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Apple hacked devices
Apple has posted an support document that details problems encountered with jailbroken iPhone and iPod touch devices. The company believes the hacking process is "a major source of instability, disruption of services, and other issues." The support article is intended to better explain the risks of installing software that modifies the iPhone OS, and discourages doing so. Problems common with jailbroken iPhones include device and application instability that causes unexpected device crashes, loss of data, and crashes of applications.
iPhone 3G catches fire?
An iPhone 3G in Europe has reportedly caught fire while sitting on the passenger seat of a person's car, according to iPhoneclub.nl. The owner of the iPhone Pieter, a man living in the Dutch city of Leiden, reportedly returned to his car after leaving it unattended for a few minutes and discovered that his iPhone had caught on fire and completely destroyed his passenger's seat. When he left the iPhone it was sitting inside a Belkin hard-case where it had gone into standby mode and was not connected to a car charger.
iPhone vulnerable to hacks
True to their word, security experts on Thursday demoed a flaw in the iPhone's operating software that enables attackers to control any iPhone by sending special SMS messages to the phone was revealed on Thursday. The software hole was demonstrated by researchers Charlie Miller and Colin Mulliner at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas. The flaw could be used by a hacker to make calls, steal data, send text messages, power-down the device and operate any application on the iPhone. Miller contacted Apple about the problem six weeks ago. Although the company said it would release a patch to resolve the issue by the end of the month, no iPhone OS updates have been released.
KONA 6.5 update ships
AJA Video System has released KONA 6.5, updating the software for its KONA line of video capture and playback cards, including the KONA LSe, LHe, LHi and KONA 3. The new version adds compatibility with the recently released Final Cut Studio and Final Cut Pro 7. ProRes 422 LT, Proxy and ProRes 4444 are now compatible with the software as well. Other features added in version 6.5 include closed caption support for FCP 7, MacCaption, VTR Xchange and AJA TV, VANC data capture and playback support for ProRes formats and expanded KONA LHi support.
iWeb Themes 5.0 released
iPresentee has released v5.0 of its iWeb Themes suite, used to add new themes to Apple's iWeb application for website development. The latest version brings five new themes to the suite, extending the collection to 45 themes total. The new themes are called Amber, Flowered, Blue-Black, Claret and Free-liver. Each theme in the suite consists of 10 different page templates.
Microsoft mobile strategy
The president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division, Robbie Bach, told several Wall Street analysts that the company is in the process of reworking its Windows Mobile strategy following a "challenging year," according to Betanews. Despite increasing unit shipments, the platform has continued to lose market share against competitors such as BlackBerrys and the iPhone.
iTimer camera, OffMaps
WriteRoom ($5) can be used to write and organize notes. The software uses a simple black and white interface and includes support for both landscape and portrait keyboards. WriteRoom also features the ability to share files over a WiFi connection and sync files to WriteRoom.ws. The WriteRoom syncing feature is still considered a beta and is not recommended for sensitive data as security is relatively light.
67th St NYC Apple Store
The upcoming Apple Store located on 67th Street and Broadway in NYC is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving, a construction worker told the Westside Independent. A separate source in the investment community also claims Apple is already working on staffing the location, as several employees in surrounding stores have allegedly been offered managerial positions.
Icon Commander 1.20 ($30) can be used to convert images into Mac or Windows icon files. The software features support for most common image formats and includes a collection of icon styles to use. Users are provided tools for cropping and rotating the image to fit the chosen style. Icon Commander includes support for Windows Vista 256x256 icons with alpha channel and Leopard 256x256 Mac OS X icons. Version 1.2 includes a new style editor for making modifications to the pre-defined icon styles and also addresses a few minor bugs. [Download - 4.5MB]
Bell pre-orders Palm Pre
The Palm Pre handset that's due at Canadian wireless provider Bell is likely very near its long-awaited launch, if a print ad is any indication. While in-store ads will still say coming soon, without a release date, customers will have the option of pre-ordering the handset.
CEA on Apple at CES
Apple is not at all scheduled to appear at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, says Jason Oxman, the senior VP of industry affairs with the Consumer Electronics Association. "Apple is a member of the trade association, but they are not signed up as an exhibitor for CES," Oxman informs. Speculation was fueled by a recent Wall Street Journal blog entry, which claimed with confidence that Apple would be attending the next instance of the trade expo.
Sharp, Sony in LCD venture
Sharp and Sony on Thursday announced they have entered into a joint venture agreement related to the production and sales of large LCD panels and modules. Sharp's under-construction LCD production plant in Sakai City, Japan was transferred to Sharp Display Products Corporation (SDP) on July 1st, with opening scheduled for October. On December 29th, Sony will invest 10 billion yen ($105 million) into SDP for shares, which will be the first step towards reaching the final 66% Sharp, 34% percent Sony split. This initial investment will make SDP a joint venture company of Sony as well as Sharp.
Cydia Store earnings
The Cydia Store is quickly approaching $250,000 in revenue following its opening just over four months ago, according to ModMyi. The third-party app portal for jailbroken iPhones has drawn more than 50,000 purchases. Jay Freeman, Cydia's creator, claims several developers have made over $10,000 in the first week of sales, without going through Apple's App Store.
Sony eBook store 1m strong
Sony on Wednesday announced that it has added more than 1 million public domain ebooks to its eBook Store. The free books were digitized thanks to the Google Books project, can be downloaded in the EPUB format and are optimized for use on Sony's Reader devices. Titles include classic novels including Treasure Island as well as biographies, historical texts, romance novels and numerous other genres. With his partnership, Sony says its ebook selection is the largest anywhere.
Acer Android netbook a go
Despite a recent report to the contrary, Acer is still on track to deliver a promised Android powered netbook PC later this summer, according to a representative at the company. The announcement was made after reports of a delay emerged, and the Aspire One-series netbook will sport a 10-inch screen along with an Intel Atom CPU. Thus far, Acer's Aspire One runs on Windows XP, but a prototype device on display recently contained both operating systems. Acer executives said the production version will only have Android.
PirateBay loses court case
The Pirate Bay torrent hosting website has lost another court case in Amsterdam, this time at the hands of anti-piracy organization BREIN. According to a Thursday TorrentFreak report, the site is required to cease all operations in the Netherlands in 10 days or face maximum penalties of the equivalent of more than $4.2 million, or $42,300 per person per day after the deadline. Lawyers representing BREIN argued The Pirate Bay is responsible for millions of copyright infringements and needs to be blocked to Danish web users.
UK's ASA backs Apple
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ruled in favor of Apple in a third case involving iPhone ads, reports say. Some 10 complaints were filed with the ASA in relation to a recent TV spot, which emphasizes the wide variety of iPhone apps available and insists they are "only on the iPhone." That last statement is inaccurate, the complaints allege, because the T-Mobile G1 also has access to a variety of apps at a separate store.
China Mobile Android UMPC
An ultra mobile PC (UMPC) has been spotted bearing China Mobile's G3 logo and a 3G connection using the country's native TD-SCDMA standard. While such a device would otherwise go unnoticed, this particular one comes with Android and features and an interface especially suited to the open-source operating system. The 7-inch touchscreen UMPC reportedly supports voice and video calling, web browsing, e-mailing and text and multimedia messaging, and even sports dedicated talk and end buttons, like a traditional handset.
Ballmer on Win Competitors
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer today told those gathered at his company's financial analyst meeting that he fully anticipates stiffer competition, particularly from incumbent rivals like Apple, Linux and evetually Chrome OS. He contended that it was only natural for an OS as dominant as Windows to face a threat and maintained that Microsoft "deserves competition" to remain healthy. In spite of particular inroads by Apple, Microsoft's devotion to improving its OS for Windows 7 would keep it afloat.
Shake leaves Apple Store
Apple has quietly discontinued a once-important digital imaging tool, observers note. Shake is used for compositing and visual effects work, but today the software no longer has its own product page, and it has also been removed from the Apple online store. One source claims to have learned that Apple sales representatives are being officially notified of the product's termination.
Sony e-book readers leaked
A pair of images and some PDF manuals on Sony's own site (since pulled) have revealed that the electronics giant has plans to expand its e-book reader range beyond the PRS-505 and PRS-700. While not much is known about the new models, apparently called PRS-300 and PRS-600, the manuals mentioned that models for the US, Canadian, UK, French, German and Netherlands models will be introduced. Available colors will include silver, red and black, and like the current range, there is no Wi-Fi connection or built-in backlighting.
Nintendo Hurt by iPhone
Nintendo today encountered a rare setback in its history owed partially to the impact of Apple on its business. The company's profit has dropped a steep 66 percent year-over-year to $426 million and said in a conference call that the iPhone and iPod touch, not Sony's PSP, are having the greatest impact on the performance of the DS and DSi. It also expects its fiscal 2010 profit to drop for the first time in years as a result of the added pressure from Apple's touchscreen devices.
STM Turtle hard-shell case
RadTech has released the latest in its line of laptop accessories, the STM Turtle hard-shell laptop sleeve. The STM Turtle is made from a compressed form of polymer called Ethylene Vinyl Acetate or EVA for short, which is formed into a hard-shell that protects the laptop from bumps, scrapes and scratches that can occur during everyday transporting. Insert the laptop into the case through an opening along the side, and keep it in place with two straps that wrap around and attach onto hooks.
iPhone profitable in Japan
Japan's largest cellphone carriers experienced contrasting performance in the first fiscal quarter, as the leader NTT DoCoMo reported a slide in net profit by 15 percent to Y147.38 billion (~$1.54 billion USD), according to the Wall Street Journal. Softbank, meanwhile, surprised analysts with a 41 percent jump in profit to Y27.38 (~$286 million USD).
Pine Trail on schedule
Intel mobile group general manager on Wednesday put an end to earlier rumors that had the next generation Atom chip for netbooks, codenamed Pine Trail, has been delayed. Mobile platforms general manager Mooly Eden said Pine Trail is on schedule at an Intel Technology Summit on Wednesday in San Francisco. The chips should now be shipped in the second half of the year, with production versions on display at the Intel Developer Forum in September.
Motorola 'Sholes' phone
New information has allegedly surfaced on one of Motorola's upcoming Android phones. Expected to head to Verizon in October, the codenamed "Sholes" may also be the long-rumored Calgary device. Specifications point to a 3.7-inch, 480x854 touchscreen, with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Memory may include 256MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM, with support for microSDHC cards up to 16GB. An 8GB card is said to be included by default.
Zune Sales Crashing
Microsoft's struggling Zune media players may have been single-handedly responsible for a plunge in revenue at the Entertainment and Devices group and could be a sign of much deeper trouble for the line as a whole, analysts said Thursday. Although only a small part of Microsoft's poor spring quarter, revenues the group that handles both the Xbox 360 and Zune dropped by 42 percent year-over-year and alludes to Zune sales falling precipitously in the same time span. The Xbox 360 isn't likely to have contributed to the fall as it was one of the few consoles to see more systems shipped this spring than last.
Jumsoft Numbers templates
Jumsoft has launched Numbers Templates, a new collection of templates for Apple's spreadsheet software. The bundle is meant for both home and professional users, and handles recurring situations and calculations. The initial set includes 10 templates, such as Dinner Planner, Home Inventory, Invoice, Loan Comparison and Grocery List.
Light Blue: Photo 1.5
Developer Light Blue has announced v1.5 of Light Blue: Photo, its studio management suite for professional photographers. The program centralizes many of the tasks studios must handle, including booking shoots, reaching clients and managing sales and expenses. The v1.5 patch incorporates a new purchase accounts system, related to job expenses, and support for Google Calendar export.
Samsung 8500 Series HDTVs
In a rare mid-year update, Samsung this morning added a new, high-end lineup to its 8 series HDTVs. The 8500 series uses newer, pure white LED backlights with local dimming to boost the dynamic contrast ratio up to a very high 7,000,000:1, topping even the 5 million of the 8000 it replaces. A newer LCD panel improves brightness and visibility in ambient light, and a Natural mode tries to replicate the color behavior of normally more vibrant plasma displays without giving up brightness.
Nikon 2009 Telephotos
To complement the D3000 and D300s, Nikon today added two telephoto-ranged lenses, one of which fits these DX mount cameras. This lens, the DX 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 ED VR II, adds Nikon's second generation image stabilization that improves the anti-blur effect to the equivalent of shooting four shutter speeds slower than intended, an improvement particularly important at the telephoto distances of the new optics. The extra-low dispersion (ED) glass has also been improved to minimize both glare and ghosting.
Kaufman iPhone 3GS report
A report from the Kaufman Bros. research firm is said to indicate a sales shift towards higher-end iPhone models, including the iPhone 3GS, and specifically the $299 32GB model. While this should be beneficial to Apple's revenue, gross margin and EPS, the analyst suggests that the company may have expected users to be more enticed by the lower price of the iPhone 3G, and deliberately held back on 3GS production until the trend was noticed. The results conflict with predicted effects in the current recession, and indicate that buyers are willing to pay a premium for a faster processor, video recording, extra storage, and other features of the 3GS.
Time Warner Cable WiMAX
Time Warner Cable has recently reported its earnings for the second quarter, which revealed an unexpected increase in profit of about 4 percent. At the same time, the cable company's CEO, Glenn Britt, told attendees that mobile WiMAX is coming soon from the provider. Britt promised more details are forthcoming, but went on record to say that a mobile broadband network will be released in the fall, naming Charlotte and Dallas as the first cities to get it. Time Warner was an early investor in Clearwire's WiMAX network, along with rival Comcast, and is therefore authorized to resell the service.
Samsung Solstice ATT
AT&T on Thursday quickly validated a leak by launching the Samsung Solstice. One of Samsung's few budget full touchscreen phones, the handset has a 3-inch touchscreen and provides haptic feedback to improve the physical feel of the on-screen buttons and QWERTY keyboard. Like the Impression, it has the widget-centric TouchWiz interface.
New 2TB Time Capsule
Apple has quietly introduced an upgraded Time Capsule drive, which can now store as much as 2TB. The new capacity trumps an earlier 1TB option, which has been reduced in price to $299. The 2TB model is priced at $499.
JVC Everio HM400 Camcorder
JVC this morning added a new, high-end HD camcorder to its mix. The Everio GZ-HM400 shoots the same 1080i widescreen, H.264 video as the GZ-X900 but has a more conventional form factor and has a sharper 10.2-megapixel sensor for shooting higher resolution photos. A new 10X Konica-Minolta lens also reduces chromatic aberration and is accompanied by extra controls to the left of the lens.
Jobs, Apple at CES 2010?
Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, has been asked to keynote the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in January, says the head of the Consumer Electronics Association. Gary Shapiro notes that he has extended a formal invitation to Jobs, but that neither Jobs nor Apple have yet responded. Jobs has sometimes failed to answer other contact attempts in the past, Shapiro comments.
Nikon introduced a second DSLR today and for this targeted the very entry level previously occupied by the D40x and D60. The D3000 still shoots at 10.2 megapixels but has the much more modern imaging system of the D5000 and gets 11-point autofocus (up from just 3), the Active D-Lighting system that improves dynamic range and both 3D matrix metering as well as 3D tracking. Simplifying the experience for first-time DSLR users even further, the D3000 now has a special Guide mode: users pick shot settings based on icon-driven menus that reflect common situations rather than simply adjusting aperture, ISO or shutter speed.
Motorola Q2 2009
Motorola this morning touted rare positive news with its first profit in several quarters. The company generated a net income of $26 million, or just a single cent per share, and owed much of the return to health due to major cost cuts, including 7,000 job cuts as well as selling Good Technology. Recent quarters have seen losses, and the company had broken even just the past spring.
Nikon on Thursday launched an update to its highest-end crop-frame DSLR. The D300s practically replaces the regular D300 and adds 720p, 24FPS video recording inherited from the D90 but with several improvements: it can now autofocus while shooting movies, change the color and tone of videos, and attach an external microphone. The autofocusing system is now faster than the D300 and, because it tracks 51 points instead of the D90's 11, can better follow a given subject.
JVC Black series, in-ear
JVC has released a new series of foldable headphones, called the Black series, and two new in-ear headphones, the HA-EBX85 and HA-FX20. The Black series is available in two models, the HA-M750 and HA-S650, that are both over-the-head style headphones and use large driver units with carbon compound diaphragms for their bass reproduction. The two Black series headphones also have carbon bodies with anti-resonance properties to improve their sound clarity.
LG SL80 and SL90 HDTVs
LG at an evening event Thursday opted to unveil a major reworking of its LCD HDTVs first in the US. The SL80 and SL90 together have a near-seamless look that tries to hide the separation between the bezel, the LCD and the speakers. Of the two, the SL90 is also LG's technology leader and has an LED backlight that ramps the dynamic contrast ratio up to a company-best 3,000,000:1. Appropriately, it also gets a 240Hz refresh rate, an ambient light sensor and audio tuning that adjusts the volume for spoken dialogue without touching most anything else in a movie or TV show. It becomes one of LG's thinnest at 1.15 inches deep.
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