Dell's quarterly profit decreased 23 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. The decline is likely due to the depressed corporate spending and the lower price of PCs caused by the current economic downturn. This is the forth consecutive quarter in which the computer maker posted a drop in profit when compared to the previous year's amounts.
A dissatisfied iPhone user believes Apple and AT&T have violated laws against misleading trade practices surrounding the unsuccessful launch of MMS messaging. Deborah Carr filled a lawsuit against the two companies on Wednesday, referencing various Apple and AT&T support documents that discuss MMS messaging. The court filing acknowledges a disclaimer by Apple that states MMS messaging would not be available until the end of the summer, but suggests the disclaimer is written in an extremely small font that is nearly impossible to read.
Japanese researchers today revealed that they have developed a crack that can break WPA (Wireless Protected Access) encryption on a Wi-Fi network within a minute. Kobe University's Masakatu Morii and Hiroshima University's Toshihiro Ohigashi together developed a practical attack that exploits a vulnerability in the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol, or TKIP, that underlines WPA. While not providing full details of the attack for security reasons, the new approach is much faster than a previous technique that took between 12 and 15 minutes to expose the network.
Facebook has released v3.0 of the iPhone version of its social networking website. The application allows users to communicate with each other by sharing written information, pictures and videos online. The latest version supports the iPhones landscape mode and enables users to view upcoming events and RSVP. Users can additionally view friends' birthdays and Pages, as well as post updates, photographs and videos directly from the iPhone 3GS.
Coda 1.6.5 ($100) is a one-window website development application. The software features an integrated file browser, CSS editor, and built-in terminal. The latest version adds support for D-Style strings in Ruby files and will attempt to recover remotely-edited files if the application crashes. The update also fixes various bugs and boasts Support for Mac OS X Snow Leopard. [Download - 20.7MB]
Amazon Germany today renewed talk of a new high-end Xbox 360 by posting a listing for an Elite with a 250GB hard drive. The system's 280 Euro ($400) price lines up with that of the Elite before the recent price cut and also bundles in an extra wireless gamepad as well as the as-yet unreleased Forza Motorsport 3. No clues are included as to the release date or whether there are any other significant changes, though a hardware update isn't likely besides the added storage.
In Brief: Neat is running a promotion that drops the price of the portable NeatReceipts scanner down to $99. Softpress is currently offering a free copy of Snow Leopard for any customers purchasing the company's Freeway software, while MyService includes a free copy of the Mac upgrade with any MacBook hard drive upgrade. Meanwhile, Joe Kissel has released two new e-books that provide help for users upgrading to Snow Leopard and using the new operating system.
Apple has released v2.1.4 of its post-production photo utility, Aperture. The application is used to import, edit catalog, organize, retouch, publish, and archive images. The latest version fixes various issues involving import, web publishing, and the creation and ordering of books. The update addresses problems from the previous version that prevented the app from properly detecting and filtering duplicate photos and caused JPEG images to be compressed when uploading photos to MobileMe.
gScreen has previewed its upcoming Spacebook notebooks featuring dual 15.4-inch displays, according to Gizmodo. The device integrates two full-size screens that sit side-by-side when needed, while users can also slide the displays together to view a single screen. The chassis is also built around a 15.4-inch design, but with significantly more bulk necessitated by the displays and sliding mechanism.
Microsoft on Thursday announced a software developer kit (SDK) to integrate the company's Bing search engine onto iPhone or Mac apps. The SDK allows developers to query Bing from within their Cocoa or Cocoa Touch applications, with support for both synchronous and asynchronous queries. Users can search Bing for web links, images, videos, news or phonebook results.
Now Software has released the first two modules for its newly released Now X, Now Up-To-Date X and Now Contact X. The contact and calendar clients are improvements on the calendar and contact management features originally created for Now Up-to-Date and Contact. The modules are used to manage a user's calendar and contacts and can import and sync information from iCal and Address Book. The application can additionally import data from iCalendar and vCard.
Microsoft plans to herald the October 22nd launch of Windows 7 with multiple special event, the company confirmed today in an invitation sent to the press. A New York City gathering will lead the events and should include an appearance by company CEO Steve Ballmer. Smaller events are also planned for elsewhere in the US and likely other countries, though what these would involve wasn't detailed in the invitation.
Hitachi has announced several new plasma and LCD televisions to be released in the coming months, the P-XP035 Series and the L-XP035 Series. Both televisions feature a 500GB internal HDD, an iVDR slot and DLNA support, while an light sensor is used to automatically adjust the display brightness to suit the ambient lighting. The devices support 1080p video signals which can be recorded directly onto the internal hard drive.
Flick Fishing ($1) is a fishing game for the iPhone and iPod touch in which players flick their wrist to cast a fishing line and reel it in. The game features seven different locations in which to fish, from streams to oceans, and 14 tournaments for competition. Also includes is a multiplayer game, Fish Jack, where players try to catch fish up to a given target weight without exceeding it. A recent update has added two new fish, iPod integration, and integration with Plus+'s set of social and competitive achievements.
A leaked Best Buy inventory screen capture reveals the HTC Hero for Sprint will be offered as a pre-order on September 13th, BGR reported on Thursday. While this is still not the release date for the Android-powered smartphone, it does give an indication of when users can expect to see the handset in store, as pre-orders usually start a few weeks ahead of an official release date.
PC makers Dell and HP have joined Microsoft in its fight against i4i, a Canadian software developer that was responsible for an injunction of sales of the Microsoft Word. Dell and HP are among Microsoft's biggest customers, and are helping Microsoft to overturn the injunction in front of an Eastern District Court of Texas judge. In a brief that was joined by HP, Dell asked the judge to reconsider its order or at least delay the injunction by 120 days. The injunction is scheduled to take place in mid-October.
A regional commercial director for Apple will meet with France's consumer affairs minister on Friday, Reuters reports. The pair are set to discuss a series of incidents, in which the touchscreens on several iPhones allegedly shattered with no obvious cause. At least two such cases have been confirmed, which in both circumstances injured device owners with flying glass.
TextSoap 6.3 ($28 until Sept.9th, $40 reg.) is a text processing utility that uses find and replace commands not only to change words, but also copy formatting throughout a document. Along with a full features text editor, TextSoap also integrates with popular applications such as Apple Mail, TextEdit, MS Word, Coda and more. The new update includes support for Snow Leopard and also now uses the Automator framework, which should result in improved performance. A new scripting command has also been added which can convert clipboard contents to plain text. [Download - 5.0MB]
Webcam, DJ equipment and speaker maker Hercules on Thursday introduced its latest webcam for notebooks, the Dualpix HD720p. As the name suggests, the webcam supports 720p resolution high-definition videos. The camera has a built-in microphone and a mount that can rotate on two axes rotate to reach numerous positions. The wide-angle autofocus lens has a 3x zoom, and automatically detects orientation at start up. Further adjustments during chat sessions can be made using the included software.
Sharp Japan today launched a new entry into ultra mobile PCs with the PC-Z1, otherwise known as the NetWalker. Unlike most UMPCs that are based on either Windows or custom Linux versions, the PC-Z1 uses Ubuntu Linux 9.04 as its platform. Processing is handled by Freescale's i.MX515 800MHz CPU, there is 512MB of RAM and just 4GB of internal memory, though a microSDHC memory card slot lets users expand it by another 16GB. Users interact through a 5-inch, 1024x600 resolution touchscreen and the device is also light at under 1lb. The very small form factor makes the device ultra-portable, while a built-in Wi-Fi connection lets them access the Internet from these remote locations.
The launch of the Israeli iPhone continues to be beset by problems, a regional website notes. Although Apple has signed deals with carriers Orange, Cellcom and Pelephone, iSpot notes that the device is not yet available in the country. The release date has in fact been delayed twice, and is now only scheduled for October. Carriers are each being required to sell 100,000 iPhones per year, for a duration of three years.
The successor to Toshiba's 1GHz TG01, the TG02, has once again made the news, with a certification document (PDF) from the Wi-Fi Alliance website. While many details aren't available, it's believed the TG02 will retain the TG01's touchscreen candybar form factor, as revealed by leaked photos earlier this year. These also had it keeping the same 4.1-inch touchscreen, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi of the older phone but with Windows Mobile 6.5.
An Apple manager, Maciej Stachowiak, has been appointed co-chairman of the HTML standardization group, according to CNET News. The HTML Working Group, a division of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), had previously been chaired by Sam Ruby of IBM and Chris Wilson from Microsoft. Ruby will stay on board, while Stachowiak and Paul Cotton, another Microsoft employee, will serve as the additional co-chairs.
Apple today said it has approved Spotify's iPhone app. A spokesperson for the company made the rare statement ahead of the app's appearance for paidContent in what's seen as a bid to prevent accusations of anti-competitive behavior regarding the app, which will need a 10 Euro (roughly $14) monthly premium subscription but which will give unlimited streaming of music over both Wi-Fi and on iPhones using 3G. It's unclear when the app will actually appear but is expected only in countries where Spotify is already available on computers, such as the UK or Spain.
Altec Lansing on Thursday announced the release of its new Expressionist Ultra computer speaker system composed of two multi-driver desktop speakers and a subwoofer, as well as the MIX Boombox, which sports a built-in iPod dock. The Expressionist Ultra speakers have 200W RMS of power from individual amplifiers split between the two 3-inch drivers, 1-inch neodymium dome tweeters and a 6.5-inch subwoofer.
Iomega on Thursday announced the release of its quad-drive desktop Network Attached Storage device, StorCenter ix4-200d. It allows quick and easy setup, which is key in the target market, as it requires no supervision by decoted IT staff. The ix4-200d is available in 2TB, 4TB and 8TB capacities and comes with EMC's LifeLine software, which is fully compatible with Windows and Linux PCs as well as Macs.
nova media has launched the GlobeSurfer X.1, a WLAN b/g/n router that connects via ethernet or 3G modem. The router has two 100 Mbps ethernet ports, a USB 2.0 port for a 3G connection and a standard USB 2.0 port that supports an external drive or offers print-serving with an attached printer. It uses a web interface for configuration and arrives with a quick setup wizard for assembling a local network.
The FCC on Thursday morning began a formal inquiry into the state of the cellular industry. In line with the US government agency's timetable for events, the investigation is part of a new annual look at whether carrier practices may be hurting subscribers as well as its contribution to the economy and to the spread of long-range wireless Internet access. Officials began the inquiry following a unanimous vote.
Eternal Storms has released flickery 1.5, its desktop flickr client for Mac OS X, featuring new video upload, download and playback. The software allows users to upload photos, and now video, to flickr from iPhoto or Aperture and organize the pictures into photosets or groups. flickery can also resize, crop, rotate and filter photos and it can view and search photos and videos from the flickr database.
onOne has released DSLR Camera Remote Professional v1.1, adding support for Nikon DSLR cameras and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i along with new features. The app requires the Canon or Nikon DSLR camera to be linked with a WiFi-enabled computer running DSLR Camera Remote Server software, a free download. DSLR Camera Remote can remote fire the camera, can adjust settings like aperture, shutter and ISO and offers image review and Live View preview for cameras that support live view, all from an iPhone or iPod touch.
Bell Canada today officially became the second provider anywhere to ship Palm's first webOS smartphone, the Pre. The Canadian wireless provider began carrying the phone in its retail locations and online. Like the Pre offered by provider Sprint in the US, which launched in June, there is a Synergy feature that combines information from a user's multiple calendars, contact, e-mail accounts and messaging applications into one location. This includes Outlook contact, Google and Facebook accounts, which will also bring profile pictures from Facebook tie to a particular contact.
In most regions of the US, Verizon has the best cellular call quality, claims JD Power and Associates. Between January and June of 2009, the marketing data firm conducted a survey of 25,512 cellular subscribers, polling them on topics such as interference, dropped calls and voice distortion. Verizon is said to rank first in the northeast, mid-Atlantic, southeast and southwest regions, doing particular well in terms of minimizing drops, failed initial connections and failed or delayed text and voice messages.
Although just over a year old, Apple's market for third-party apps is 40 times larger than that for Android, researchers at AdMob found today. Based on the percentages of the 26.4 million iPhone owners and 18.6 million iPod touch owners who have paid for apps, as well as the $9.49 average spent per person each month, the online ad firm estimates that Apple should generate about $198 million in August and almost $2.4 billion if that rate was constant for a full year.
A newly-published Apple patent application suggests that the company may have a deeper interest in social networking than previously recognized. Titled Event-based contact list methods, the application describes a public website intended to organize an event, such as a wedding or school reunion. As with many such social networking sites, visitors could add personal contact information in order to get in touch with one another.
SmartSound has announced that v5.1 of its Sonicfire Pro plug-in, for Final Cut Pro, should now properly support Final Cut Pro 7. The plug-in scrutinizes markers in Final Cut, and automatically judges the amount of music needed to fill in stretches of time. Users can then hunt through SmartSound tracks, and select pieces to insert according to duration and other criteria.
OCZ has recently announced the upcoming release of its 2.5-inch Agility EX series of solid state drives, which it touts as the most affordable single-level cell (SLC) solid-state drive on the market. SLC flash drives are usually more expensive than denser multi-level cell (MLC) drives, but also outperform them in terms of speed their long-term lifespans.
Sony today launched sweeping updates to the higher end of its Alpha DSLRs with three new cameras. The A850 is an unusual step for Sony that takes the full-frame, 24.6-megapixel sensor, sensor image stabilization and dual processors as the A900 but with a slightly reduced viewfinder that provides 98 percent coverage versus the previous model's complete image, reducing the cost. It continues to have a 3-inch LCD with live view, shoots at up to three frames per second at full resolution, and has slots for both CF and most Memory Stick Pro Duo cards.
The announcement of an China Unicom iPhone deal could arrive as soon as Friday, Reuters claims. The agency cites an anonymous analyst, who in turn claims to have learned the information from a direct industry source. Unicom is holding a financial results presentation on Friday, and a carrier spokeswoman confirms that the iPhone will likely come up as a subject of discussion. She has declined to say, however, whether or not a finalized deal will be disclosed.
ASUS chief Jerry Shen today said his company would produce its first e-book reader before the end of the year. He didn't provide many details but said the device would fall under the Eee line normally reserved for ASUS' low-cost allin-one computers, like the Eee PC netbooks or the upcoming Eee Keyboard. Any device is likely to need a mixture of support for protected and unprotected e-book formats to succeed and may need a 3G or Wi-Fi connection to compete with readers like the Amazon Kindle or the Sony Reader Daily Edition.
Apple's widely expected camera-equipped iPods could include the iPod classic as well as the already suspected iPod nano and iPod touch, market contacts claimed Thursday. OmniVision, which supplies iPhone 3GS cameras, is reported by DigiTimes as having been picked by Apple to also supply 3.2-megapixel cameras for all three of its iPods with screens, including the hard drive-based classic. All three iPods are also slated for September, coinciding with talk of a September 9th event, and are therefore likely to ship on or shortly after their unveiling.
Nokia this morning launched a new class of smartphone as its flagship. The promised N900 is a crossover between smartphones and Nokia's Internet tablets, and makes its biggest break in its change of operating system: although still a phone, the handset runs Nokia's latest Linux variant, not Symbian. Maemo 5 renders it one of the first smartphones to have true PC-like multitasking and not only lets it run "dozens" of app windows at once but gives it a simple, large dashboard for switching and closing apps.
As rumored, Microsoft on Thursday slashed the price of the Xbox 360 Elite to $300. The move puts the 120GB game console at the same price as the slim PS3 and will take effect Friday, August 28th. To clear stock, Microsoft also says it will drop the price of the 60GB Xbox 360 Pro to $250 until it clears store shelves. The Arcade will remain at $200.
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