In brief: Microsoft's Mac Business Unit, known as MacBU, has launched a new promotion for students, with discounted prices on Office 2008 Home and Student Edition for Mac. TeamViewer’s online communication and collaboration software is now available in six different languages. Blackmagic Design has released Videohub 4.0, a software update for its Videohub routers that allow users to connect and all editing workstations or decks to be controlled directly from a computer.
Macally has announced a new line of wireless input accessories and eco-friendly bamboo stands for all laptops, the BTkey, BTmouse2, Optimo, MGlide, EcoFan and EcoFanPro. BTkey is a white wireless keyboard for the Mac, which connects using Bluetooth 2.0 technology, and comes complete with low profile scissor keys to help with pressure on the finger tips. The BTmouse2 is a Bluetooth wireless laser mouse, featuring three programmable buttons, a scroll wheel, and an 800/1600 dpi precision sensor laser.
KB Covers has launched the ClearSkin Ultra-Clear Keyboard Cover for the Mac. The new keyboard cover is made of 0.1mm clear plastic and is designed to protect the user’s keyboard from dust, dirt and spills. ClearSkin fits tightly against the laptop and still allows the lighting from backlit-keys to come through. As the cover gets dirty users can simply peel the plastic off their Mac and wash it with soap and water before placing it back on.
Right on the heels of the iPhone 3.0 firmware update, Apple has released a beta version of the iPhone SDK 3.1 to developers. Although the SDK is still in the testing phase, Apple included approximately 15 new OpenGL tools for 3D modeling and graphics, according to MobileCrunch. VideoEditorController and Video Picker APIs could allow third-party apps to bring up the video editing interface.
DYMO has introduced the LabelWriter 450 series of label printers. The devices build upon the features of the LabelWriter 400 printers, while providing a revamped exterior with a glossy finish. The company has improved printing speeds across-the-board, with the basic LabelWriter now capable of 51 labels per minute and the Turbo model churning out 71 labels per minute.
Apple has reversed its rejection of Metaversal Studios' "Hot Dog Down a Hallway" app for the iPhone, while rejecting egrev.lab's "15 with Soviet Leaders" puzzle game. An update to Hot Dog Down a Hallway was recently rejected by Apple for "explicit content," despite the approval of earlier versions that were even given an age rating of nine and up on the App Store.
Street Magic: See A Card by David Blaine ($2) is a simulated deck of cards that people can use to help improve their card magic skills. The app allows players to perform the “see a card” trick with two different playable options: force a card or random card. The app includes realistic card sounds, two different reveal modes, and adjustable timing for effects. To play the game, users simply tap the iPhone screen to get started and shake the device to revealed the card.
AMD on Tuesday introduced the latest component in its Opteron 1000 Series of server processors, the quad-core 'Suzuka.' Following the company's tradition of naming processors after Formula 1 tracks, 'Suzuka' is inspired by a circuit in Japan. The CPU is based on the same core as AMD's Shanghai products, with processor speeds of 2.5GHz, 2.7GHz and 2.9GHz. While the new offering aims to increase performance, the platform is also claimed to decrease power consumption.
Apple on Tuesday released a maintenance update to its image utility, iPhoto 8.0.4. The update addresses a rarely-encountered issue relating to importing photos from earlier versions, which would sometimes cause the program to crash. Other minor bug fixes include corrected references to points of interest and location names that were improperly labeled.
iPlayMusic has launched the beta version of a new download service, providing chords, music and lyrics for songs from a user's iTunes library. Chords for iTunes synchronizes video with the audio of an iTunes track, allowing users to slow down or speed up while maintaining proper pitch.
Edifier recently announced it has now made its iF500 iPod dock entertainment system available in North America. The large dome of the iF500 houses five separate speakers and is made with vibration and resonance control in mind. The device, which was launched in Europe earlier this year, can accommodate iPods and iPhones, as well as other portable audio players via their headphone jacks thanks to an auxiliary input.
Intel is said to be working on a reference design guideline that would allow its hardware partners to develop an HD video decoder and integrate it into Intel's Pineview desktop platform alongside a new Atom D410 or D519 CPU, Fudzilla reported on Tuesday. The current desktop Pineview platforms are not capable of HD video playback, and thus far, only NVIDIA is offering such a capability via its Ion chipset.
Sanyo on Tuesday announced it will soon release its eneloop lamp, the ENL-Y1S. Meant to promote reuse, the device acts as a desk lamp when stood upright, and automatically turns into a flashlight when lifter to 90 degrees, with the light source coming from the base of the lamp. A third mode, called Healing light by Sanyo, is turned on by pressing down on the lamp and results in a cool blue illumination.
Plans are now in place to distribute MacBooks amongst Maine high school students, according to officials from the state's Department of Education. Known to have been in the works since at least March, a deal with Apple will see over 64,000 MacBooks reach students and teachers between grades 7 and 12. Another 7,000 notebooks should be ordered within the next few weeks, officials say.
A home-brewed version of the operating system for the Android-powered and recently announced HTC Hero has been released on the web, according to according to
About half of all prospective smartphone buyers don't get one because of the glut of models, Best Buy noted today in a study. Of those who don't already own a smartphone, 47 percent said they were "too confused" by the sheer number of phones and range of features. Roughly 63 percent of all those studied didn't own one because they thought it was too expensive; 39 percent of those who don't own one specifically hated the shopping experience.
Extensis has released Portfolio Server 9, an upgraded backbone for its digital asset management suite. Groups using the software can more rapidly share media files across a network, while also handling tasks like file conversion, applying metadata, or tracking license and copyright restrictions. Server 9 incorporates a Flex-based web client, which duplicates functions of the dedicated client but with more freedom of movement.
Cooliris has updated its browser plug-in for viewing images and videos from Facebook, Google Images, YouTube, Flickr, or the computer desktop. Version 1.11 changes the full-screen mode from the default setting to an option. The developers also added tabbed browsing, allowing users to run multiple Cooliris windows or navigate easily between tabs. The plug-in can now be run in the background as a music player.
Phone headset maker Jabra has recently announced the upcoming release of its latest Bluetooth headset, the GO 6400-series, on which it partnered up with Synaptics. The collaboration results in the headset lacking any form of traditional buttons, relying instead on the latter's capacitive touch technology. The headset uses the touch controls for its volume adjustments and microphone muting.
Sony's slim PS3 may start shipping as early as next month if a claim from China's UDN. It points to the smaller, redesigned model being made by Foxconn (Hon Hai) with expectations that Sony would receive it in July. The publication doesn't say when Sony would start selling the system in earnest, but recent credible rumors have the updated model surfacing just weeks after this newest shipment takes place.
Apple's senior VP of industrial design, Jonathan Ive, is receiving an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in the UK. The presentation will take place on July 1st, following tonight's RCA dinner, where Ive is delivering a speech under the theme "Innovation Night." The school is the only institution in the world specializing in postgraduate degrees for art and design.
Sony on Tuesday added a pair of iPod speaker docks that center on its first network-aware system. The NAS-Z200iR (shown) puts all its controls on an advanced visual remote that also serves as the center of a Wi-Fi streaming system. Besides controlling iPods and other physical media on the stereo itself, the remote can share media streamed from DLNA-supporting devices like the PlayStation 3 or PC software as well as to browse Internet radio stations.
After today's earlier news of the BlackBerry Tour smartphone coming to Verizon, two more sources have reported the device will soon be offered at another US provider, Alltel, as well as Canada's Bell. While no specifics are known about the Alltel release other than the photos that reveal Alltel branding on the phone, the Bell release of the new BlackBerry has been supported with more specific pricing details.
Typinator 3.5 ($28) is a tool that will type out repeating texts and pictures. Users can set up a list of commonly used words and images, and then set up fragments that can be used trigger each phrase or image. Version 3.4 uses a new expansion technique which allows the software to operate faster than previous releases. The update also includes improved compatibility with XCode, BBEdit and TextWrangler, Eclipse and many Java applications. Additionally, several bugs have been fixed including one that could cause Typinator to forget its license information when synced with MobileMe. [Download - 2.7MB]
PC builder Dell has launched the Inspiron 546, a new desktop model. The system represents a lower-end option, with the base configuration including a 2.3GHz AMD Sempron processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, and integrated ATI graphics for $269. The option includes no monitor by default, but lets buyers pick one of eight different colors for the case's front panel, at extra cost.
Bsquare today said it has developed a port of Adobe's Flash plugin for most Android phones. While officially coming first to the HTC Hero early next month, any Android device running Android 1.5 or later on an ARM-based processor should support the extra features. The addition should let those phones with enough performance play Flash videos in the browser rather than in a separate container like Google's YouTube app. It should also render websites much in the same way as desktop versions.
Fluent Mobile says it has developed the first news app that highlights only content formatted specifically for mobile devices. Fluent News for iPhone searches a variety of sources, including the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, using proprietary algorithms claimed to reduce search times and minimize bandwidth consumption.
BenQ recently announced the release of its latest netbook PC, the Joybook Lite U102. The PC is powered by Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM and sports a 10.1-inch, 1024x600 resolution LED-backlit screen as well as built in Wi-Fi, all of which are par for netbooks. Where the U102 breaks from the norm is with its 250GB hard drive and optional 3G access. There is a dedicated shortcut key for switching between the two types of wireless networks.
Apple is now broadcasting two new TV ads for the iPhone 3G S, promoting basic features of the device. The first highlights copy and paste support, through examples such as pasting a phone number into an SMS message, or copying a map out of Google Maps. The ad does not mention that copy/paste will work on any iPhone or iPod touch updated with the v3.0 firmware, including the original 2G iPhone from 2007.
ASUS on Monday announced the upcoming release of its RT-N16 Wireless-N gigabit router, which is said to offer 300MBps maximum wireless throughput speeds. It has 128MB of onboard video memory and an advanced CPU that ASUS claims makes it eight times faster in benchmark tests than similar products. ASUS further insists the RT-N16's performance makes it ideal for smooth file transfers and downloads, video streaming, wireless gaming and VoIP calls.
Adobe has temporarily shut down its North American operations, writes Mercury News. The company behind Photoshop, Illustrator and a number of key graphics applications says it will remain closed for only a week, in a bid to combat the effects of the ongoing global recession. Sales have declined in the past two quarters, although the company continues to post significant profits. In the May quarter Adobe accumulated $126.1 million, based off of $704.7 million in revenues.
Verizon took top honors late Monday in a study of 3G data performance across the US. The tests, performed across 13 cities one day this past spring for PC World, show the carrier's EVDO-based network being the fastest with an average of 951Kbps downstream but also still fairly reliable with 89.8 percent of tests showing uninterrupted performance. Sprint was next closest with a significantly lower average speed of 808Kbps but higher reliability, at 90.5 percent.
id Software co-founder John Carmack has announced that the company will be bringing three Quake titles to the iPhone. Carmack adds that he may not be heavily involved in the projects, which should be mostly handled by other developers. In addition to the Quake offerings, id is also said to be contemplating an iPhone version of its next PC game, Rage. Wolfenstein RPG, Doom 2 RPG and Doom Classic are also slated as iPhone titles.
If a tip provided today proves authentic, Nokia is poised to upgrade the quality of its camera phones significantly in less than a year. Supposed insiders for PhoneReport say the company will boost the sensor resolution up to 12 megapixels, not unlike Sony Ericsson's upcoming Satio, but that it should add optical zoom instead of the digital zoom that most phones are forced to use. The first phone to see the upgraded photography could arrive by late 2009 or early 2010 and may be a prime candidate for Mobile World Congress in February.
Swedish gaming company Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) on Tuesday announced it is in the process of acquiring The Pirate Bay for $7.8 million. With the process due to be concluded by August, it will see GGF introduce new business models to and make the site legal and keep its owners out of courts. The new owners will also sell shares of The Pirate Bay to investors. GGF will also buy Peerialism and introduce its P2P distribution technology on The Pirate Bay. At the same time, The Pirate Bay will stop hosting and tracking torrents and use a third-party tracker and torrent hosting service.
Apple gained an extraordinary amount of online attention both before and after the announcement of the iPhone 3G S, says Nielsen Online. The tracking organization notes that Apple's website drew in 55.7 million unique visitors in May, despite the absence of a major new product. The figure was more than two and a half times the number of visitors attracted to the next biggest tech manufacturer website, belonging to HP.
Lexar today put out a pair of memory cards aimed at those who need high capacities with more advanced cameras and phones. The 32GB Platinum II SDHC is one of the first cards to make use of Micron's particularly dense 34 nanometer flash memory and takes advantage of it to provide the capacity while still transferring data at about 60X. Although rated as a Class 4 (minimum 4MB/sec) card, the Platinum II is claimed by Lexar to write at a minimum 9MB per second and thus to work well for some RAW photo shooting as well as up to 12 hours of video for HD camcorders.
Dell today formalized the launch of the Vostro 1220, its smallest full-fledged notebook to bear the name. The 12-inch system isn't Dell's thinnest at up to 1.5 inches thick but is light, at under 3.4 pounds, and has room for high-end components. A fully-loaded 1220 can take up to a 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo, 8GB of RAM and a Blu-ray combo drive; in a rarity for Dell, it also has the option of Clearwire- and Sprint-friendly internal WiMAX.
Sony today hoped to spur growth in add-ons for PlayStation systems by launching an expanded official licensing program. The new approach lets companies in most areas make controllers or other peripherals for PS2, PS3 and PSP systems with full technical help and an official logo. In return, these companies will have to meet certain standards; it's not mentioned if companies will also pay royalties for the right to use the logo.
Palm may have sold as many as 300,000 Pre phones in less than a month on sale, according to a investor's note by Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder. He estimates that about 120,000 Pres were available on launch day but that these sold out within days and that about 15,000 examples of the multi-touch phone are being made every day, leading to the final estimate for the month. As many as 1 million phones could reach Sprint by the end of the first quarter of sales, which for Palm finishes at the end of August.
Verizon today confirmed launch information for its version of the BlackBerry Tour. As spotted in leaks, the smartphone should ship both online and in retail on July 12th and will carry its expected price of $200 when tied to a two-year contract. The company hasn't yet detailed custom software but is likely to support VZ Navigator and already stresses the phone's dual-mode CDMA/GSM support for calling (and EDGE data) abroad.
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Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ