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|MacUpdate Weekend Sale||:This weekend MacUpdate has slashed prices on Painter 12 and Painter Lite. Painter 12 retails for $429, but has been reduced by 54% to $199. Painter Lite has seen a 58% price cut from $69 to $29. Hurry, because these deals are only available until May 19th 2013.|
Boris FX Motion Tracker
Boris FX has released its latest Final Cut plug-in package, Motion Tracker. The tools are geared for video editing effects involving movement. The included Corner Pin module allows users to add graphics and pin them to moving objects in the video. Match Move works in a similar manner by locking onto movement, while adding the ability to integrate a second image clip.
FontXChange 2.0 ships
Morrison SoftDesign has introduced v2.0 of FontXChange, a utility that can convert fonts to OpenType, PostScript Type 1 and TrueType. The update includes new folder naming options, file naming options and the ability to change display names of fonts in application font menus. Version 2.0 also improves support for complex contours in Type 1 fonts, previewing different font formats, and for the UniqueID field of the Name table.
ASUS ranked most reliable
ASUS PCs held the top rank in the second-quarter RESCUECOM Computer Reliability Report, a comparison between the required maintenance for a variety of computer brands. The ASUS Eee PC, released eight months ago, made a significant impact on the company's reliability scores and market share. The report relates the percentage of computers each company shipped to the number of calls to the RESCUECOM repair hotline over a three month period.
Facebook 3.0 screenshots
Screenshots of Facebook for iPhone 3.0 have been released by Joe Hewitt, the application's developer, according to appadvice. The application allows users to manage their Facebook account from their iPhone or iPod touch. The latest version offers a remodeled News Feed, matching it with the user's online preferences to eliminate posts from hidden accounts. The application adds the Like tool, featured on the traditional Facebook site, while allowing users to access Event pages.
Apple wins six patents
Apple has been granted six new patents, including an iChat filing and several submissions involving product design. The iChat video patent, titled “Digital image coding system having self-adjusting selection criteria for selecting a transform function," relates to coding digital video images and reducing loss of image information by adjusting parameters in the coding process.
250GB PS3 Slim on its way
An FCC filing indicates that Sony has created a 250GB variant of the recently-announced PS3 Slim. Despite efforts to conceal the company name as "Sand Dollar Enterprise, Inc." and the product as a "Computer Entertainment System," the documents were still spotted by PS3 News.
Mailsmith 2.2 released
Bare Bones on Tuesday transferred ownership of its flagship application, Mailsmith, to Stickshift, a company owned by Bare Bones founder and CEO, Rich Siegel. The owner stated that Stickshift has been created with the sole purpose of managing Mailsmith. The application is an Internet e-mail client that offers filtering, searching, editing and scripting capabilities. Along with the change of ownership, Stickshift has released v2.2 of Mailsmith. The software is now compatible with Snow Leopard, while the mail storage formatting has been changed.
Rowmote Pro 2.0 released
Regular Rate and Rhythm has released v2.0 of its Rowmote Pro iPhone app. The software utilizes an iPhone or iPod touch to control a Mac and Apple TV, similarly to Apple's hardware remote. The latest version adds direct control over Elgato EyeTV, mPlayer, Safari, Songbird, and equinux The Tube. The update also improves the control speed of the keyboard and mouse.
Microsoft on Word ruling
Microsoft has filed a motion to avoid execution of the recent court judgment prohibiting the company from selling its Word software without code modifications. The motion is sealed, however, so the exact details have not been publicly disclosed.
Students favoring netbooks
The still-growing popularity of netbooks has likely robbed Apple much of its target audience for back-to-school Mac sales this year, a study from Retrevo found on Tuesday. Just over a third of notebook-buying college students, or 34 percent, plan to buy a netbook from any make for their return to class. About 49 percent of the total also specifically plan to buy a regular Windows notebook, leaving just 17 percent either buying a Mac or uncertain about what they will buy.
RIM Fastest Growing Firm
Research in Motion triggered a surprise in business today when it topped the list of the 100 fastest-growing companies on Earth. The originator of the BlackBerry outpaced others based both on its sheer revenue, which topped $11 billion in the past 12 months, as well as the balance of its growth: revenue grew 77 percent in the past three years, and its earnings per share grew 84 percent. Fortune credits the lead to RIM's push into home smartphone users, who helped the BlackBerry Curve outsell the iPhone this spring.
Rocket Golf ($1) is a golf game which features 2D, side-scrolling gameplay and 3D graphics. The game includes two different courses consisting of 36 playable holes with challengin terrain such as water hazards, sand traps, and variable wind. Users can choose to play the full course, the front or back nine, or practice on any hole. Rocket Golf also allows up to four players to compete on one device.
Claro Layout for InDesign
Elpical has introduced Claro Layout, a plug-in for InDesign that provides tools for image enhancement and correction. The utility automatically runs quality analysis and then makes the necessary adjustments. Users can integrate RGB images during layout, and then optimize the content without leaving InDesign.
50M iPhones by 2011?
Apple has the potential to start selling over 50 million iPhones a year by FY11, argues Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. Simply through a projected 27 percent growth of the smartphone market in both 2010 and 2011, says the analyst, Apple may gain 10.3 million more in sales, assuming the current marketshare holds. The company is currently expected to sell 20 million phones by the end of FY09, which arrives in September.
Qtrax outs music downloads
Qtrax recently announced that its free and legal music download service will soon launch, naming October 28th as the launch date in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. A launch in the US, Canada and the UK will happen before year's end, Qtrax informs, while the rest of the world will get the service within the first half of 2010. The reason for the initial Asia launch is because of the region's record Internet user growth and specifically the ratio of Internet users downloading music, which is more than double that of the US.
Sony intros new head units
Sony on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of four new Xplod in-dash CD Receivers. All four new head units are compatible with the Radio Data System (RDS) technology, allowing compatible FM radio stations to send artist and song information, which is then displayed on the head unit's display. The two higher-end models are the CDX-GT640UI and the CDX-GT540UI receivers, both of which have a USB input and auxiliary input on their front face which allows users to fully integrate and charge connected compatible iPods and iPhones as well as portable audio players.
HTC confirms Hero update
Phone maker HTC will soon release an update for its Android-powered Hero handset, says a Tuesday SlashGear report, which owners will be able to download via the company's support site. Exactly what the update will bring remains unknown, but faster performance is expected, since many owners are complaining of slowdowns in the Sense UI.
Lenovo Q110 Q700 D400
Lenovo this afternoon put an end to speculation and launched its IdeaCentre Q series of mini desktops as well as its first Windows Home Server. The Q110 is Lenovo's first home nettop and gets NVIDIA's Ion chipset, giving it enough power to decode 1080p in hardware as well as render reasonably modern 3D as well as accelerate some heavily optimized tasks like video encoding. Its other specs aren't known but involve HD video output and should be based on an Intel Atom chip at its $349 price.
CEO Premiere+ case
Marware has launched the CEO Premiere+, an environmentally-themed holster case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The case is made of primarily out of "eco-leather," an RoHS-compliant leather produced with a minimal use of harmful tanning chemicals and dyes. A separate hard-shell case can be used in conjunction.
SecuritySpy 2.0 released
Ben Software has released v2.0 of its surveillance utility, SecuritySpy. The application is used to manage surveillance cameras, and catalog recorded security footage. The latest version includes support for audio recording from Axis and Panasonic network cameras, along with Axis video servers. The update also uses OpenGL graphics acceleration, and can play audio back in real-time.
1U TeraStation III NAS
Buffalo Technology on Tuesday announced its latest storage product, the rackmount TeraStation III, aimed at small- to medium-size businesses. The network device is built on the same platform as the company's standalone TeraStation III, with support for hot swapping, replication, NFS, Active Directory and Time Machine backup. Users can configure the drives in RAID arrays or apply disk encryption for sensitive data.
iPhoto 8.1 update
Apple has produced a minor update for iPhoto, the photo editing and management utility included with iLife. The v8.1 patch is a minor one, introducing new print options such as an order for a 10x13-inch hardcover book. Three new book themes are present as well, including Asian, Old World and Tropical.
Acer Veriton N260G nettop
Acer on Tuesday announced it will soon begin shipping its new Veriton N260G ultra-compact nettop in the US. Meant for use in classrooms or tightly-spaced offices, it can be VESA-mounted to the back of an LCD display or placed right on desks thanks to its retractable stand. Power comes from Intel's 1.66GHz Atom, 1GB of standard memory that can be doubled, Intel's GMA 4500M graphics and a 160GB hard drive that contains Windows XP Professional, although a recovery disc with Windows Vista Business is included.
PSP Go 15 Games to Start
The PSP Go's launch October 1st will come with easily downloadable small games to match, Sony said during its Gamescom expo keynote. Known as Minis, the titles will be capped at 100MB or less to make them quick downloads over Wi-Fi and are similarly meant to encourage smaller, more independent developers to produce titles that don't have to compete on the same field as full-fledged PSP titles. Prices and other details weren't made public, but up to 50 games should be ready by the end of the year.
Slim PS3 Official
Sony today confirmed the existence of the slim PlayStation 3. The new console is built on smaller, cooler Cell and RSX processors and as a result shrinks in size by exactly a third and sheds 36 percent of its weight. It further gets a larger 120GB hard drive without sacrificing the existing features of the PS3, including Blu-ray, two USB ports and built-in Wi-Fi.
StandHear travel stand
Agent18 had released the StandHear travel stand, an accessory for iPhones and iPods. The product can be folded into a more portable size, capable of fitting into a pocket. It also includes a built-in headphone splitter, letting multiple users hear audio at the same time without sharing a headset.
PS3 3 Firmware
Sony at its Gamescom keynote today expanded some of its non-gaming services with the more formal launch of the 3.0 firmware for the PlayStation 3. The new update has a much improved interface that provides quicker access to the news section (now known as "What's New") as well as to shortcuts to the latest games and other downloads without having to leave the regular XMB front end. Users can also now see messages from friends directly from their profiles instead of having to burrow deeper into the system.
iHome iHMP5 headphones
iHome has released a set of full-ear headphones that sport an integrated in-line amplifier and can be converted into portable speakers rather than strictly operating in a private mode. The iHMP5 set includes a battery-powered, louder amplifier when users want to set it up in speaker mode while still providing a reduced amount of power at all times for regular headphone use. The 50mm (nearly 2 inches) drivers deliver the sound, and there is a volume control clip.
New Garmin GPS units
Garmin has let slip more details on three upcoming nuvi GPS units, beginning with the 1690. The model is described as having a 4.3-inch WVGA display, along with North America maps, text-to-speech conversion, and Bluetooth support for hands-free phone calls. The centerpiece is an EDGE data connection, which can retrieve data relating to traffic, flights, weather, fuel costs, movie times and local Google searches.
MPEG LA sues Haier
Key digital video architect MPEG LA has filed a lawsuit against Haier America for allegedly infringing on patents it holds for technology used in digital TVs. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and maintains Haier's TVs in the US are sold without the needed patent licenses for the country.
Qwest to quit wireless
Qwest announced it plans to no longer provide wireless services by October 31st, according to statements by the company (subscription required). Qwest will begin notifying its customers soon, telling them they have 60 days to find a new provider, but will not charge early termination fees for those still in mid-contract. The provider had piggybacked onto Verizon's network to provide its wireless voice services, and announced in July that more than 75 percent of its wireless business was on Verizon Wireless network by the end of the second quarter.
RBC on AAPL PALM RIM
Three American firms are ultimately going to take control of the smartphone business, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky said today in a research note. He believes that Apple, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and eventually Palm are all "positioned for leadership" and should command the smartphone market when it reaches 35 percent of all phones, or over 500 million smartphones, by 2012. They represent the few companies that properly integrate the hardware and software from top to bottom, according to the analyst.
Easy Currencies, Money
Pear Note 1.3 ($40) is a note taking application that can record audio and video while a user is taking notes. All activities during a session are recorded including audio, video, user actions, keystrokes and slide changes, which are then placed on a timeline which can be replayed. Version 1.3 includes a new Quick List feature that can be used to quickly add lists and outlines to Pear Note Documents. A Highlighting feature has also been added along with a preference for setting the default font. [Download - 3.2MB]
Apple and iPhone Mail bug
Apple is already fully aware of a critical security flaw in the iPhone Mail client, according to an inside source. The source claims to have proof of the fact, and suggests that Apple will probably fix it with the release of the iPhone 3.1 firmware. Temporary remedies may including rebooting a phone, loading messages several times, or simply waiting long enough.
Palm Takes Paid App Submit
Palm on Tuesday began accepting developer submisssions of paid apps to the Palm App Catalog. The move follows a month after the smartphone creator opened its SDK to all developers and will give developers a similar deal to what Apple has struck for its iPhone App Store or Microsoft for its Windows Marketplace for Mobile. While free apps are still an option, Palm will take only a 30 percent flat cut of the revenue from any paid app regardless of the number of copies sold.
Exploding iPhone reports
Apple is looking into media stories of one or more exploding iPhones in Europe, according to European Commission spokeswoman Helen Kearns. Reuters notes that in in France, a teenager says he was injured when his iPhone shattered, shortly after it began making a hissing noise. Although Apple has only stated that it is waiting for the damaged phones before making a judgment, it is noted to be in contact with the Commission.
Rogers 50Mbps Live
Rogers this morning switched on its promised 50Mbps Ultimate tier of cable Internet service. The $150 monthly DOCSIS 3.0-based service is the fastest outside of Quebec and is now known to have the largest transfer cap: increasing it from the initially proposed 120GB, the provider now gives users up to 175GB of data in either direction before overage fees start. Unlike some providers, Rogers caps its overage fees at $25 extra per month.
iTunes now 25p of US Music
Exactly one quarter of all music sold in the US now comes from iTunes, the NPD Group said today. Its portion of the market for the first half of 2009 is up from 21 percent in 2008 and represents 69 percent of the digital-only market. By comparison, Walmart now has just 14 percent of all music while Best Buy claims third place with an unspecified amount. In digital, Amazon MP3 is a distant second with just 8 percent of the market.
Blockbuster on Motorolas
Blockbuster today said will soon offer its online video content on next-generation Motorola handsets via an OnDemand application. Some future handsets will have the ability to download the movies from Blockbuster, which marks the first time Blockbuster has offered its service on cellphones. Users will have access to "thousands" of titles offered by Blockbuster, including movies and TV shows. Technical details as well as timelines have not yet been made available, nor how much movies will cost.
Sony Altus Wireless Audio
Sony launched a new rang of bookshelf audio systems specifically meant for Best Buy. The Altus line is all built on Sony's S-AIR wireless system and is designed for multi-room audio as well as simply reducing the number of wires. Topping the range are two systems intended for iPhones and iPods: the ALT-SA31iR includes both a central dock for an Apple device as well as two wireless speakers, each with their own remote controls and on-speaker buttons. The AIR-SW10Ti has just one speaker that itself has the iPhone or iPod dock but has a wireless subwoofer and puts out a total 60W of sustained power.
Apple leads consumer index
Apple continues to hold first place in tracking conducted by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, says Fortune. The company has scored 84 out of 100 in a 2009 study, leaving it in a dominant position over rival computer builders. It has also dropped a point since 2008 however, when it achieved its highest-ever score.
Samsung Bluetooth headsets
Samsung Mobile on Tuesday released a trio of Bluetooth headsets, including the WEP870, the WEP850 and the WEP470. The high-end WEP870 is a noise-canceling Bluetooth mono headset with music streaming capabilities. It can be paired with up to two Bluetooth handsets at the same time, and can be worn on either ear. It also ships with a stereo earbud lanyard that places the WEP870 around a user's neck, with the dual microphone pointed toward the mouth, still allowing for phone conversations.
WD TV Mini Media Hub
Western Digital shrunk its media hub today and produced the WD TV Mini, a new extra-small version of its earlier media sharing device. The set-top box omits HDMI output but now measures just 3.6 inches square and 0.8 inches deep while still capable of playing 1080i video depending on the codec. RealVideo format support is equally new and complements the existing MPEG-1/2/4, VOB and XviD formats.
Dell Inspiron 11z
With little fanfare, Dell this morning has launched its first notebook based on Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) platform. The Inspiron 11z costs as much as a netbook but uses an ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Celeron that Dell estimates is about 40 percent faster than a 1.6GHz Atom. It also has a larger 11.6-inch, 1366x768 screen and faster GS45 integrated graphics, but isn't tangibly bulkier at about 1 inch thick and just over 3 pounds in weight.
MSI First with Pine Trail
MSI plans to preempt the rest of the market by launching the first netbooks based on Intel's Pine Trail Atom platform, according to PC industry tips. Still maintaining that the smaller, much more integrated processors may not be officially ready until early 2010, DigiTimes has heard that MSI intends to ship portables in December rather than wait for the rest of the market. The lead time would let it avoid competing on price for weeks or more.
Casio Exilim Z450 and Z90
Casio this morning upgraded its Exilim Zoom compacts with two new models that focus on software, not hardware. The EX-Z450 and EX-Z90 both have an Intelligent AF addition that can recognize many objects in a scene, not just humans, and automatically tune both focus and exposure to capture what it believes is the right subject. They also have a new Dynamic Photo compositing mode that can cut out a moving subject and put it in another shot by taking a single photo with a solid-hued background.
FYE and Kmart PS3 Slim Ads
(Update with Kmart pre-order info) A pair of ads uncovered overnight have all but confirmed Sony's plans to launch a slim, low cost PlayStation 3 later today at the gamescom expo in Germany. A visit to the Kmart front page now shows a banner claiming "the rumors are reality" and tout both a lowered price for the PS3 as well as a "new exciting" model. Simultaneously, a poster received in advance at retailer FYE shows the prices on 80GB and 160GB PS3s each dropping by $100 to $300 and $400 respectively, but only "while supplies last."
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