Canadians have been receiving an early North American look at the first 11.6-inch Acer and Gateway notebooks to use Intel's CULV platform thanks to a model that has been spotted this week by an Electronista tipster at Future Shop stores in the country. Known as the Gateway EC1803h, the PC seems to be a rebranding and mild respecification of the Acer Timeline 1810T (Aspire 1410 in the US) that isn't yet on sale in North America and shares much of its design language with Gateway's own LT3100. The new model shares the Aspire/Timeline's 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo and GMA 4500 graphics, and in its single trim level comes with 3GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive as well as expected features like its 6-cell battery, HDMI output and 5-in-1 card reader.
Apple may be on the verge of shipping its Mac OS X Snow Leopard, if one user's claims of receiving an install of next of the next-generation operating system with his Mac Mini are to be believed. The user claims to have received the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard install DVD, then next version of Apple's operating system, when he purchased his Mac Mini in Japan. First noted by the Japanese version of Engadget, the photos and screenshots apparently confirm various slip-ups by Apple indicating that Snow Leopard is ready to ship very soon -- perhaps as early as next week.
Tiffen has launched an update to its Dfx Digital Filter Creative Effects software for the iPhone and iPod touch, Photo Fx 2.0. The new version now brings the program up-to 61 filters which are organized within eight different filter groups, and offers a total of 615 presets. Photo Fx 2.0 allows users to enhance images that have been taken or stored on their mobile device, and saves a non destructive copy of the image so users can customize the photos as much as they want without overwriting the original image.
Mark/Space has launched an update to its iPhone sync software, The Missing Sync for iPhone 2.0.3. The update adds the ability to create ringtones for the iPhone by using a built-in ringtone editor. By simply selecting a song from the iTunes music library and placing it in the editor, users can trim and name their customized ringtone, which is then automatically added to iTunes and ready for transferring onto the iPhone the next time a sync is initiated.
Sennheiser has expanded its line of full-sized HD headphones with the release of the HD 428, HD 438 and HD 448. The latter of the new releases offers the highest-quality sound of the group, while the HD 438 features a more natural sound. The HD 428 provides better lower frequency quality and is intended for bass response. Each model utilizes a gold-plated quarter-inch stereo adapter and a closed-back, around-the-ear design to insulate the sound.
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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