An unnamed former Google employee claimed Friday night that Apple and Google have been in an unofficial but potentially anti-competitive agreement not to poach each other's employees. Supposedly confirmed for TechCrunch by multiple previous workers at the search engine firm, the practice hasn't been codified in writing but has been widely understood and practiced at both companies. Neither would try to directly recruit from the other, according to the tip.
Rumors of a Nokia 3G tablet for T-Mobile gained credibility today through an FCC entry for what may be that device. The posting shows a product likely too large to be a phone that uses the 1,700MHz AWS (Advanced Wireless Spectrum) band for its 3G, leaving only T-Mobile USA as the candidate for the hardware. Little else is shown about the device other than that its working RX-51 codename differs from the usual RM prefix given to Nokia handsets.
Astak on Friday announced its new 5-inch Pocket PRO eBook reader is now available for pre-order. The device supports more than 20 formats thanks in part to Adobe's permission to install Adobe Digital Editions firmware on the reader. This means users can now read DRM-protected PDF files in addition to public domain titles and copy-protected PDFs. Any non-copyrighted eBook from the Internet can be viewed, including public domain titles.
Jaikoz Audio Tagger 3.2 ($22) allows users to organize, edit and correct metadata stored within their audio files. The software currently supports Mp4, M4a, M4p, Mp3, Flac and OggVorbis files. Jaikoz uses a spreadsheet view to allow users to edit information quickly and provides many autoformatting features that do most of the work. In the latest release the auto-correcter has been modified to fix all of the categories for a song before moving to the next song. In previous releases the software would fix one category at a time for each song then move to the next category. A problem with decoding some artwork has also been fixed. [Download - 26.5MB]
Apple is ready to broadcast its first iPhone live stream of a concert event, debuting with the UK techno group Underworld playing at 9 p.m. from Oakland. AT&T has allegedly remained fairly quiet regarding the event, likely as a precaution to prevent network strain, according to NewTeeVee.
ASUS will release an Eee PC netbook later this year with Intel's Moblin Linux operating system, according to a Friday report from German website NetbookNews. The news is not official, but the site says it has a reliable source for the netbook, which is expected to come out in October. Moblin will not be preloaded on a new Eee PC, but an existing one, with many expecting it to appear on the slim Seashell line of Eee PCs.
Stealth Computer has recently released a new addition to its Notebook Warrior series of rugged notebook tablets with the NW-2000. Meant for outdoor use, it meets MIL-810F specifications for resistance to submersion in water, shock, sun and other hazards. The magnesium alloy chassis has weather-protected doors for all inputs and outputs, and the 13.3-inch sunlight-legible screen sports a 1280x800 resolution. Hooking up compatible external monitors lets users reproduce resolutions up to 2048x1536.
TechSmith has announced Camtasia for Mac, a utility that allows users to create screencasts, presentations, demonstrations or marketing materials. The software is capable of producing HD content, with options to present the material online or configured for iPods and iPhones.
Macgamestore.com is now shipping Scrabble Plus, which expands on the traditional boardgame with dual-board play and original modes. The title features three new modes: Scrabble Golf, in which players reach the green by stringing long words together; Scrabble Battle, a fight for territory; and Scrabble Wizard, an extra-challenging version that includes Clabbers.
Wireless provider Sprint announced on Friday that it has added the Motorola r765IS rugged handset to its lineup. The iDEN push-to-talk device is MIL Spec 810F rated, making it heavily resistant to submersion in water as well as exposure to dust, shock, solar radiation and temperature extremes. NextMail compatibility allows it to send voicemail as e-mail attachments, and it has built-in navigation capabilities thanks to integrated GPS. Emergency calling modes ensure callers can get through from nearly anywhere and at any time.
Sans Digital has announced it is adding new Xeon CPUs to its 1U 4-bay EN104L+XE servers. The EN104L line will get dual-core 1.86GHz CPUs with 2MB of cache and 2GB of DDR2 memory, allowing for over 100MBps of throughput over a single network connection. The improved processor will also allow for new features in the servers, like folder replication and snapshots.
Portable GPS device maker Garmin recently said its much-delayed nuvifone line, which was first announced in January of 2008, will be launched in the USA before year's end. A full advertising campaign will accompany the device. In a recent conference call with analysts, Garmin revealed the device is undergoing the final stages of testing with US carriers, though stopped short of naming the carriers.
Microsoft on Friday afternoon showed a construction photo of one of its first retail stores, simultaneously confirming its logo. Similar to the Apple stores the Windows developer hopes to replicate, the stores have art teasing the imminent opening and in this case show all of Microsoft's brands. Unusually, this includes the Bing search engine as well as the company's more tangible products, like Windows 7 and the Zune.
iSkin has launched new ProTouch keyboard protectors for the MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The skins come in three different forms: the Classic, FX and Vibes. Each is made of silicone and designed to prevent dust, food, liquids and hairs from affecting a keyboard, along with general wear. They can also be used to diminish typing noise, and make cleaning easier through handwashing.
AgfaPhoto recently announced the upcoming release of three new digital cameras, the Optima 1, Optima 102 and Optima 100. The Optima 1 sports a 12-megapixel sensor and can capture 1080p in addition to its full resolutionn. Users can choose from 28 different program functions that include face, smile and blink recognition. There is a 5x wide angle zoom lens that translates to a 35mm equivalent focal length of 28-140mm. A 2.7-inch LCD is used to frame photos or review existing photos and videos.
Harvest Moon Frantic Farming ($6) is described as an action/puzzle game where the players goal is to grow and harvest crops as fast as possible. The game features a Score Attack mode along with a Mission mode with 30 unique levels. As players progress through the levels they can unlock additional content such as classic Harvest Moon characters.
Lenovo's frequently delayed Ophone should arrive next month on China Mobile, a company spokesperson said today. It should now be called the Ophone O1 and is now confirmed by PC World to use China's government-endorsed TD-SCDMA standard for 3G as well as the Open Mobile System, an equally officially supported variant of Android. In the China Mobile guise, OMS will have custom e-mail and instant messaging apps and will have certain visual similarities to OS X iPhone.
Google is working on an alternative means of getting Google Voice to the iPhone, says the New York Times. A dedicated application was recently rejected from the App Store for unspecified reasons, though suspicions immediately turned to pressure from AT&T. The carrier has since tried to counter suggestions that it opposed the cheaper SMS and long-distance options Voice may provide.
Dell today in a low-key move shrunk its Inspiron Mini netbook line by dropping the Mini 12. The Texas PC builder hasn't explained the decision but now just leaves the Mini 10 as its lone netbook. It follows shortly after Dell's cancellation of the Mini 9, its first netbook introduced late last year.
ASUS, Dell, HP and MSI will soon release a wave of new tablet netbooks, according to industry sources in a Friday DigiTimes report. The first is expected to come from MSI at the start of 2010 in the form of a 10-inch tablet, with an HP-branded and Inventec-built netbook due in April or May. They are both expected to run on Intel's upcoming Pine Trail-M platform. While no new details were unveiled about a Dell netbook tablet, a 5-inch device was rumored from the company recently.
The next revision of Apple's iMac should bring at least a pair of much sought-after features, a teaser rumor puts forward. A veteran source for AppleInsider claims that at least two often-requested features should make it into the next revision. One vague claim says the all-in-one will address a 'wish-list' feature, but another is purported to address the semi-pro audio and visual editing segment.
iOrgSoft has released its latest file conversion utility, FCE Converter. The software is capable of converting a wide range of file types into formats supported by Final Cut Express. Users can import MPG, AVI, WMV, 3GP, MP4, FLV, MKV, RMVB, RM, TOD, MOD, ASF and VOB formats. Videos are then exported to Final Cut Express DV, HDV or AVCHD.
New information has is reported to have leaked on three HTC phones: the Whitestone, the Mega and the Tachi. The Whitestone is believed to be a Verizon version of the Touch Diamond 2, but significantly altered. Specifications are said to include a larger 3.6-inch WVGA touchscreen, as well as "world phone" support through GSM and CDMA receivers. Driving the device is a 528MHz processor, paired with 256MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM; GPS and a five-megapixel autofocus camera should carry over from other Diamond 2s.
The HTC Fiesta handset, which has already been billed as coming with Google's Android operating system, was unofficially confirmed recently as a user agent profile for the device has been spotted on HTC's website. Other specs of the handset remain unknown, but the leak indicates the device will be offered by AT&T and may represent the carrier's first Android handset.
The iPhone has finally been confirmed for a Korean introduction through the local carrier KT, according to Telecoms Korea. A separate company, SK Telecom, also claims to have been involved in talks with Apple. It remains unclear, however, if Apple plans to offer the smartphone through multiple carriers instead of establishing an exclusive deal.
Game maker Mad Monkey Studio has announced plans to go into iPhone development. The company has in the past worked on minor titles for multiple platforms, including the PS2, Wii and DS. In terms of the iPhone, however, development will exclusively target the iPhone 3GS, as a result of the performance difference over the 3G. A demonstration video shows a 3D flythrough running four times faster on a 3GS. No other project details have been announced.
A new leak Friday afternoon suggests that Motorola's Android phones will ship with a radically different user interface. Nicknamed "Blur," it would borrow conceptually from Palm's webOS and merge both personal contacts and social networking into a unified front end. It would also have a unique device ID system that would streamline pushing data by allowing both social network updates and individual Android components to be updated quickly and over the air.
Radio Shack is planning to kick off its rebranding to The Shack with the first planned price drop for the Palm Pre. Unlike Best Buy's accidental price cut last weekend, an internal memo shows the smartphone temporarily dropping to $150 for new Sprint subscribers beginning today and ending on Sunday. The deal needs at least a $70 Everything Data plan or higher.
Bell on Thursday said it had signed its first-ever roaming deal with AT&T and may have dropped further clues of an early launch for its HSPA-based 3G network. The agreement will let the Canadian provider's customers use AT&T's network when traveling to the US and, reciprocally, will let Americans use Bell's upcoming network. AT&T has until now been limited to roaming deals with Rogers due to the absence of any other compatible networks in the country.
Kroll Ontrack has unveiled a new Apple-based Data Recovery Portal. The service recovers lost or damaged data for operating systems, servers, applications, files, and iPhones and iPods. The portal is specifically targeted at Apple Service Providers, permitting customers to retrieve information from anywhere in the world.
Redcort has released the 2009 Basic edition of Virtual TimeClock, used to manage worker time and attendance. The updated software filters employee lists by active status, and provides timecard report previews within the Report Writer window. Also new is manual data backup in the TimeClock Server Backup settings panel.
A North American release date, albeit unofficial, has been outed for Nokia's high-end N86 8MP handset. The device was confirmed for sale in the US last month, and a new TheNokiaBlog claim says the black N86 will be available on August 22nd with a $499 price point. The price is some $59 less than the pre-order pricing Nokia has posted on its own website.
Optoma has claimed to raise the stakes for front projectors in releasing the HD20. The DLP-based unit is one of the first ever to produce a 1080p image at just below $1,000 ($999) and gives a way for both computer users and home theaters to view a much larger image, up to 120 inches across, without losing detail. Image quality isn't believed to take a blow as the HD20 still musters a 4,000:1 contrast ratio and 1,700 lumens of brightness.
A v4 upgrade has been released for Conjure, an organizational utility. The software creates flowcharts and similar mental diagrams, in order to structure a user's thoughts. The latest version has been released as a 64-bit application, and fixes all known bugs from v3. The update also enhances the majority of the program's tools, as well as iChat Theatre support.
Advances in TDK's hard drive technology could lead to another large boost in the capacity of hard drives within a few months, a roadmap presented this week shows. The storage firm is currently going through qualification tests of 640GB drive platters that would fit into a typical 3.5-inch drive and so would allow significantly more storage than existing 2TB drives from Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital. A premium but commonplace four-platter drive could hold just over 2.5TB of data.
Apple's rumored tablet device is real, but it should not be expected to have the financial impact of something like the iPhone, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The tablet is claimed to have been verified through talk with an Asian component supplier. Munster's predictions, though, hold that it will ship in 2010 instead of 2009, and only start pushing Apple growth in 2011.
Samsung on Thursday hinted that the company will compete on price with its future Android smartphones. While discussing the Reclaim for Sprint, Samsung product manager Casey Ryan mentioned to the New York Times that touchscreen Android phones due next year should be available for "well under" $100, or less than half the asking price for a myTouch 3G. He didn't say what features these phones would have and how much if at all they would be scaled back compared to current Android phones.
Sharp Japan on Friday announced it has added five new HDTVs as part of its AQUOS DX2 lineup, with all sporting built-in Blu-ray disc recorders that are claimed to fit seven times more recorded content on them than a traditional Blu-ray disc without sacrificing picture quality. The new LCD HDTVs are available in 26-, 32-, 40-, 46- and 52-inch sizes, with the top three models sporting 1080p, 15,000:1 contrast ratios and 3 HDMI inputs, while the 26- and 32-inch models make do with 720p resolution, 7,000:1 contrast ratios and 2 HDMI inputs each.
As promised, Orange France today began selling the GD910 watch phone. Still the first phone of its type to use 3G calling and data, the device still functions as a world clock and stopwatch but, through a touchscreen, can perform both the usual calling and messaging as well as handle music playback and take VGA-sized photos. Bluetooth is instrumental to the GD910; it comes with a designer headset for calls and supports optional Bluetooth stereo headphones.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt declined to take normal pay during his tenure on the Apple board of directors, according to SEC documents. Apple proxy filings submitted between 2007 and 2009 show that Schmidt took home only $8,712 in Apple products, plus a "commemorative gift" worth $7,580. To compensate for tax penalties on the gift, he was given another $14,631.
Samsung on Friday bowed a new high-end touchscreen media player aimed at the same high-end audience as the iPod touch. Although Internet access doesn't appear to be a feature, the YP-M1 is the first dedicated player to use NVIDIA's Tegra processor. The chipset both provides hardware decoding for playing back videos and also speeds up the unique widget-driven interface that lets users see settings at a glance.
Dell today has quietly put out three desktop LCDs aimed mostly at the entry level, two of which are known to be ready for the US. Heading the range, the ST2310 is meant most for the home with Dell's newer, rounded design, a 23-inch 1080p panel and HDMI in addition to both DVI and VGA. A 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio also helps its relative image quality. The LCD ships from Dell for $229.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R