view, e-mail, print, store and manage documents on an iPhone or iPod touch. Users can wirelessly connect their handheld devices to a computer as an external drive and use drag and drop to transfer documents. The software is also able to open common files including Microsoft Office and iWork documents. Furthermore, Air Sharing Pro features support for ZIP files allowing users to archive multiple files and email them as one attachment.
Altec Lansing today expanded into more serious in-ear listening with its Backbeat Pro in-canal earphones. The set uses neoprene ear tips and dual flanges for a close fit to a wearer's ear in order to isolate it from ambient noise. Each earpiece has a single armature but is characterized as balanced rather than emphasizing bass.
Dell at a Parisian event today briefly showed a mystery notebook likely to be the company's first based on Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) initative. Without naming the model or detailing its features, Phil Bryant and Michael Tatelman of the company told Engadget and observers that it's part of an "entirely new model line" of thin notebooks. No release information has been given and echoes the Adamo teaser at CES, which preceded an actual launch by months.
A US Senate committee today has started taking testimony today from representatives of major carriers over concerns of climbing text messaging rates. The questioning of AT&T, Cricket and Verizon officials follows recent concerns raised by Senator Herb Kohl that the carriers may be colluding on price hikes for SMS even though the actual cost of delivering each message remains the same or is decreasing due to economies of scale. Most major cellphone services have often increased their rates within short succession of each other and rarely if ever drop prices.
Clearwire on Tuesday officially released its 4G WiMAX wireless broadband network in Atlanta, making it the largest city in the US to offer the service. The service, CLEAR, is available to about three million people in a 1,200-square mile area, offering users DSL-like cable speeds wherever they are, wirelessly. Running on a WiMAX radio system from Motorola, the service is said to deliver realistic download speeds between 4 and 6Mbps, with burst speeds greater than 15Mbps. In comparison, existing 3G networks provide download speeds between 1 and 1.7Mbps.
Plans are underway to spread the Kindle format, and open up access to the dedicated hardware, says Amazon's CEO. Speaking at a Wired conference, Jeff Bezos has explained that Kindle books should continue to sell for $10 as they go on sale through the iPhone plus "other mobile devices and other computing devices." A Kindle app is already available for the iPhone, though purchases must currently be made via the web.
Opera on Tuesday unveiled its Opera Unite service that breaks with tradition by allowing users to share files with other computer users via their web browsers and not a third-party server. Ease-of-use is being touted as an advantage of the new software, and Opera expects even devices with modern web browsers, such as smartphones, will also be able to access the files. As Opera Unite services are based on current open web standards, creating a full web service is said to be as easy as coding a web page.
The unofficial iPhone Dev Team, best known for its yellowsn0w hack, has announced plans to demonstrate a new unlock for the iPhone 3.0 firmware. Although public downloads of iPhone 3.0 are only scheduled to open on June 17th, a live feed of the unlocking demo is expected sometime later on the 16th. Interested viewers must follow MuscleNerd through Twitter to learn the time and URL for the presentation.
The E-P1 will be supplemented by more distinct Micro Four Thirds models and with more professional features, Olympus product planning manager Akira Watanabe said in the wake of the new camera launch today. He explains to DPReview that the E-P1 is just the first in a larger range and that at least one future model will have an electronic viewfinder, much as Panasonic's Lumix G1 and GH1 have now. More lenses should also come in tow and may include more prime lenses beyond the new 17mm f2.8.
Combine PDFs 4.3 ($30) is a utility that allows users to merge PDF files and images into one PDF file. Users can also split a PDF file or create a new PDF file with interleaved pages from two different PDF files. Version 4.3 includes two new menu commands, one for reordering pages for duplex 2 on 1 page book printing, and the other for removing blank pages. The update also includes German and French localizations and improves the softwares memory usage. [Download - 5MB]
Australian carrier Optus has let slip the details of new iPhone subscription options, meant to coincide with the release of the 3GS, a leak claims. The carrier's "yes" cap plans should now range from $19 to $79 a month, and by default provide between 100MB and 1GB of data; missing is a $29 option, which will come sometime after launch if at all. Varying payments may be necessary based on the choice of iPhone model, and the length of a contract, spanning one to two years.
Garmin-ASUS at CommunicAsia on Tuesday said that its decision to launch Android phones next year will mark the end of the partnership's custom Linux variant. The nuvifone G60 will now be both the first and last phone to run the in-house OS and all future nuvifones will either use Android or else, like the M20, Windows Mobile. Reasons for the switch haven't been explained to CNET but likely center on both the true smartphone-level feature set as well as the reduced work of using an existing OS rather than developing from scratch.
Western Digital this morning entered into the solid-state drive field in earnest and launched its SiliconDrive III range. The result of its buyout of SiliconSystems earlier this year, the drives are targeted at professionals where longevity is more important than sheer speed. Although they don't have read and write speeds faster than 100MB and 80MB per second respectively, they have a unique predictive feature that calculates the remaining lifespan of a drive so that it can be replaced before it fails.
Storage device maker Kingston Technology on Monday announced it has released a new USB flash drive series, the DataTraveler 200, with the first-ever 128GB USB flash drive available. The range also offers 32GB and 64GB models. All have password protection in the form of Password Traveler security software for Windows. The DT200s have a capless design, with the USB connector retracting into the device's body for protection.
Israelis should finally be able to buy the iPhone in the near future, announcements reveal. Partner Communications -- which operates the Israeli division of Orange -- says it has signed an agreement with Apple Sales International, which will allow it to sell iPhones domestically for a period of at least three years. Partner is in turn expected to buy a minimum number of iPhones each year, representing a "significant portion" of all its cellphone purchases.
Logitech on Tuesday added a new mid-range notebook mouse to its catalog in the M555b. Although simple with just a four-button design, it borrows the metal scroll wheel from the MX and VX lines to either freely spin through very large documents or else to click step-by-step through smaller content. It also abandons RF wireless in favor of Bluetooth to free up a USB port.
GPS hardware maker Garmin on Tuesday announced it will double its wrist-mounted Foretrex range, adding to the current Foretrex 201 and Foretrex 101 with the Foretrex 301 and 401. The devices are flexible enough to be used by families or military personnel, and feature a built-in, high-sensitivity GPS receiver, waterproof and rugged construction with a USB interface. Hikers or mountain bikers can save their trail as a series of points via the TracBack feature, and up to 500 waypoints can be saved in memory.
People who have pre-ordered the iPhone 3GS from Apple should get it on the official June 19th release date, Apple insists. Concern began when it was reported that AT&T had sold out of pre-orders on Saturday, potentially forcing buyers to wait one to two weeks extra, or simply join a line at an AT&T store for a chance at launch-day stock. Apple's own shipments are doing just fine, the company's website suggests.
Cisco today gave its Flip cameras a key update with the launch of FlipShare.com, its matching Flip Channels and a new iPhone app. The new feature gives users their own collection of videos on the Cisco-run website but, unlike YouTube or similar pages, lets users more specifically share videos only with with certain groups rather than just the entire public or all of a user's friends. In addition to a software update launching today, all Flip cameras shipping from today onwards will have the feature.
ARM has teased the future of the iPhone and other smartphones with added early details for its first dual-core mobile processor design. The Cortex A9 will shrink the manufacturing process from the 65 nanometers used on the single-core Cortex A8 used in the iPhone 3G S to 45 nanometers, letting it add the extra core without significantly affecting the power draw. Although it consumes more energy at peak, the smaller process and multiprocessing should ultimately lead to longer battery life.
Olympus today finally launched the E-P1, its first camera using the Micro Four Thirds system and the first to adopt a non-SLR profile. Meant to recall the company's PEN cameras, it has a consciously retro but compact design that allows a large DSLR sensor and removable lenses but without the depth needed with a conventional mirror box or large optics. In a unique approach, Olympus doesn't have a dedicated electronic viewfinder beyond the 3-inch LCD but does give the choice of an optical add-on viewfinder.
Ending a degree of speculation, Research in Motion on Tuesday launched the BlackBerry Tour 9630. The smartphone is the first modern QWERTY keyboard device for CDMA networks and inherits the overall design of the Curve 8900, including its larger 2.44-inch 480x360 screen, but the keys of the Bold. It's also the second 3G world roaming phone for these networks in recent months and has both CDMA and EVDO Revision A for North American carriers but GSM and EDGE for the Americas as well as HSPA for European 3G services.
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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