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HP on Wednesday introduced several devices geared for businesses, the Mini 5101 netbook and ProBook 4310s notebook, along with new accessories. The Mini 5101 features a 10.1-inch LED-backlit display, with options for 1024x600 resolution or a 16:9 aspect ratio with 1366x768 resolution. The device is powered by Intel's 1.66GHz Atom N280 CPU and 945GSE chipset, with 1GB of DDR2 RAM which can be expanded to 2GB.
Electronic Arts is expanding its Spore series, releasing Spore Galactic Adventures. The expansion features 16 missions in which the players earn new game elements such as weapons and experience to move through the ranks to become a space captain. The game also includes new planets that players can beam onto and play new adventures or use the "Adventure Creator" tool to create their own missions. User-generated characters and missions can be shared online through Sporepedia, the Spore library, which already totals 105 million creations.
GizFever.com has announced a new product added to its website, the USB 2.0 Mini Network Server. The device allows users to share external hard drives, flash drives, USB webcams, and other various USB devices over wired Ethernet or a wireless network. Other sharing capabilities enable multiple users to access a printer over a network, and scan and fax from any networked computer. Users can also add a USB speaker to listen to music on any networked PC.
Confirming earlier reports that Steve Jobs traveled to Tennessee for transplant surgery, the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute on Tuesday acknowledged the Apple executive did, in fact, receive a liver transplant. The operation was announced by James D. Eason, M.D., the Program Director, with consent from Jobs to release the information.
Following reports that Steve Jobs received a liver transplant in Tennessee, a number of Memphis residents believe the executive secretly purchased a mansion in an upscale district in Memphis. The property is allegedly located on Morning Place, a quiet cul-de-sac with homes set back amongst old-growth oaks, according to the Memphis Flyer.
Portland Group has released v9.0 of its PGI line of parallelization compilers and development tools. The update is the first release to include support for the PGI Accelerator programming model on x64-based Linux systems utilizing NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs. The PGI Accelerator Fortran and C compilers are designed to automatically analyze a program's structure and data as well as to split portions of the application between a multi-core x64 CPU and a GPU. The portions split between each device are controlled by a user's preferences. The PGI Accelerator additionally defines and generates maps of loops, enabling parallel cores to be used simultaneously, with support for hardware threading and SIMD vectors.
WildCharge has released a new line of iPhone cases called WildCharge Skins. The cases enable the device to be wirelessly charged by placing it on the WildCharger Pad or other surfaces embedded with WildCharge technology. The phone case is compatible with all iPhone models including the new iPhone 3G S. WildCharge Skins are also protective and form-fit to the phone. The WildCharger Pad, used in combination with the skins, allows users to charge multiple devices simultaneously by placing each of them on the pad.
Sprint CFO Bob Brust forecasts shortages of the Pre smartphone to continue for a while, while the company is still gauging the impact of the recent iPhone 3GS launch. Palm released its device several weeks before Apple's WWDC event, with analysts estimating sales of approximately 50,000 units.
Animoto Videos (free) is an application that enables the creation of music videos using pictures and audio files. Users can select photos from their library and then create an order and choose music for the background. The latest version also allows users to link the application to their Animoto.com account for syncing videos made on a computer. Users can also now save videos directly on their device for offline viewing.
Active Media has recently released two new 2.5-inch solid state drives as part of its Predator GT SATA-II line, with record 220MBps sequential read speeds and 0.1ms access times. Just two capacities are offered, 64GB and 128GB, with each housed in a brushed aluminum housing and with a 3.5-inch drive bay mounting bracket.
Software developer Namco Bandai has revealed an upcoming bundle that includes a copy of the upcoming Tekken 6 video game, an arcade-style Wireless Fight Stick made by HORI and an art book devoted to the game. An arcade-style stick and buttons makes it easier for users to perform combos and special moves in the game compared to a gamepad.
The SK3-series convertible netbook from Kohjinsha spotted yesterday is due for a release in its home market of Japan this Friday. The tablet netbook weighs just 1.6lbs and sports a 7-inch touchscreen with 1024x600 resolution. It is powered by a 1.33GHz Intel Atom CPU and has 1GB of RAM. It is said to support Windows 7, though its 60GB hard drive will not be preloaded with the as-yet unreleased operating system, at least initially.
Three key instant messaging apps for the iPhone and iPod touch have been updated to take advantage of background push notification. AIM is now at v3.0.1, and relying on push technology can inform users of messages even when using another app. The update also enables notifications through SMS, implements fixes bugs, and lets users stay logged in for up to 24 hours. The paid version adds landscape modes for the buddy list and conversation views.
First mentioned in a T-Mobile roadmap leak early this month, an image and some specs of the Samsung t559 Comeback have been leaked recently. The phone flips open horizontally to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. Otherwise, the device has 3G data network support, a 2-megapixel camera with video capture capabilities and is compatible with T-Mobile's web2go Internet services.
OCZ on Tuesday released its Sabre OLED multimedia keyboard meant for gamers or CAD professionals. OCZ's first premium peripheral offering, the Sabre sports nine dedicated OLED keys (not unlike Art Lebedev Optimus keyboards) that can be customized and are capable of displaying key icons converted from digital images or text. The rest of the 103 keys are backlit with amber LEDs.
Adobe during its most recent fiscal results call narrowed the window for its plans to port desktop-grade Flash to mobile devices. Company chief Shantanu Naraye says it now expects a beta version of Flash 10 to arrive at the MAX conference in October and that it should initially be available for Android, Symbian, webOS and Windows Mobile. Web browsers on these devices will support both animations and video without having to leave for a separate app, such as the Flash Lite player on many Symbian or Windows Mobile phones.
An option investor is anticipating a brief but substantial fall in Apple's stock price, according to Forbes. With the price having already slid in recent days, the investor predicts that within the next three weeks value should slip further, from approximately $134 to as low as $110. No direct reason is cited, but investors may be leery about Apple's prospects in light of reports claiming that CEO Steve Jobs underwent a liver transplant. Much of Apple's direction is said to come from Jobs, including product design.
New York-based iLuv today announced its latest alarm clock iPod dock and is targeting it explicitly at deep sleepers. The iMM153 includes a bed shaker in addition to either a buzzer, a radio station or music preloaded on users' iPhones and iPods. Italso features an LCD screen with 10 dimmer settings and a 3.5mm aux input jack for playing music from devices other than Apple's docking music players. The dual alarm clock will also let users fall asleep to either an FM radio station or iPod audio content.
Toshiba today quietly started offering its NB205 netbook within the US. First shown in American trim at the start of the month and already on sale in Canada, the netbook is slimmer than before but lasts much longer on battery, running up to 9 hours. A slightly faster 1.66GHz Atom N280 also sets it apart.
The Splashtop instant-on platform from DeviceVM is coming to Sony's VAIO NW-series notebook PCs and Acer's AspireRevo nettop PCs, as per a pair of Tuesday launches. Sony's implementation of the platform is called Quick Web Access, while Acer calls its RevoBoot. In either case, Splashtop, which could be described as a lightweight Linux operating system, allows users to access the Internet within a few seconds but without having to boot the full operating system.
FTP Maker 1.4 ($30) is a tool that helps users create a custom FTP Uploader package to be distributed to employees/customers/co-workers for simplifying the process of sending files to an FTP server. The generated package contains all of the connection parameters meaning the user does not have to manually set them up. Version 1.5 has added a new log feature along with a new parametric prefix for creating a single zip file with custom prefix. The new version also allows users to hide settings in the generated FTP Maker Uploader. [Download - 2.5MB]
Logitech is planning to upgrade its Squeezebox media streaming hub with a high-end, touchscreen model. Forum goers have noticed a product listing for a Squeezebox Touch (pictured) and understand that it has a 4.3-inch, capacitive touchscreen that would be used to control most media playback on the network. It would also have room for local storage with music accepted directly from both SD cards and USB; output should involve the usual RCA stereo and headphone jacks as well as digital co-ax and optical for home theaters.
Apple is quietly combating fraudulent iTunes gift card offenders, writes the Washington Post. After using cards purchased from eBay, some shoppers are reporting that their iTunes accounts are being disabled. As a consequence, many claim that they are losing all iTunes Store purchases that are not backed up. Fake cards are typically said to be listed at $20 (for a $25 iTunes card), and originally purchased with a stolen or hacked credit card.
AKVIS Software as released v5.0 of its AKVIS ArtSuite, a program used to decorate and frame photographs for digital sharing purposes. The new version utilizes a new interface that features Italian language capabilities. The stand alone version of the application includes new Hand Painted Photo Frames. v5.0 also features improved compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CS3 and CS4 as well as improved texture generation options in the Texture effect.
Toshiba on Tuesday announced the release of its updated Portable Hard Drives with new system backup functionality and password-protected encryption. The drives also now ship with pre-loaded software to make them compatible with either Windows or Mac systems. The drives are the first to include NTI's BackupNow EZ software, which not only allows users to backup their entire system with but also restore the complete system even if Windows doesn't start.
nova media has launched the GlobeTrotter Express 441 ExpressCard modem, providing Macintosh notebook users worldwide access to 3G connections. The modem supports HSPA connections in the 850-, 900-, 1900- and 2100-MHz bands providing maximum 7.2 Mb/sec download speeds and 5.76Mb/sec upload speeds. GPRS and Quad-Band Edge connections are supported within the afore-mentioned bands. The modem features an auto-off switch, triggered by retracting the antennae, so it can remain in the express card slot of a MacBook Pro constantly, only drawing power when the antennae is raised, and not interfering with airplane signals when retracted.
Two news sets of Keynote products are now available for Apple's presentation software. Jumsoft has added 10 new Keynote Backgrounds to its Goodies bundle. The additions feature "motion backgrounds" that can be looped for endless playback using QuickTime Player. The backgrounds are compatible with other Jumsoft products, such as Keynote Animations and Keynote Objects. The ten Keynote Backgrounds consist of postmodern space images, nature sceneries, various patters, and other designs.
Microsoft today in a low-profile launch previewed an Xbox 360 wireless microphone. Intended for music game series like Guitar Hero and Rock Band as well as Microsoft's own Lips, the add-on uses the native wireless of the console to avoid both wiring and adapters. In a unique touch, it has built-in motion sensors and lights at its base to react visually to its movement.
Microsoft on Tuesday officially launched the Security Essentials beta protection software for viruses and spyware that includes Trojans, worms and other malicious software. Previously known by the Morro codename, the software is available to download now and carries no associated costs or subscription fees with it. Microsoft also stresses the software's ease of use, with automatic upgrades and a security icon that, when green, indicates users are protected.
Images and specifications have leaked for what is claimed to be the HTC Firestone. A Windows Mobile 6.5 device, the Firestone is believed to use a 3.6-inch WVGA touchscreen, with graphics powered by a 600MHz Qualcomm processor. Memory comes in the form of 256MB of RAM, supplemented by 512MB of ROM and a microSD slot. One of the major features is said to be an eight-megapixel camera, though there is no mention of flash or autofocus so far.
US carrier AT&T has released an official Navigator app for the iPhone. The app mirrors software available for other phones, providing turn-by-turn car navigation to addresses entered on the go, or else on a computer ahead of a trip. Driving commands are spoken aloud, and traffic updates as well as rerouting are handled in real-time.
Despite the prominent sales spot for netbooks, many of those buying the mini PCs are not only unsatisfied with the experience but often have unrealistic expectations, an NPD study shows. About 60 percent of those who bought netbooks mistakenly assumed the systems would have the same features and performance as notebooks. Among college-age buyers, 65 percent expected the systems to run faster than they did, and only 27 percent were impressed by the relative speed.
Ecamm has released a Bluetooth-based webcam, the BT-1. The webcam, the first-to-market with Bluetooth technology according to company, provides standard 640x480 H.264 video resolution and 48KHz AAC audio. It has a built-in rechargeable battery that provides four hour performance between charges and its wireless range is 30 feet -- an extender is promised soon that would boost the range to 200 feet. The webcam works with applications like iChat, Skype, QuickTime Pro Player and Broadcaster, YouTube and Photo Booth.
The judge overseeing Psystar's bankruptcy proceedings has granted an Apple motion calling for the resumption of a copyright infringement lawsuit, reports say. By entering bankruptcy, Psystar gained a temporary reprieve from charges of illegally distributing PCs running Mac OS X Leopard. The lawsuit is now likely to resume immediately, at least if Psystar chooses not to appeal, an attorney familiar with similar cases claims.
Intel and Nokia today struck a multi-year deal to develop a new form of mobile device processor architecture. The two have few details but hope to produce pocketable hardware which is nonetheless in a "new class" rather than a smartphone or even a larger system like a netbook or notebook. They intend to work together on multiple mobile Linux projects related to the architecture, including the oFono cellphone OS as well as Nokia's Maemo, Intel's Moblin and components they intend to share, such as Mozilla's browser technology.
Samsung today ventured into the smallest possible format for solid-state drives with sample production of its first mini-card designs. The SATA II drives are 80 percent smaller than 2.5-inch notebook drives and even smaller than regular 1.8-inch drives, letting them fit into handheld devices and particularly thin or small netbooks. By using 40 nanometer memory and a modern controller, however, the mini-card SSDs perform about as well as full-size SSDs and achieve peak read speeds of 200MB per second and write speeds of 100MB per second.
The level of secrecy in Apple's corporate culture is "super paranoid," say people with experience in the company. The issue has come into particular focus with news of a liver transplant performed on CEO Steve Jobs, which despite its relevance to workers and investors has been kept outside of public knowledge for two months. A senior official, typically said to be more open to talking with the media, has refused to disclose anything to the New York Times. "Just can't do it. Too sensitive," he says.
VIZIO on Tuesday announced its VIA-badged TVs with access to Internet Apps will now have access to Real's Rhapsody music service. With the user interface, users can browse the near 8-million song library using VIZIO's Bluetooth universal remote control, which has a built-in QWERTY keyboard, while watching TV. Songs can be searched by title, artist or album and on-demand access to new releases and top albums is available.
AT&T today jumped at Motorola's messaging phone lines with the addition of the Karma QA1. Like the Hint, it has an unusual, squat design with a QWERTY keyboard that slides out vertically instead of horizontally; the form factor is supported by front-end links to Facebook and MySpace as well as IM chat on multiple networks. In an unusual turn for this class of phone, the Karma also has a native 3.5mm headset jack and microSDHC for music listening.
Cisco today aimed its Linksys routers at the open-source community with its first modern-era, 802.11n Wi-Fi router using Linux. The WRT160NL gives power users more control over the operating system driving the network device without having to resort to hacked firmware. It's also more flexible in hardware, the company says, as the antennas are mounted externally and on removable connectors that let users choose either stronger antennas or simply rotate the pre-supplied ones into an ideal position.
After some delay, the unofficial iPhone Dev Team has released the ultrasn0w unlocking tool for iPhone 3.0 firmware. The current version is only functional with the iPhone 3G, but enables use of the device with any unofficial GSM carrier. American T-Mobile customers must however disable 3G access before using the hack.
Gateway this morning chose to follow an unusual tack and launched the LT3100 as its second-generation netbook. The crossover PC is just an inch thick and about 3.1 pounds but uses an 11.6-inch, 1366x768 display and has components closer to a regular notebook's: it uses a low-power, single-core 1.2GHz Athlon 64 with Radeon X1270 graphics and a full 2GB of RAM. Consciously breaking Microsoft's rules for netbooks means the system uses Windows Vista Home Basic instead of XP, but the faster components should support the full Aero Glass interface where Atom netbooks usually struggle.
Lenovo on Tuesday launched an anticipated refinement of one of its most important notebooks in the ThinkPad T400s. The 14-inch notebook takes advantage of both an LED-backlit display as well as the same, small and light drive cage used in the X301 to shrink both the thickness and weight of the T400 without compromising its feature set. It measures just over 0.8 inches thick and is 20 percent lighter at just under 4 pounds, but can still fit a DVD or Blu-ray drive as well as regular Core 2 Duo notebook processors.
A last-minute leak this past evening would have Nokia use Intel processors for the first time in some of its devices. One unnamed source for Bloomberg claims that an announcement could come as early as this morning from Intel senior mobility VP Anand Chandrasekher that it has landed a deal to supply chips to Nokia. What this would entail isn't evident, though it would almost certainly involve a variant of the Atom processor and likely wouldn't be a complete replacement of Nokia's line.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir