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Apple today released the GarageBand 5.1 update, which it says addresses general compatibility issues, improves overall stability, and fixes a number of other minor issues along with an addressing an important security issue that allowed third-party to track usage of the app. According to the documentation, the specific issues addressed include the ability to add GarageBand track effects and Audio Units to a guitar track, improved support for Apogee audio interfaces, faster switching to full screen in Magic GarageBand, and improved access to audio monitoring settings. Apple says the update is recommended for all users of GarageBand í09.
iWebTemplate has introduced iWeb SiteBuilder-FX 3.0, a program used to create and publish multimedia websites. The application does not require the user to have a knowledge base of FTP, HTML or Flash, and instead utilizes a point-and-click system to build websites. Users can add customizable Flash introductions, while text can also be edited from the software interface and images can be added in five-picture galleries per main section.
Native Instruments has released its newest instrument collection, Essential Bass, which provides a variety of bass sounds for producing music. The application includes fingered and slapped bass from the sound design house Scarbee, along with picked bass from Pettinhouse and upright bass tracks. The software utilizes ABSYNTH, FM8, MASSIVE, and REAKTOR engines to produce a large selection of bass-synthesized tones. Users can also choose from samples taken from Minimoog, Roland Juno-60 and Studio Electronics SE1 synths.
Sprint has recently expanded sales of Palm's Pre smartphone to a variety of online retailers, according to a company memo posted on preThinking. Customers will now be able to purchase the device through portals such as Amazon.com and LetsTalk, among others.
DComSoft has released v2.0 of its SWF Protector defense utility. The software is meant to keep SWF files secure, utilizing four protection algorithms to prevent hackers from stealing ActionScripts. Content can be safeguarded through one of two modes, Simple or Advanced; the latter secures one file at a time using custom settings, while Simple processes several files simultaneously, choosing the best protection mechanisms based on what it detects.
The resignation of Eric Schmidt from Apple's board of directors will not put to rest a Federal Trade Commission investigation, says the group's Bureau of Competition director, Richard Feinstein. Apple announced Schmidt's departure early Monday morning, citing the existence of Chrome OS as a potential conflict of interest. It is illegal for two US companies to share directors when they are also nominally competing in the same field.
A variety of smartbooks and netbooks integrating ARM-based Snapdragon and Tegra processors are scheduled to ship later this year, according to a DigiTimes report. The devices are being produced by several companies such as Acer, Foxconn, Pegatron, Compal and Inventec.
Graphic Remedy has released a beta version of gDEBugger iPhone. The software is used to analyze graphic system implementations when developing OpenGL-based titles for the iPhone. OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 are supported, in which users can locate performance bottlenecks, and unnecessary function calls and state changes. The tool also tracks errors and can automatically suspend an app run when errors occur.
Lifeboat ($1) is a game where players must rescue passengers on a sinking ship. The game is played by tilting the device back and forth to rock the ship and guide passengers towards the lifeboats. If any passengers fall into the water players must tap on them to save them from drowning or becoming shark bait. As the game progresses players can unlock different upgrades including quicker controls, swimming lessons for the passengers, and sturdier ballasts.
Clearwire has announced that it is set to launch its 4G WiMAX service in ten new markets spread across Idaho, Washington and Texas beginning September 1st. The company's mobile Internet network is currently available in four locations including Atlanta; Baltimore, Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon.
Carrier Verizon Wireless has dropped the price of virtually all of its smartphones to $99, observers note. Amounts are contingent on a two-year contract, but represent a major reduction in some circumstances, for instance lowering the cost of an HTC Touch Pro by $320. Only two phones remain above the $99 level: RIM's BlackBerry Tour and the Samsung Saga.
Pangea has released a new iPhone app, The Finger, used to manipulate a 3D hand into different signs. Notable is the presence of an animation editor, which can be used to automate motion between signs to create sign language. As necessary text can be translated into American Sign Language, for teaching or communication.
iMusic Valet 1.0 ($12) is a media player that allows users to link songs with specific images. Users can choose to play single music files at a time or continuously play music from a specific library. The applications interface resembles an iPod and can be set to float above all other windows. Photos that are linked to songs are shown within iMusic Valet's window as the song plays. [Download - 8.7MB]
Net Applications has revised its web share reports to improve the accuracy of its findings, although the adjustments have drastically changed the data, according to Fortune. Despite a report issued late last year that showed Mac web share growing to 8.9 percent, the latest report for July has reduced the number down to 4.9 percent.
Netflix may soon be opening the gates to its unlimited movie and TV streaming on the iPhone and iPod touch, a rumor indicates today. An executive for an unnamed company claims to MCN that Netflix will "soon" extend Watch Instantly to the Apple devices. The service would likely be limited to Wi-Fi for bandwidth concerns, though it's unclear whether this would be due solely to pressure from AT&T or simple practical concerns: Netflix streaming normally needs hundreds of kilobits per second and would be likely to encounter connection problems over 3G.
Kensington on Monday brought out a unique travel dock for iPhones and iPods. The Charging Dock with Mini Battery has a dock for both the Apple device itself but also a battery pack that attaches to the iPhone when it's in use. Attaching it gives an iPhone as much as 30 hours of extra music, 6 hours of web use or 3 hours of talk time; since both this and the iPhone share the same dock power, the two charge simultaneously and let users have the reserve power without occupying a second USB or power port.
Autodesk has announced 2010 updates for two of its key graphics suites, Maya and Mudbox. Maya handles a variety of animation, rendering and effects tasks, and in its 2010 edition will gain Composite, a new module replacing technology from the company's now-defunct Toxik software. Also planned is Backburner, a queue manager for network rendering, and MatchMover, a 3D tracking and matchmoving component.
RIM is reportedly working to integrate front-facing cameras on its Blackberry smartphones sometime next year, according to tinycomb. A company executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that video conferencing is something they have been working on for a "quite some time."
An upcoming GPS unit from Garmin should support cellular data, FCC testing reveals. The nuvi 1690 is noted to support GSM, GPRS and EDGE connections, though for what purpose is unclear. The technology could be used to supply real-time traffic information, and/or updates to points of interest. Similar devices can access Internet content, such as Google searches or routes stored on a remote computer or website.
Almost immediately following a preliminary scoop earlier today, a second leak has provided details of Nikon's first ever camera to include a built-in projector. Now named the Coolpix S1000pj, the point-and-shoot camera will have a 12-megapixel camera with a 5X wide and stabilized lens in one corner but, in the middle, will have a micro projector that produces an image up to 40 inches diagonal in size without needing video output. It should also introduce a better face detection system that prioritizes faces, avoids blinks and reduces blemishes in skin.
T-Mobile UK has already begun distributing the iPhone 3G to some customers, a report says. Rumored late last month, the scheme is believed to be addressed towards people threatening to leave the carrier. Eligible subscribers must be paying over £75 a month, and only 50 T-Mobile agents are authorized to offer an iPhone, up to a maximum of three per week, per agent.
Intel's six-core Xeon processor, known as Westmere, has been seen in a leak of an engineering sample today [caution: may not be safe for work). Still identified as a mainstream Core i7 chip by software, the Xeon W5590 example runs at a relatively low 2.4GHz clock speed but has 12MB of Level 3 cache shared between all cores and 256KB of Level 2 cache for each core. With Hyperthreading, which runs up to two program threads on a single core, the system shows as many as 12 effective cores.
Hitachi has expanded its line of projectors with the CP-X3010N. The device offers the same basic features as the CO-X3010, but adds an Ethernet port and 802.11g/n connectivity. The device features integrated 16W speakers, 3,000 lumen brightness and a contrast ratio of up to 2,000:1.
Apple is continuing to use legal tools to silence talk of iPod fires, according to UK publication The Times. The newspaper points to an incident in Liverpool last month, in which an iPod touch, belonging to 11-year-old Ellie Stanborough, exploded. Her father Ken was holding the player just prior to the eruption. "It made a hissing noise," he says. "I could feel it getting hotter in my hand, and I thought I could see vapor."
Microsoft this weekend revealed that it would drop plans to launch Windows 7 E for Europe following a change in attitude from the European Commission. The special release, which would have provided Windows without any browser at all, is being scrapped as the Commission has tentatively embraced the company's browser ballot approach to providing a choice of web browsers. These customers should now get the same version of Windows 7 as elsewhere.
OCZ has announced pricing information and a launch time-frame for its 1TB Colossus SSD introduced at Computex last month. The drive is relatively large, with a weight of 400g, although it is designed to fit in a standard 3.5-inch drive bay. The company claims read speeds of up to 250MB/s and write speeds of 200MB using a SATA II interface.
Microsoft has confirmed in a preview of Windows Mobile 6.5 that version 7 of the mobile OS will include multi-touch and will be targeted at the same high-end market as Apple's iPhone or most current Android phones. The company promises to the Inquirer that multi-touch will be a core feature of Windows Mobile 7 and that many of the experiences of competing phones will be "knocked in the different realm" of Microsoft's new platform.
Apple's rumored tablet device is indeed genuine, claims a source cited by Barron's. Described only as a "veteran analyst," the person is said to have had a first-hand view of a prototype system. Development is thought to be far enough along that the product could be announced in September, and released in November.
Samsung this morning launched a teaser page for the impending launch of a new line of "smart cameras." The company plans to gradually reveal features of the cameras up until August 13th, when the cameras themselves should appear. Few details are available today, but the name for the campaign, Tap and Take, hints either at touchscreen displays or else a whole-body tap feature similar to Olympus' tap control.
Apple today revealed that Google chief Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple's Board of Directors. The executive had held a position for three years but is leaving due to a conflict of interest triggered by the unveiling of Chrome OS, which now puts Google in direct competition with Mac OS X. Apple CEO Steve Jobs characterized the departure as unwanted but necessary given how often it would force Schmidt to leave Apple meetings discussing strategy.
Sony's upcoming PRS-300 and PRS-600 e-book readers could come in at prices well under existing models when they launch thanks to briefly available store listings at J&R (PRS-300, PRS-600). While even the base PRS-505 right now sells for $280, the 5-inch PRS-300 should sell for $200 and the touchscreen PRS-300 for $300, itself a significant price cut.
Intel on Monday morning rebuffed claims from late last week that it was cutting off Atom Z500 supplies. A spokeswoman for the company told Register staff that the rumors, which would have all of the netbook-class processors off the market, are "100% inaccurate." Intel's long-term plans for the Z series aren't known, though it's expected that the company's Pine Trail platform will make the Z series at least partially obsolete.
Nikon may be on the verge of releasing an industry-first combination camera and video projector if a leak proves accurate. French magazine Chasseur díImages (Image Chaser) in its August issue claims that a new camera, the Coolpix VP650, should be unveiled this month and will have a micro projector that can produce a just over page-sized (8in by 12in) image in low light by itself. Most other details aren't clear in the information supplied to Nikon Rumors, but the VP650 would ship in September.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN