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Microsoft Office update
Microsoft has released v12.2.1 of its Office application suite for Mac, aiming to fix an issue that prevents users from opening various types of documents. The bug affected programs such as Excel Workbook, PowerPoint Presentation, Word Document, Excel Template and PowerPoint Template. The latest version removes the bug, enabling users to open regular and macro-enabled XML documents and templates.
The Three Musketeers
Dingo has announced its latest game, The Three Musketeers, based on the Alexander Dumas novel with the same name. Players take on the role of D'Artagnan, who must assist the famous Three Musketeers when a plot to disgrace the queen emerges. The game is played from a top-down view and features hand-drawn 2D graphics.
Employees sue Apple
Apple has become involved in yet another lawsuit, as a former employee, Kenyon Zahner, claims to have been forced to work over 40 hours a week without additional compensation, according to InformationWeek. The worker has filed a class action lawsuit with other Apple employees in Florida, although details of his role at the company remain unclear.
Apple alters policy
Apple may have reversed its decision prohibiting developers from redefining their list of devices that qualify for the ad hoc iPhone Developer Program, says MacMagazine. The program enables developers to test beta apps without publishing the software on the App Store. Developers can opt for a yearly agreement that allows up to 100 iPhone or iPod touch devices to be assigned to the development program, while any unused devices can be removed from the list.
Comcast DOC 3 Ahead Sched
Comcast today revealed that the rollout of its much faster DOCSIS 3.0 cable Internet service is significantly ahead of its original timetable. The provider told BBR that while it had originally predicted covering 65 percent of its subscribers with the added speed by the end of this year, it now expects to reach 80 percent in the same timeframe. The next area to get a DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade should be made public in weeks, the company said.
Dell Latitude Z at FCC
Dell's designer Latitude Z has garnered support today courtesy of an FCC filing for the ultraportable's government tests. Beyond confirming the notebook's existence, the use of only 802.11g Wi-Fi implies the base model won't have faster 802.11n. A diagram of the design appears to support a removable "hump" that would have an Ethernet connection, likely other ports, and possibly an extended-capacity battery.
mProjector 4 released
Screentime Media has released v4 of its widget development utility, mProjector. The application enables Adobe Flash or Flex developers using ActionScript to create desktop assistants, widgets, and applications. The SWF files used to create applications are encrypted and do not require a runtime engine to be installed.
iBuyPower Chimera Killer
iBuyPower wound down its afternoon with a new Chimera Killer Special Edition PC. The new model is tailored just to the hardcore gaming market with a Killer Xeno Pro standard in every model to hopefully lower latency by reducing the overhead of Ethernet traffic. Every system also has a special flame art case with an illuminated side window and a small display to show the heat levels inside the case.
UBS on Apple profits
A number of positives and negatives are likely to affect Apple's gross profits in the near future, notes UBS analyst Maynard Um. Among the negatives is argued to be the possibility of an 8GB iPhone 3GS. If real the device would at least be carried by Canada's Rogers, where it would cost $99. It is believed that most iPhone buyers are opting for the $199 and $299 3GS models, rather than the $99 iPhone 3G; in putting out a $99 3GS, Um contends, Apple could leave little incentive to buy the most expensive products.
MS Pressure Keyboard Demo
Microsoft this evening said it would demonstrate a prototype for a pressure-sensitive keyboard at October's User Interface Software and Technology conference. Where most keyboards only register input as on or off, membranes under every key on the new example can register 256 different levels of force and perform a different action accordingly. In tests, Microsoft has already shown the keyboard could be used to enter capital letters just by pressing hard on a key or to erase a whole word with the Delete key.
LG OLED TV out in December
The latest update regarding LG's promised 15-inch OLED TV has the unit on store shelves this December, as it's already apparently being produced, which would make good on earlier promises made by the electronics giant. LG's OLED Sales and Marketing VP, Won Kim, said the TV has already been in production this summer. The first market for the screen will be LG's home country of Korea, with a global launch expected soon thereafter.
AMOLED phone due at Sprint
An executive at Sprint said on Thursday the wireless provider will soon carry handsets from Samsung with advanced Active Matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays. Such displays promise to bring brightness levels, energy consumption and screen resolution to levels beyond those of phones with conventional screens. Samsung already makes a few handsets that use AMOLEDs, including the Omnia HD/i8910, Impression and Ultra Touch, but they run on GSM networks incompatible with Sprint's choice of CDMA.
Brain Training, aGPSPlayer
1Password Pro ($8) is a password management application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The software allows users to store and organize multiple passwords, and integrates with a web browser so that users only have to enter a password once. Additionally, The pro version features a special switching mode which allow users to quickly copy-and-paste credentials to Mobile Safari, and an option for synchronizing folders from 1Password for Mac.
LG BL20 in existence
LG may soon release a third Black Label series handset, as an XML file was found on the company's website that mentions the BL20 phone by name. While its specs sound relatively entry-level compared to the recently spotted BL42 slider and the BL40 touchscreen, it is not known what form factor the device will adopt, though a classic candy bar is most likely.
iRiver E200 now official
After a long delay, the sequel to the E100 portable media player has finally been made official. As previously rumored, the E200 now sports a metal body rather than a plastic one, with a slightly curved body at the rear for a more comfortable fit in a user's hand. The 2.8-inch LED display has a 320x240 resolution and will be available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities, with all also adding a microSD memory card slot.
Kindle, McGraw-Hill team
Amazon and McGraw-Hill Education announced on Thursday that they have teamed up to deliver McGraw-Hill's library of higher education content. To date, McGraw-Hill's 3,000 professional business, medical and technical titles are available on the e-book readers. The new arrangement will add more than 100 textbooks and other titles covering most common arts, math and science fields.
iRex 8in 3G Reader Leak
E-book device maker iRex has signaled it's planning to launch a smaller, touchscreen reader that would do battle not only with the Kindle but Sony's PRS-600 and other touchscreen devices. The unnamed device, a mockup of which has been sent to CNET, would be substantially smaller than the Digital Reader 1000 with an 8.1-inch display controlled by a stylus. It would have built-in 3G and, like the Amazon device, would be tied to a particular store for e-book downloads. Whether or not it would involve an exclusive carrier deal is unknown.
E-books blocked on iPhone?
(Updated with Apple response) Apple is now taking an extremely strict stance towards iPhone apps with third-party content, reports say. In submitting new e-book applications, at least two developers claim they have been dismissed summarily. "This category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing upon third party rights," one rejection notice is said to read. "We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store."
Easy Currency, Grand Total
IconBurglar 1.1 ($10) can be used to extract icon files from any application, file, or folder. The software includes drag and drop support allowing users to grab icon images by dragging files to the application's main window. IconBurglar includes support for saving images in different resolutions and file types. The latest update has added support for grabbing images from any file or folder and improved drag and drop support. [Download - 0.54MB]
App Store censor denied
Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller has denied allegations that Ninjawords, an iPhone dictionary app, was both censored by the App Store reviewers and required to carry a 17+ rating. In an e-mail to Daring Fireball author John Gruber, Schiller explained that Apple had simply recommended that the app be re-submitted, without limiting content, after the parental controls were introduced with iPhone firmware v3.0.
Maingear eX L 15 Notebook
Maingear this afternoon launched its fastest 15-inch notebook in a bid to capture gamers looking for regular-sized notebooks. The eX-L 15 focuses on gaming first with a 1GB GeForce GTX 260M as standard in every system. Each system also has at least a 1680x1050 display resolution; custom-ordered models can come with up to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Quad, 8GB of RAM, a Blu-ray drive and either a 500GB conventional hard drive or a 256GB solid-state drive.
InBloom 2.0 ships
Retail consignment software InBloom 2.0 is now shipping. The major update to the FileMaker-based software has added Twitter integration, customized and PDF printing along with new architecture for quick upgrades. Twitter support allows the software to quickly launch availability updates for popular products. The software focuses on resale support for small businesses, with inventory management, customer management, point-of-sale and check-printing capabilities while being networkable and customizable.
Dell U2410 Display
Dell on Thursday picked Japan as the venue for its first high-end 24-inch LCD introduction since the 2408WFP. The UltraSharp U2410 switches from an already precise PVA (patterned vertical alignment) panel to a more accurate IPS (in-plane switching) panel. The difference gives it 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color space and 96 percent of the Adobe RGB space, making it near-ideal for photo or video editors; these also get color calibration data out of the box to help them adjust the display without having to use a hardware tool.
Coffee shops ban laptops
The economic downturn is causing some coffee shops, including Naidre's in Brooklyn, NY, to restrict when users can browse the Internet on their notebooks, says a Thursday WSJ report. The local neighborhood shop offers free Wi-Fi but a sign put up since the spring of 2008 warns that laptops are not allowed at certain mid-day hours unless the customer is eating as well as surfing or otherwise using their notebooks. Shop owners argue they find it hard to cater to a client who takes up the space and uses electricity for hours on end while ordering little to nothing else.
Newer ships new gear
Newer Technology has launched its NewerTech Intelligent Battery Charging Stations for 13-inch Unibody MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pros released prior to June, 2009. The charger/conditioner models, claimed to be the first-to-market, feature two battery bays for charging multiple batteries. One battery can be charged while another is being conditioned prior to charging.
Lenovo loses in Q1
Chinese computer maker Lenovo has suffered a net loss in its most recent fiscal quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company lost the equivalent of $16.01 million, as compared to a net profit of $110.5 million posted in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue is meanwhile noted to have slipped 18 percent in Q109, from $4.21 billion to $3.46 billion. When ignoring restructuring costs and some one-time expenses, Lenovo claims it turned a small profit.
Panasonic Lumix GF1 Leak
Panasonic's third camera using the Micro Four Thirds system in less than a year should be a direct answer to the Olympus E-P1, a leak through a Chinese forum shows. The Lumix GF1 is potentially smaller than the E-P1 but should answer some of the weaknesses of its sibling, including adding a hidden (likely pop-up) flash on the top left. It would still omit a dedicated viewfinder but would bring a dedicated movie button to start capturing 720p video in the AVCHD Lite (H.264) format also used by some of Panasonic's fixed-lens compact cameras.
DSLR Cam. Remote 1.1 soon
After an unexpected delay, onOne says it has at last submitted DSLR Camera Remote 1.1 to the App Store. The update was originally intended to debut in mid-July, but was postponed due to the need to test all functions with every supported camera. Central to v1.1 is support for Nikon cameras, including the D40 and D40x; the D60, D80 and D90; the D3 and D3x; the D200, D300 and D700, and lastly the D5000. Bulb mode is not an option with any Nikon camera, but all LiveView-capable models should allow live autofocus.
Touch holograms shown off
University of Tokyo researchers are demonstrating what they call an Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display (PDF) at the currently ongoing SIGGRAPH event in New Orleans. The prototype uses ultrasound technology to create holograms that can be touched, or at least feel like they're being touched. Because holograms are nothing but light, the team has developed a way to produce tactile feedback. Instead of placing a physical object in the space of where the hologram is created to produce the touch sensation, as this would take away from the quality of the image, the Tokyo University team's solution is to radiate airborne ultrasound that creates pressure field on user's hands.
Apple Tops Tech Sup Ranks
Apple has maintained a decisive lead in technical support rankings for 2009, according to a new Laptop study. Of ten major companies tested, only Apple managed an "A" grade for its help, earning it across both its ability to solve problems on calls and online; it also kept hold times to under five minutes and located its support only in North America. The company is further helped by having a dedicated retail network that can address questions in person, the magazine adds.
Snowtape 1.2, SnowRemote
Vemedio has launched an update to its Snowtape radio software, along with a new SnowRemote app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Snowtape finds and records music from streaming Internet stations. The v1.2 release delivers over 1,000 stations to choose from, and includes an enhanced algorithm for album artwork, the ability to search for stations by country, and an improved way of working with deleted items.
Symbian 4 Major Overhaul
Symbian's mobile operating system should see its first major revision in years late into 2010, company executive David Wood said in an interview this week. He acknowledges to TamsS60 that the first two post-S60 releases of the OS, Symbian^2 and Symbian^3, will be relatively minor updates but that Symbian^4 should have a "revolutionary" change in user interface that will also require developers to rewrite the front-end of their code. Underlying code should remain the same as it is by Symbian^3, Wood said.
Apple 'abuse' detectors
A recently disclosed patent application could aid Apple in excluding more warranty claims. Titled Consumer Abuse Detection System and Method, the filing suggests a scheme by which technicians could detect damage caused in warranty-breaking incidents. While iPhones, iPods and MacBook Pros already have liquid sensors -- which change color after submersion -- a proposed system could record shocks, dramatic temperature changes or even tampering, the latter through the use of a "continuity" sensor.
Newton MoGo Mouse for NBs
Newton Peripherals on Wednesday announced the release of its MoGo Mouse for Netbooks. Smaller still than the company's already low-profile mice, the wireless presenter mouse is just 0.2 inches thick and half an ounce light, using Bluetooth 2.0 to communicate with a matching Bluetooth USB adapter. When not in use, the mouse is stored in a similarly thick holster that optionally sticks onto the outside surface of any netbook.
T-Mobile Q2 2009
T-Mobile's US division took a minor blow on Thursday with word of muted results for its just-finished spring quarter. The cell carrier's growth slowed to add just 325,000 total customers, less than half the gains of 668,000 a year ago. Its churn rate, or the number of old customers replaced with new ones, also climbed from 1.9 percent in spring 2008 to 2.2 percent today. Most of the shortfall is pinned on a higher number of subscription customers leaving T-Mobile and fewer signing on.
Mac OS X Tiger updates
In parallel with the distribution of Mac OS X 10.5.8, Apple has posted four security updates for its last-generation operating system, Tiger. Two target PowerPC and Intel systems running the core OS. Similarly, the remaining updates address the PowerPC and Universal Binary codebases for Tiger Server.
Sony Party shot Dock
Sony this morning made camera docks more useful by introducing a first-of-its-kind automatic dock. The Party-shot uses the face and smile detection in the TX1 or WX1 to automatically follow subjects and compose shots, even tracking them in a 360-degree circle or at 24 degrees of tilt. Sony sees it as ideal for gatherings where stopping to compose a regular shot would disrupt the candid behavior of guests.
Samsung Reclaim at Sprint
Sprint today gave little time for rumors to spread by formally launching the Samsung Reclaim. The carrier's first turn at a green phone is made from 80 percent recyclable material and comes in suitably recyclable packaging. Similarly, the phone is free of toxic chemicals like BFR or PVC and abandons the paper manual in favor of a web version.
Logitech G500 and G330
Logitech on Thursday addressed its gamer audience with both a high-speed mouse and a headset. Replacing the long-serving G5, the G500 has a significantly faster laser and now tracks at up to 5,700DPI. On Windows PCs, drivers let users change the sensitivity on the spot in 100-unit increments to as little as 200DPI for slow but precise movements. It can further aid players by saving game input settings in memory and using removable weights to add as much as 27g of mass for those that like a heavier feel.
Sony TX1 WX1 Cameras
Sony this morning sought to fix one of the longer lasting problems of compact cameras by introducing two new models. The Cyber-shot TX1 and WX1 both switch from a usual CCD sensor to the CMOS technology more commonly seen in DSLR cameras; between this and moving illumination to the back, the cameras gain twice as much light sensitivity as others in their class. The approach helps them shoot in low light without needing to invoke flash or risking blur.
Hitachi 2TB 7200RPM HDD
Hitachi GST is now shipping its first 2TB, 7,200 RPM desktop hard drive. The fourth-generation Deskstar 7K2000 uses the company's proprietary five-platter design with relaxed bit density and perpendicular magnetic recording technology. The company is also refreshing its K1000.C Deskstar line, with capacities ranging from 160GB to 1TB.
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