Following sharp criticism from analysts, Microsoft has quickly backed away from its previous announcement that placed a six-month limit on XP downgrades after the release of Windows 7. Michael Silver of Gartner earlier in the week described the limitation as potentially causing a "real mess," as the software maker typically provides a wider time frame for enterprises to transition between operating systems.
Aladdin Knowledge Systems has announced an official release date for its HASP SRM 4.0 application. The program is used to protect and license a developer's hardware and software to reduce the risk of pirating. The update boasts new localization features, aiming to simplify software licensing development, deployment, and management. HASP SRM 4.0 includes new language interfaces including Chinese, Italian and Japanese. V4.0 also adds software-based licensing, locking, and product activation for Mac-native applications.
Blastwave FX has launched its new sound effects website. The new site now features 423 downloadable sound effect packages consisting of 398 Power Packs and 27 Scene builders. The effects are 16-bit, 44.1 kHz WAV files compiled into a .zip file. The Scene builders packages are designed for use in action sequences such as car chases and zombie attacks. The sound effect packages are compatible with Apple Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools, Avid, NetMix, and Soundminer.
Rogers Wireless has announced the details and pricing of its hardware update packages for existing iPhone 3G customers wishing to purchase the new iPhone 3G S. The telecommunications provider will be selling current iPhone subscribers the 16GB iPhone 3G S for $200 and the 32GB iPhone 3G S for $300 until July 31st, at which point the price will increase. Rogers' affiliate Fido will also be offering an iPhone 3G S promotion in which iPhone customers can redeem 100 FidoDollars by subscribing to a data add-on.
Sony at a Blu-ray focused event tonight launched the VAIO NW, a major overhaul of its entry-level notebook. The system has the distinction of being one of the least expensive systems with Blu-ray and has an unusual 15.5-inch, 1366x768 display that can show most HD movies at their native ratio. A textured lid and a translucent trackpad also lend it a designer look.
Speaking at an Executives Club event in Chicago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed that a new Xbox 360 is expected to ship sometime in 2010. The upcoming system is described as utilizing technology "really, really, close" to an actuality, with the integration of a "natural interface" and a built-in camera. The sparse details may corroborate rumors that the next Xbox will be revamped with the company's Project Natal system.
Networks In Motion has released its first iPhone application, Gokivo. The software is used for wireless navigation anywhere in the world. The application utilizes Yahoo! Local search and content capabilities to provide both maps and audio directions. Users can input their destination and the application automatically plots the route from their current position, taking into account traffic notifications it recieves from Yahoo! Local. Voice-navigation can be output to the car speakers or a headset utilizing the application's Bluetooth capabilities.
In the short period of time since the Palm Pre launch, the company's App Catalog has surpassed 660,000 downloads, according to numbers gathered by Medialets. The number of apps started at 18 on the first day of availability, with 30 titles included by the end of the first week. Most of the content remains in beta for now, except for MotionApps' Classic.
Storyist Software has released V2 of Storyist, its flagship application used to help develop stories for novelists and screenplay writers. The new version introduces a new interface that includes a full screen mode, split views, and multiple windows. The update additionally includes 25 new features including a collage mode used to visualize relationships between elements of the writer's story. V2 features a color-coding outliner, support of comments and bookmarks, and an enhanced project manager.
With the new iPhone 3.0 firmware, Apple has continued to develop the platform for enterprise use. The company has issued an enterprise deployment guide (PDF) for system administrators to integrate the iPhone or iPod touch. Although the initial launch focused on consumer features, the company quietly added a variety of capabilities specifically geared for business users.
MacSpeech has launched MacSpeech Dictate Medical, providing speech recognition and dictation software for medical professionals on the Mac platform. The software is designed specifically for medical and dental professionals and support staff, allowing dictation of text directly into applications and practice management systems. The software can issue numerous commands by voice, on the Macintosh, using an included, digitally enhanced USB headset/microphone. MacSpeech Dictate understands and supports vocabularies for more than 54 medical and dental disciplines and specialties, including general medicine, cardiology, dentistry, OB/GYN, pediatrics and others.
SkypeCap has released the v2.0 Mac edition of self-titled application. The software records media during online Skype conversations. All audio and video quality is controlled by the program while recording, and it recognizes audio-specific conversations.
Research in Motion today reported results for its spring quarter that show the company's growth in smartphones cooling down. The company shipped 7.8 million BlackBerries between March and May, or exactly as many as it moved in winter. About 3.8 million of these, or just under half, were new BlackBerry subscribers instead of replacements.
AT&T may be adapting a new protocol to relieve pressure on its 3G network, reports say. The 802.21 protocol may be responsible for the new prompt-free process of automatically transitioning an iPhone from 3G to one of AT&T's Wi-Fi hotspots. The technology is designed to switch to and from cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 802.11 and 802.16 networks using handover algorithms.
Acer in Japan on Thursday announced the release of two new LCD monitors that have an emphasis on eco-friendliness with power consumption ratings that are reduced by 36 percent compared to previous models. The 19-inch Acer V193WBbmd and 22-inch Acer V223WBbmd both offer a 5ms response time, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and 300cd/m2 brightness.
Samsung today claimed to be the first with a 32GB DDR3 RAM stick. The record device comes by using a 50 nanometer manufacturing process to produce 16 gigabit (2GB) stacked memory chips, nine of which are put on each side of the stick to provide the 32GB plus a certain degree of overhead. Despite the sheer amount of memory, Samsung is keen to observe that the 1.35V example uses about 20 percent less power than previous memory, which normally uses 1.5V of energy.
An unofficial report says all BlackBerry devices will get the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) messaging service that allows owners of the devices to communicate with one another when the 5.0 version of the operating system for the devices is released. The updated BlackBerry Messenger will reportedly support avatars, integrate GPS functionality, including proximity sensing of other BlackBerry-toting friends, add the ability to group conversations by subject and get a homescreen shortcut for messenger contacts.
Whole Foods Market Recipes (free) is a tool for finding recipes based on natural and organic foods. Users can search for recipes by ingredients or dietary preferences such as low fat, vegetarian, and high fiber. The application currently includes a database of over 2000 recipes each containing detailed preparation instructions and nutritional information. An "On Hand" feature is also included, where users can enter ingredients and get back meal recommendations.
Japanese carrier Softbank today opened up reservations for the iPhone 3GS, allowing people to pre-order the device. As neither Apple nor Softbank have allowed online pre-orders in the country, lineups formed outside of Softbank retail stores, with as many as 200 people showing up at the flagship outlet by 1AM. Though crowds at the outlet disappeared towards the afternoon, they are said to have grown again in the evening.
A leaked series of screen captures indicate wireless provider T-Mobile will be adding more than just the Dash 3G to its device lineup on July 15th. A new handset, the Samsung Highlight, is expected to join the range at that point as well. The mid-level device will sport a touchscreen of unknown proportions, as well as Bluetooth connection, a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus and video recording, as well as a GPS sensor.
LG will launch not one but three Android phones before the year is out, the company said at the CommunicAsia technology show this week. The company had already said it planned to have at least one but now says that the multiple handsets could arrive as soon as late summer or early fall. They won't necessarily be high-end devices, however, and as a consequence may not have a version of the cube-like S-Class 3D interface used on the Arena, GD900 and other devices.
Microsoft quickly ended speculation today by confirming that it's shipping Xbox 360 Arcade units with 512MB of storage. The company tells Eurogamer that the extra capacity is there to "enjoy more experiences" on Xbox Live that include both essential saved game space as well as downloadable content and smaller Xbox Live Arcade games. It's not known if the 512MB version will be standard worldwide or only show in specific areas.
Approximately 500,000 units of the iPhone 3GS will likely be sold this weekend, says Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster. The analyst notes that while this represents relatively high demand, there are several mitigating factors which should make the 3GS launch pale compared to that of the 3G, which saw over a million phones pass by registers. Foremost is that the 3GS is a "less dramatic change in value proposition" according to Munster, not so much in terms of features as pricing.
Maingear recently introduced a high-end version of its Axess HD Gamer PC, which is meant to sit in users' living rooms as hinted at by its low-profile black aluminum case and front-mounted OLED display that shows song and artist or movie title information. It is the first PC to ship with the Phantom Lapboard wireless gaming keyboard. The highly-customizable PC ships with an Intel Core i7 CPU and up to 12GB of RAM, as well as dual NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT graphics cards in an SLI configuration.
Toshiba and NEC together said today that they would extend their agreement with IBM to produce 28 nanometer chip technology. The deal sees the members of the larger alliance continuing to work on the smaller, more efficient technology with the intention of using it for home user products. They now also say they expected 28nm to be particularly useful for "mobile communication devices" such as smartphones.
US Cellular on Thursday announced it will soon begin offering the Samsung Axle flip phone. The entry-level handset sports a VGA camera, a Bluetooth connection, a speakerphone and a voice dialing feature. Little other information is known about the handset, other than that it will have two color displays, with a battery life rated at four hours of talk time.
Intel is having enough success with its 32 nanometer manufacturing process that it plans to skip certain 45nm processors entirely, tips from within the mainboard industry. Rather than produce Havendale, the 45nm dual-core, desktop processor based on the Nehalem architecture, the company is purportedly ready to skip to its 32nm equivalent, Clarkdale. The new chips would arrive slightly later, in early 2010 instead of late 2009, and would be priced between $60 and $190 depending on clock speed and features.
App developers are quickly integrating the push notification capabilities supported with the iPhone 3.0 firmware update. Pinger has released Textfree, an app that allows users to send and receive free text messages to or from any US cellphone. Push technology enables instant notification when the handset receives a message, while users can establish a permanent texting address. iPod touch owners can also receive messages from the US network via Wi-Fi, even without a phone number.
At the Infocomm show in Florida on Wednesday, Panasonic showed off an 85-inch, 1080p plasma display based on the company's NeoPDP technology. Meant for use in business presentations and as an electronic billboard, the display lacks a TV tuner of any kind. The display is four times larger than a typical 42-inch HDTV. The static contrast ratio is rated at 40,000:1, while the dynamic ratio jumps to an extremely high 2,000,000:1.
T-Mobile UK has made a Twitter announcement on Thursday regarding its second smartphone powered by Google's Android operating system, revealing little other than its name. Due to be called G1 Touch, it is widely believed the device will be based on Huawei's recently introduced Android-powered U8230, as promised by Huawei representatives earlier this year. If this proves true, the device will sport a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera and integrated Wi-Fi.
Having only recently introduced a regular version of the LCD to North America, LG is now shipping a 3D edition of the 47LH50 in South Korea. The 47-inch TV requires special glasses, but handles processing on its own when displaying supported 3D content. The set is also classified under the XCanvas brand in Korea.
TranslateIt! 10.1 ($25) is a multilingual dictionary that allows users to quickly look up words. Users can hover the pointer over an unfamiliar word and TranslateIt! will look up that word and show its translation in a pop-up window. The software can also translate phrases from the clipboard or manually entered text. The update has improved overall compatibility with Safari 4 and features support for most popular online dictionary/translation services. Version 10.1 has also added French pronunciations and included updates for the English-German, English-Spanish, and French-English dictionaries. [Download - 21.6MB]
Microsoft today marked the release of its newest portable wireless mouse meant for netbook users, the Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000, which uses the company's BlueTrack technology. Like higher-end devices, the mouse's blue tracker laser is said to perform equally well on smooth surfaces such as granite or uneven ones including carpet and unfinished wood. The 2.4GHz Nano USB transceiver sticks out less than 0.4 inches from a notebook, making it possible to keep the adapter plugged in while traveling.
Apple has invested serious attention in the possibility of a 3D motion-control remote for the Apple TV, a newly-published patent application reveals. Backing up a later filing, the application once again describes a remote which would let users navigate an interface by pointing to objects, as well as making specific gestures. The remote would communicate with an Apple TV using IR, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Demand for smartphones has reached an all-time high thanks to iPhones and the Palm Pre but is hurting the BlackBerry as a result, according to new data from ChangeWave. A mid-June study from the research group has 14.4 percent of those tracked looking to buy some kind of smartphone within the next 90 days, a record high and a large jump from 11.2 percent in March. Of these, a full 44 percent now plan to buy an iPhone compared to 30 percent just three months earlier.
Flash storage and DRAM memory maker Super Talent on Thursday announced it has released its MasterDrive SX solid state drive lineup with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacity drives. All are designed for speed and have an unusually large 128MB of cache, an 8-channel controller and a Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND design that promises density along with speed. The 64GB MasterDrive SX SSD is rated at 200MBps read speeds and 120MBps write speeds, while the larger capacity versions can manage 220MBps read and 200MBps sequential write speeds.
Nikon's D300s and a replacement for the D60 could be introduced at two separate events if a claim made today is accurate. German photography publication Kamera & Bild says that separate press events on July 30th and August 4th will introduce each camera. No additional news about the cameras accompanies the supposedly confirmed launches.
Canadians should now be able to buy iPhones from Apple Stores, Apple has announced. While the iPhone 3G has been on sale in Canada since its 2008 launch, buyers have typically had to turn to a Rogers or Fido store to pick up the product. People should now have the option of heading to one of the country's nine Apple outlets, located in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Laval and Montreal. An Ottawa store opening is anticipated for August.
A rumor early on Thursday suggests that Nokia could remove copy protection from all its music services within the next year. Claimed sources for ME say the smartphone maker will switch its pay-per-download store from locking songs with Windows Media protection to unguarded MP3s by late this year. Tellingly, Comes With Music would also reportedly make the switch and would do so sometime in 2010, giving users a year of unlimited downloads they could move to any device, including iPhones and iPods.
Some iPhone users have reported considerable difficulties downloading the new iPhone 3.0 firmware, following its release on Wednesday. MacNN has received reader accounts of activation servers being unavailable; some have complained that the update process can take upwards of two-and-a-half hours to complete. Delays are believed to be attributable to user overload.
A simpler method exists for enabling tethering with unsupported iPhone carriers, a new report claims. Although the iPhone 3.0 firmware provides the appropriate framework for the technology, many carriers continue to disallow tethering for fear of oversaturated networks. Hacks to enable the feature have typically involved a complicated series of steps that discourage adoption.
Verizon this morning added a new 3G adapter intended just for international travelers in the Novatel USB1000 Global Modem. The provider's first USB stick of the sort should provide 3G both inside and outside of the US without locking them into notebooks with ExpressCard slots. Neither Novatel nor Verizon are specific about feature support, though it's implied the device may support EVDO on Verizon's network and HSPA in Europe and elsewhere.
Motorola today leapt into the field of bone conduction Bluetooth headsets and launched the Endeavor HX1. Like the Aliph Jawbone and a few rivals, the HX1 captures the vibrations from the jaw for voice, letting users speak in a normal tone in loud environments. Unlike the Jawbone, though, this mode is optional and can be dropped in favor of a microphone.
Logitech on Thursday took its music add-ons cross-platform and unveiled the Wireless Guitar Controller for the Xbox 360. The controller switches to a brighter orange body from the PS3 edition's black but shares the same concept of a premium alternative to the stock peripheral for Guitar Hero: aside from a solid body, it has a wooden neck, rosewood for its fingerboard and metal frets. Using real materials, along with touch-sensitive strum bar and Star Power controls, reduces the clicks and other noises that intrude into actual game music.
Sirius XM early today launched its promised Sirius XM Premium Online app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The free software gives either of Apple's devices access to almost all of Sirius' and XM's stations as long as they have an active Internet-enabled subscription to one of the two. Songs can be tagged to buy through iTunes; channels can also be tagged as favorites or browsed while still listening to a single feed.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE