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IGG Software has released v3.5 of its flagship application, iBank. The software is designed to handle financial management of personal and small businesses. The update features over 30 enhancements and bug fixes, including the ability to sync the application with its iPhone counterpart, iBank Mobile, which is currently under review by the App Store. v3.5 also boasts faster operating speed, notably when using the search bar, and improved speed for entering transactions that are added to several Smart Accounts.
Apple has been granted patents for a variety of technology ranging from heart rate sensors to electronic drink coasters and tracking systems. Earlier patents detailed sensors and systems geared for sports such as skiing and snowboarding, while the latest documents outline movement-tracking sensors that can be attached to the feet, hands, head, knees and chest.
Castle of Magic ($5) is a platform game where players must use their magical abilities to rescue their friend from Nefastax. The game includes five 3D environments that are set in the sea, space, on a giant pasty, and more. Players can transform between six different characters each with their own abilities. The game also includes six different bosses to defeat including a giant snake, an octopus and a snowman.
Pentax on Wednesday announced the Optio W80, a rugged digital camera featuring a 12.1-megapixel sensor capable of recording 720p video at 30 frames-per-second. The housing is claimed to remain waterproof at depths of up to 16 feet for two hours of continuous operation. Integration of shock-resistant materials throughout the internal components protects against drops from heights of more than three feet without damage to the body. The camera also works in temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
A number of Sharp LCD TVs have been banned from unlicensed import to the US, as part of a ruling resulting from a patent dispute with Samsung, according to Bloomberg. The two electronics manufacturers have been battling over technology used in the displays, specifically "apertures formed in the conductive layer comprising the electrode." The technology is utilized in LCD panels with wide viewing angles.
Sena Cases has released a new collection of cases for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The collection is called the Sarach Designer Series and consists of two models, the Sarach Flip Case and the Sarach LeatherSkin Case. Each case in the collection is hand-sewn, features a two-tone saddle-stich design, velvet lining, and is made of Italian leather. The series is also offered in a variety of types of leather and different color stitching. The cases protect phones from wear-and-tear and provide special slits on the side of each case, making a phone's buttons accessible.
Virtual Programming has released a Mac version of The Abbey. The game is controlled in a point-and-click format and features a combination of 2D and 3D graphics. Players are Leonardo se Toledo, a former royal adviser accompanied by his assistant, Bruno. The characters must investigate a series of mysterious crimes in 20 locations in the medieval abbey and secret rooms and passages. The game promises 20 hours of gameplay and features Dolby Surround Sound support. The game's soundtrack includes 70 minutes of music performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Japanese memory and storage device maker Buffalo has doubled the maximum capacity of its tiny RUF2-PS series thumbkey USB flash drives from 8GB to 16GB. The low-profile USB drives stick out of the USB connections by less than a fifth of an inch (5mm) and are also available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities. The design lets them stay connected to notebooks even when they're packed away in in a carrying case.
Taiwan-based PDA, smartphone and navigation device maker Mio Technology is due to soon release a Windows Mobile 6.5-powered handset, the Mio Amber, according to some leaked specs and images. The device, codenamed Mio Amber, will reportedly sport a 3.6-inch, 800x480-pixel touchscreen display and a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus. Another VGA camera will face the user and allow for video calls.
Lenovo is now shipping its IdeaPad S12 notebook PC in the US. The 12.1-inch netbook PC sports the prerequisite 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU and a 1280x800 resolution. The netbook will also be the first to offer NVIDIA's Ion chipset later this summer, giving it 1080p HD video and 3D video processing capabilities along with an HDMI output. The versions now shipping include an integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics processor.
ViewSonic announced on Thursday it is now shipping its first PC, the VPC100, which was first announced at the start of the year. The PC sports an 18.5-inch LCD with a 1366x768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The processing components are fitted into the same, 1.4-inch thick case, including the 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive, which comes preloaded with Windows XP Home.
XChange UK has released an updated version of FlightAlert XT, now compatible with QuarkXPress 8. The software performs background scans of active documents, checking for mistakes before files reach the normal preflight stage. Users can for instance identify missing fonts in EPS files, or RGB elements that will not separate properly for printing.
At the CEDIA expo, JVC for the first time in Europe showed off its ultra-thin LED backlit HDTV with a 100Hz refresh rate. The 32-inch LT-32WX50 is just 0.28 inches (7mm) thick and weighs just over 11lbs. Capable of reproducing 1080p video, the LT-32WX50 also has a high 4,000:1 static contrast ratio and covers 90 percent of the Adobe RGB color space.
Portable navigation device maker Garmin has recently publicly acknowledged the issue with its nuvi 7x5-series devices that causes them to shut down. Calling it a firmware error that causes some devices to perform an unprompted GPS software update and in some cases shut down, Garmin announced it is "working diligently on a solution." Users began reporting the shutdowns earlier this week, leading many to believe the error originates from a new firmware update.
To coincide with its next-generation Tigris notebook platform launch in September, AMD is expected to announce a new open platform strategy called AMD Vision Technology, say sources at notebook manufacturers. A Wednesday DigiTimes report says the new strategy will label notebooks with one of three levels based on their processor and GPU. These will include AMD Vision Ultimate, AMD Vision Premium and AMD Vision.
Startly Technologies has added 60 new features with the release of QuicKeys 4, including abbreviations, web actions and MIDI triggers. Coinciding with the debut is the launch of QuicKeys Online, which provides a searchable shortcut gallery as well as tutorials. QuicKeys 4 also adds a batch editing processor, along with savable smart folders and instant shortcut recording.
A leak today of purported ad material from Microsoft appears to have clarified some of the company's launch plans for the Zune HD. The documents handed to Gizmodo show the player shipping only in 16GB and 32GB capacities; they also indicate that colors will be dictated by capacity and that the 16GB version will have a simple black while the 32GB model comes in the golden color seen in most previews.
Google has begun a public beta test of AdSense advertising embedded into mobile applications. The program currently supports contextual ads within Android and iPhone software, which can target users according to application, location, category or keyword. Apps must be free, however, and generate a minimum of 100,000 daily pageviews.
RIAA member Universal Music Group this past weekend was forced to settle a music file sharing lawsuit it had filed against New Hampshire resident Mavis Roy. The label dropped its case after evidence provided by anti-piracy snooping firm MediaSentry was successfully challenged by the defense's expert witness Dr. Sergey Bratus. Among other key problems with the data, the defense pointed out that Roy didn't own a computer at all at the time of the supposed infringement and that it wasn't until a letter appeared that she was aware of any possible action.
PDFClerk Pro 3.8 ($45) provides tools for performing a larger number of manipulations to existing PDF documents, as well as allowing the creating of PDF documents from non PDF files. In version 3.8 the annotation reordering feature now works for all supported annotation types and positioning, sizing and rotating objects now works on all selected objects. The update also features a new fullscreen option with an optional Kiosk mode. [Download - 7.9MB]
SanDisk has announced a new Extreme SDHC 32GB card, due to ship in August, geared toward high-end DSLRs and AVCHD-based HD camcorders. The card is rated for a maximum 30MB per second in read/write performance and carries the new Class 10 rating, surpassing the requirements for AVCHD-level High-definition video recording. The new Class 10 rating was recently added by the SD Association as part of its SD 3.0 Specification and guarantees a minimum sustained transfer rate of 10MB per second.
Verizon chief Ivan Seidenberg last evening told late night show host Charlie Rose that his company didn't have control over the prospect of a 4G iPhone for its upcoming Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. The executive said it was "Apple's decision" as to whether or not it built a phone for the faster network and didn't comment on any possible agreements. Talks have been rumored underway for several months but, even if accurate, are potentially part of a pressure tactic to earn concessions from AT&T.
Adobe has released final versions of the Lightroom 2.4 and Camera Raw 5.4 updates. Both add a significant number of supported cameras to the company's software, such as the Nikon D5000, Pentax K-7, Panasonic Lumix GH1, Sigma DP2, Epson R-D1x and Kodak EasyShare Z980. Compatible Canon cameras now include the Rebel T1i and PowerShot SX1 IS, while Sony offerings include the A230, A330 and A380. Olympus owners can now use files from an E-450 or E-620.
Monster on Wednesday announced the release of seven new accessories for Apple's iPods and iPhones. This includes the new MonsteriCarPlay Wireless 1000 and iCarPlay Wireless 800 FM transmitters which also charge the iPhone and iPod. The 1000 can also be used in the home or office, thanks to a USB connection for charging that is compatible with standard USB drives or Monster's existing iSlimCharger or iCharger Travel USB wall chargers.
Accessory maker Belkin has announced a new line of notebook peripherals, the Comfort Mice. The key model, the Bluetooth Comfort Mouse, is designed to fit both left and right hands, and connects to a Bluetooth-ready computer using the 2.4GHz band. A wheel permits vertical and horizontal scrolling, and tracking is made more precise through the use of a laser sensor. Black and white variants are available.
Steve Jobs may finally be in a position to divest himself of Jackling House, writes the Silicon Valley Mercury News. While the Apple CEO recently won a vote allowing him to demolish the mansion in favor of building a smaller home, continuing opposition has been anticipated from Uphold Our Heritage, a local preservation group which notes that the house represents one of the last examples of a Spanish Colonial Revival-style edifice. The group has previously called for the building to be renovated, even though the costs would potentially exceed those of building a new home.
Cable providers Comcast and Time Warner today launched a new initiative to help accommodate online video with their traditional TV businesses. Called alternately On Demand Online (by Comcast) and TV Everywhere (by Time Warner), the pact will see both develop a non-exclusive system that grants web-based, streaming access to TV shows and movies for a given network as long as the customer already pays for a subscription with access to that channel or show. An authentication system will verify permission, but customers won't need to use an Internet connection from their TV provider to access those shows.
WD on Wednesday announced the launch of its redesigned My Book World Edition II dual-drive network storage system (NAS). Available in 2TB and 4TB capacities, the dual-drive systems ship set up in a mirrored (RAID 1) drive array, backing up data simultaneously to both drives, making it safe in case one fails. WD also includes backup software meant to make scheduling automatic data backup easier for inexperienced Windows PC users.
USBfever has launched the Mini Capsule Microphone, a new attachment designed for the second-generation iPod touch. The device offers plug-and-play capabilities, and works as both a microphone and a speaker. Power is supplied by an iPod's internal battery. While meant for Touches, the mic is also said to be compatible with the iPhone and iPhone 3G.
The first fruits of the Intel-Nokia partnership could come within a matter of weeks, the Taiwan-area Commercial Times newspaper claimed today. Stating the rumor as fact, it insists that reports of Nokia netbooks are true and that a portable based on Intel Atom chips could come as soon as this summer. Its details aren't known, but Quanta would be contracted to build the computer.
Seagate today swept through its external hard drive line with a series of upgrades for just the Mac versions of its disks. Highlighting the launches is the FreeAgent Go Pro for Mac: the storage is one of the few wholly portable 2.5-inch external drives to include a FireWire 800 interface and also supports both FireWire 400 and USB. Every drive also spins at 7,200RPM and behaves more like a 3.5-inch drive in spite of its size. 250GB, 320GB and 500GB models ship this month at prices of $130, $150 and $190 respectively.
Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, may now be as important to the company as CEO Steve Jobs, Gene Munster tells the Wall Street Journal. The Piper Jaffray analyst explains that Cook did so well taking over the reins during Jobs' medical leave, it may mean the company would suffer more if he left than if Jobs did. "At this point, losing Tim Cook would be a bigger deal to investors than if Steve Jobs stepped aside. Just that thought makes my stomach tighten up," says Munster.
Sprint's continued shortages of the Palm Pre could lead to a massive spike in Palm's sales for its current quarter, RBC analyst Mark Abramsky reports in a new investment note today. The researcher esimates that 150,000 Pre smartphones have shipped so far and that as many as 550,000 could ship by the end of Palm's current quarter. Both are up significantly from earlier predictions and could offset a drop in Centro and Treo phone numbers to 258,000.
Apple has released a minor update to its flagship video editing suite, Final Cut Pro. The v6.0.6 patch addresses problems with real-time playback on early 2009 models of the Mac Pro and Xserve. Specifically, the hardware and software should now be better at handling complex sequences and/or formats which consume a lot of bandwidth. The update is a 19.15MB download, and requires Mac OS X 10.5.5.
HTC at a press event this morning launched its third-generation Android phone in less than a year. The Hero is designed as a web- and music-focused phone with a touchscreen-dependent design like the Magic but is even more compact. Its key, however, is a new interface known as Sense: like TouchFLO, it offers quicker access to calendars, contacts, the time and the weather as well as a quick launcher for the phone dialer. These are all accessible as Android-standard widgets.
Apple's newest iPhone actually costs slightly more to make than the older version in spite of the more modest update, iSuppli says. The iPhone 3GS' total bill of materials amounts to $178.96 for a 16GB model, or slightly more than the previous $174.33 of the 8GB iPhone 3G. Some of the cost difference is attributed to recent rises in the prices of NAND flash memory; although 16GB costs less to make than it did a year earlier, a small rebound due to economy-driven supply cutbacks means Apple has had to absorb some costs to double its storage.
Apple on Tuesday evening release an update to its software for its wireless router devices. The Time Capsule and AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.4.2 (with 802.11n support) fixes five specific problems, according to the company: (1) some problems with extending and maintaining connectivity with extended networks; (2) an issue with clients that enable 802.11 "Power Save;" (3) Fixes connectivity issues with some third-party devices; (4) an issue when the base station is configured for PPPoE; and (5) some Back To My Mac issues with connectivity and support for third-party routers. Apple recommends that AirPort Utility 5.4.2 or later be installed before upgrading to Firmware version 7.4.2 (including the version 5.4.2 for Windows).
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.
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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