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iSamurai Bluetooth ($1) is a two-player sword-fighting game that enables players to slash, thrust, and block each other with their iPhones. Devices are linked over a Bluetooth or Wi-fi connection before the battle begins. Players can also choose to fight against computer opponents of various difficulty levels. iSamurai uses the accelerometer to determine different sword motions and then determines if an attack is successful or blocked. An included tutorial provides information regarding the different attacks or blocks that are available.
Fanurio has released v2.1 of its self-named application, which handles invoicing and time tracking for small or self-owned businesses. Taxes, expenses and discounts are recorded, and factors like partial payments or multiple currencies can be accounted for. The v2.1 patch introduces several critical features, most notably the ability to import time data, print out documents, or deliver content using e-mail.
A new multi-device charger has recently been launched in the UK. Designed by Italian design house Italdesign Giugiaro, whose resume includes numerous exotic and concept cars, the Messless charger allows users to charge multiple portable electronic devices simultaneously. The universal charging station allows up to four gadgets to be charged on its docking stations, which also forego the use of wires, with just one main power wire required.
ASUS on Thursday, via a Twitter update, announced to the world that its T91 netbook tablet will ship on July 15th in the US, adding that its numbers will be limited. Exactly how limited wasn't disclosed however, nor which models of the T91 would ship. It was recently revealed that at least three models of the 8.9-inch netbook tablet will make it to market.
Rockchip Electronics recently announced it is planning on releasing a new chip for use in mobile phones that would support Google's Android mobile operating system. At the same time, the company believes it could seriously undercut competing ARM-based chips used in other Android devices.
Four new notebook PCs from ASUS have appeared in Italy, including the 15.6-inch K50AB and K50IJ, the 17.3-inch K70AB and ultrathin 15.6-inch U50VG, some of which were shown at CeBIT in Germany a few months back. The official release of the notebooks for Italy also revealed some further specs, including the K50AB's AMD Turion 2.3GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM. Graphics are handled by ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 that sports 512MB of dedicated memory, while users work on an LED-backlight, 1366x768 resolution LCD.
(Updated with Wi-Fi info) A Chinese iPhone is due by the end of the year, and possibly sooner, according to Wedge Partners. The research firm says it has performed a series of checks, which reveal that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has received an iPhone for testing. Apple should thus be in position to receive a network license in 2009, possibly within three to four months.
Canadian wireless provider Bell on Friday announced it is now offering the 3G BlackBerry Tour handset in its lineup. The smartphone can access both local EVDO and global HSPA 3G networks. The handset otherwise sports a 3.2-megapixel camera and a 480x360 resolution screen, and the prerequisite QWERTY keyboard.
The Plugin Site has released Plugin Galaxy 2, the latest version of its plug-in suite for Photoshop, Fireworks, Photoline, GraphicConverter and Illustrator. The update has been reprogrammed from the ground up, with all effects available from a customizable dialog. A variety of new effects have been added, with a total of 400 presets.
DataWind has announced details of three upcoming new portable devices capable of accessing the Internet, with its PocketSurfer3 and PocketSurfer3 Lite, which are follow-ups to the company's PocketSurfer2 device, and the UbiSurfer. All three include one year of Internet access, although it's limited to 30 hours per month. The new PocketSurfers sport a 5-inch, 640x240 resolution screen and are powered by Linux. Apart from Wi-Fi and GPRS network access, there is a GPS sensor built-in.
Squashed Software, formerly Maza Digital, says it has released RAID Monitor 3, a major update to its RAID status utility. The app performs background tracking of drive errors, which are then passed on to administrators through alert messages. Version 3 has been entirely rewritten, and redesigned with a new interface.
Crucial this afternoon said it should have a major update to its solid-state drive line later this month. The 2.5-inch M225 series will use more up to date multi-level cell (MLC) storage and a new memory controller that significantly improves speed. Estimates put the peak performance of the fastest, 256GB drive at 250MB per second for data reads and 200MB per second for writes.
Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette today said that Palm Pre sales are still healthy over a month after the phone launched. Referring to his own checks, he estimates that about 40,000 of the multi-touch phones are now shipping each week and that the numbers could hold through at least August. He also expects that sales could improve if Palm can improve its shipments to Best Buy and Radio Shack, which have had short supply ever since launch.
BenQ on Friday revealed that it was launching a version of its MID S6 with Windows XP in its native Taiwan. The Mobile Internet Device is being launched in tandem with Far EasTone and not only replaces BenQ's custom Linux interface with the Microsoft OS but takes advantage of the built-in 3G as well: besides mobile data beyond the built-in Wi-Fi, it also lands built-in VoIP. Hardware is slightly modernized with an 800MHz Atom Z500 and an 8GB SSD giving it better performance and storage for the more resource-heavy OS.
Geotagalog 1.4 ($20) is a utility for geotagging photos with a GPS tracklog. The software combines digital photos with location data that has been recorded into a GPS tracklog and shows a live location preview with mouseover thumbnails allowing a user to visually verify that tags are matched correctly. Version 1.4 adds the ability to select individual files instead of just folders and the option to import non-geotaggable items. The photo loading, adjustment and previewing performance has also been improved in this release. [Download - 13.3MB]
Nominally a Sprint exclusive, the Palm Pre has been successfully hacked to work with Verizon, one owner claims. In a demonstration video, the owner shows himself calling a Verizon number to authorize the device; visible in one corner of the Pre's screen is what appears to be the proper carrier identifier. The hack is said to be relatively complex, involving multiple steps, such as getting a recognized MEID number.
AT&T stores to get Sony Ericsson C905a on the 19th The 8.1-megapixel Sony Ericsson C905a will soon become available at wireless provider AT&T, BGR recently reported. This would be the first 8.1-megapixel phone from AT&T, and the second expected appearance of the C905a in North America after a parallel T-Mobile leak. The leaked photo of the AT&T-branded handset reveals a front-facing camera as well, though whether it makes it to the production version is questionable; AT&T so far doesn't believe it can support two-way video calls.
Apple has been contemplating a number of different iPod accessories, ones which could dramatically enhance the usefulness of a player if put into production, a recent patent application suggests. While some of the proposed concepts already exist -- including speakers and microphones -- others are purely theoretical, such an external storage add-on. A user could thus increase available space via a flash or hard drive.
Family Software has released its latest parent control and web filtering application for the iPhone and iPod touch, iNet SafetyBubble. The program offers mobile phone users an alternate web browser that can be customized to block out websites, while monitoring Internet activity. Parents have the ability to block websites individually or by category, and are given over 50 different categories to choose from. Parents can also go online and view real-time activity reports or change the current protection level.
Taiwanese PC maker MSI has introduced the 14-inch CR400 notebook, which is the first of a new Classic series of portable PCs that will also eventually include the 16-inch CX600 and CR600 along with the 17.3-inch CX700 and CR700. The series will be marked by high-end design and quality builds, MSI claims. The CR400 has a uni-body design with 45-degree angled edges and is coated in MSI's Color Film Print that reveals new patterns depending on the angle at which it's viewed.
Jonathan Ive, the often quiet and reserved head of Apple's design team, discussed the company's drive for success with a group of about 700 Londoners including a BusinessWeek writer. He suggested other companies should not attempt to copy Apple's success, and instead believes companies should define their own "raison díÍtre" -- the French saying, which means "reason for being". He went on to say the reason for Apple's strong following is a testament to the company's belief that a business should focus on the quality of its products.
A tip regarding Palm's future webOS 1.1 update hints that the smartphone OS is about to receive a significant upgrade, particularly for business users. The new firmware described by PreCentral should give the Pre and future Palm phones much requested Microsoft Exchange features such as support for company-initiated remote wipes, requiring a PIN to unlock the phone, forcing a certain complexity of PIN, and automatically locking the phone when it goes unused for a certain amount of time. All of the additions are considered essential for the phone, which has seen unusually high interest from corporate buyers and to compete against the iPhone in the workplace.
Apple should do better than forecast in its June quarter results, slated to be revealed July 21st, says Credit Suisse analyst Bill Shope. The company is expected to post $8.14 billion in revenue, producing $1.13 in earnings per share. The figures are below consensus estimates of $8.16 billion and $1.16, but may still mark Apple as the top computer vendor in the period, given an anticipated 3 percent decline in the industry quarter-over-quarter.
In a recent interview, Rupert Murdoch has denied rumors of News Corp. developing its own e-book reader. When prompted on the possibility of the development of such a device, the CEO responded to the Wall Street Journal by saying he "[doesn't] think that's likely" to occur in the near future. Murdoch did, however, expand on it, hinting News Corp. is involved in talks with hardware manufacturers on wireless readers for books, newspapers or magazines.
An image has surfaced today that appears to confirm plans to give the BlackBerry Onyx its recently rumored optical trackpad. The photo (pictured), which also shows the Curve 8520 on the right, supports notions that RIM is phasing out trackballs not just on entry-level phones like the 8520 but also high-end upgrades and likely all non-touch phones. Leaks have supported beliefs that the Onyx will replace the Bold for AT&T and other GSM carriers.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt as part of his presentation at the Allen & Co. conference later on Thursday revealed that he had initially resisted both Chrome the web browser and eventually Chrome OS. In addition to discussing the possible conflict of interest with Apple after the unveiling of the full operating system, Schmidt told those gathered that he had originally wanted to avoid Chrome, and the OS as a result, after being soured by the early browser competition that eventually gave Microsoft's Internet Explorer the lead. It wasn't until company founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page showed a promising demo of Chrome that the chief executive eventually agreed to move ahead.
Apple is seeding a new beta build of Mac OS X Snow Leopard, developers say. Titled 10A402a, the build measures 1.3GB, and is the second to have arrive in a span of two weeks. Although Apple describes the software as having "general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security," the most noticeable changes are said to include responsiveness, which is faster throughout the OS.
Both Sprint and Verizon have said late Thursday that they're working to add Wi-Fi to their smartphones to address a significant gap in their networks. Talking to FierceWireless, Sprint business product marketing head Jeff Clemow says his carrier decided months ago to require that all its smartphones use Wi-Fi and will soon put the requirement into effect. As a consequence, a 2010 version of the BlackBerry Tour will add Wi-Fi to the existing EVDO Rev A-based 3G it depends on so far; it only ships without due to a need to get the Tour to stores.
Apple has submitted a specification to the Internet Engineering Task Force, hoping to have HTTP Live Streaming adopted as a universal protocol, reports say. The format already exists in Safari 4 and iPhone 3.0, and should eventually be integrated into Mac OS X Snow Leopard, but does not currently have backing outside of Apple. Should the technology become standard it could potentially replace various audio/video plug-ins, such as Flash and Silverlight.
Sony will update its VAIO P series netbook with the release of a second-generation model sometime this fall, most likely around October or November, the company recently revealed. The new model is expected to address the current version's slow boot times, which could range up to 90 seconds in the entry-level models. The news came from a Sony representative at a launch event for the VAIO NW notebook and VAIO W netbook.
Rogers today became the first Canadian cell carrier with a subsidized 3G netbook. Its version of the HP Mini 110 has a built-in 7.2Mbps HSPA modem that connects to the provider's network but is is otherwise close to the factory version of the regular netbook, which has the by now ubiquitous 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive and Windows XP Home install common to most mini notebooks. No custom software has been added.
T-Mobile UK today confirmed through its Twitter feed that the HTC Hero will come to its network, rebadged as the G2 Touch. The carrier doesn't detail how if at all the phone will change from the reference version, but it does say the G2 Touch will ship in July and come for free with a £40 per month, 18-month contract. Orange UK has already said it would offer the phone this month for free on a two-year plan.
Google chief Eric Schmidt last evening said he would talk to Apple to determine whether or not he should recuse himself from the Mac maker's board of directors following the unveiling of Chrome OS. The executive told those at Allen & Co's technology conference that there is currently "no issue" with his remaining on the board but that he will ask Apple if it sees a conflict of interest to have another desktop operating system developer involved in its decisions. Apple itself hasn't commented on any possible change in relationship.
Intel today is now claimed to be in formal discussions with Google over backing Android for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). Although Intel has its own Moblin Linux platform, those firm making the handhelds in Taiwan say Intel wants to be the choice of hardware for any operating system, including Android. It believes creating a healthy hardware and software environment will help the wider industry, according to DigiTimes.
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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 Herm√©s 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