Creative tonight launched a small but tangible update to its Vado HD pocket video camera aimed at making it more affordable. While its only conspicuous change on the outside is a two-tone color scheme, the company now has a 4GB model that makes the camera more competitive with the falling prices of cameras like the Kodak Zi8. For the first time, the Vado line also gets Mac support: a new app known as Vado Central will let the Vado HD and earlier Vados shuttle videos directly to iMovie.
RadTech has launched a new version of its in-vehicle charger for mobile devices, AutoPower. The charger features a lightweight fuseless design, along with fault-sensing shutdown technology to help prevent damage to equipment. It now comes with two USB ports and delivers a 5V 500mA output, while the housing measures just 3.3 x 1.1 x 1.3 inches. The charger supports the iPhone, iPod, Zune, or any other USB-chargeable devices.
Native Instruments has announced several updates to its line of virtual instruments and effects applications, Guitar Rig 4 Pro and Komplete 6. Guitar Rig 4 Pro is the latest version of the companyís professional guitar studio which provides tools for tone-shaping and emulating amp sounds, with more than 250 ready-to-play guitar sounds. New features include a redesigned preset browser for simpler search functionality, two additional tube amp models, and a new Control Room module with for speaker emulation. The update also comes with new cabinet and microphone modeling functions.
Opera Software has introduced the latest version of its web browser, Opera 10. Three main features in the update include an enhanced browser interface, a new compression technology for dealing with slow network speeds, and improvements to the browser tabs. With the added network support the browser is capable of compressing pages to lower the amount of data transferred, and increase the users browsing speed. For the browser tabs users can now view full thumbnails of all their open tabs, as well as customize the size of the tab bar by pulling down or double clicking on the handle.
Strategy Analytics has released research that shows battery life as the iPhone's most dissatisfying feature. The buyer analysis firm concluded that the most common owner of an iPhone falls into the 25-44 age group, with a $50,000+ income -- they are also likely employed full-time and over 80-percent own an iPod as well.
Becoming one of the few to cross the 500GB milestone, Toshiba late on Tuesday added a 640GB drive to its notebook-sized GSX hard drives. With two platters to make up its entire storage, the 5,400RPM disk is thin enough at 9.5mm tall to fit in thin-and-light notebooks and also gets incidental boosts from the increased density. Toshiba claims that it's faster, with "significant" speed-ups through the reduced amount of time finding data, and that it consumes 28 percent less power compared to earlier models.
Native Instruments on Tuesday announced updates to several of its products, Absynth and Kontakt. Absynth 5 adds a number of new features and capabilities, along with improvements to overall sound quality. The software synth integrates a new MIDI-controllable "Aetherizer" algorithm that breaks down sound into smaller pieces, then rearranges them in complex ways.
Oranged has released Studiometry 7, upgrading the business management software with new tools for project planning, estimate creation and more. Project stages allow users to track progress from beginning to end, with automated alerts and to-dos shown at important points. The new estimates feature includes a creation wizard that supports itemizing and provides numerous templates.
Backblaze is in the business of providing online backup service and, by extension, wound up in the hardware business. Upset with the high cost of storage devices, the company designed and built it's own 67TB storage modules for about $7867 (materials alone) each. Now, CEO Gleb Budman says Backblaze is giving away the design, hoping the open approach will lead to improvements or inspire a separate company to build the boxes so Backblaze doesn't have to.
Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster believes Apple may have more to announce than just iPods at its upcoming media event scheduled for September 9th. He believes the company may also include a surprise announcement for an updated Apple TV device.
Lexmark on Tuesday introduced eight new all-in-one inkjet printers geared for small- to medium-size business. The Platinum Pro905 features a 4.3-inch touchscreen and a customizable interface for quicker access to frequent tasks. Users can also view web content from the display, such as news, weather, or photo sharing sites.
Prices and storage capacities have slipped for Archos' upcoming Android-based Internet tablet. B&H listed the entire series ahead of schedule, although the search listings were later removed, according to ArchosFans.com forum member Swordfish. The devices will be available in 16GB, 32GB, 160GB and 500GB capacities.
Panasonic has inadvertently spoiled its launch plans for the Lumix GF1 through at least one ad. Appearing on UK sites, the tower spot is short on details but confirms its position as Panasonic's rough equivalent to the Olympus E-P1 with a point-and-shoot style body but a Micro Four Thirds lens system. It also supports notions that the GF1 will ship in multiple colors, such as the red found on the G1/GH1 as well as black, silver and white.
FotoMuse ($3) is a photo editing utility which can be used to add different effects to images. Photos can be imported from a users library and then modified. The application includes tools for adjusting contrast, layering images, adding borders, and more. Finished images are saved in the full resolution of the original image.
In Brief: Actual Technologies has release a new application which acts as a replacement for the ODBC Administrator tool which was dropped by Apple in Snow Leopard. ODBC Manager is a free utility that configures data sources to be used by programs such as Excel and FileMaker. The application not only replicates the functions of Apples now defunct utility but also adds new features such as the ability to use underscores in data source names. ODBC Manager is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 or later and can be downloaded from the developers website.
A dug up line of code indicates Google's upcoming Chrome OS may have what is being called a Chrome OS login manager. While its significance can only be guessed at, it indicates that the Chrome web browser will be very closely integrated with the operating system. There is also speculation of the OS not allowing users to operate other web browsers on their machines. The login manager will be a single sign-on (SSO) cookie, eliminating the need for users to sign into their Google services, such as Gmail, Calendars, Docs, etc separately.
Vonage today said that Apple has approved its iPhone VoIP app. The company doesn't have details of when it expects the software to reach the App Store but says it's already conducting a beta test of the software. It's expected that Internet calling will only work over Wi-Fi, however, due to policies from AT&T and some other carriers that bar VoIP on 3G due to lag and other claimed quality issues.
Qualcomm can no longer sell products that carry the "smartbook" name in Germany, as Smartbook AG has filed a restraining order against Qualcomm, Digitimes said on Tuesday. If Qualcomm fails to comply, it faces an equivalent fine of nearly $358,000 or an arrest for contempt. Smartbook AG CEO Dirk Pick says Qualcomm's German website, which divert users to the US page, are blocked to Internet users with German IP addresses.
A pair of photos of the new Android Market have been revealed ahead of what is expected to be their official debut at Motorola's Android event on September 10th. The photos are not the final build of the app store and may therefore change and are also understood to have originated from the upcoming Motorola Sholes handset. Other than a cosmetic change, there is a new organization of the store, including a search button in the upper corner of the screen, as well as buttons for Top Paid, Top Free and Just In apps. Each tab has a preview of a few apps for each category as well.
KavaMovies 1.4 ($35) is a movie database application that allows users to organize the movies they have seen, the ones they want to see and those that are a part of their collection. The application also connects to the internet to obtain extra information about each movie such as actors, directors, genres and more. The latest update adds a new favorites browser and has been optimized to run under Snow Leopards 64-bit architecture. The move to 64-bit should also result in improved interface performance and database access speeds. [Download - 4.6MB]
In brief: With the release of Snow Leopard many developers had to release updates to ensure their software would continue to function properly. Some of the more recent updates relate to two iterations of the Google Chrome web browser. The latest developer build of Google Chrome, v184.108.40.206, fixes multiple problems that were encountered after updating to Snow Leopard.
Graphisoft on Tuesday announced ArchiCAD 13, an update to its architectural design software. The latest version integrates BIM Server technology, marking a completely new approach to collaboration between large numbers of users. The system is designed to overcome problems associated with model accessibility, rights management, element control and sharing, and overall reliability.
BenQ recently announced the launch of two notebooks powered by Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) processors. This includes the 13.3-inch Joybook S35 and 14-inch Joybook S43. Processor choices include a 1.4GHz single core Core 2 Solo, 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo SU7300, 1.2GHz Celeron 723 or 1.3GHz Celeron 743 chips. Both sport a 1366x768 resolution along with high brightness and contrast levels thanks to LED backlit screens. Graphics processing is thanks to an ATI Mobility Radeon HD4330 GPU on the S43 or Intel's integrated GMA4500M GPU on the S35.
Bare Bones has released Yojimbo 2.0, adding a Tag Explorer feature while improving image import and the Quick Input panel. The software organizes content such as text, bookmarks, images and serial numbers, ordering the material through tagging and labeling. Search features exploit Apple's Spotlight engine.
HTC's version of the Hero for US CDMA carriers could involve a major redesign if a slip from Chinese site 080 bears fruit. The prototype is described as the Hero200, or the second version of the phone that switches to the network standard and recently passed FCC testing. It has HTC's familiar Android buttons but, in contrast to the original angled design, loses the characteristic "kink" common to HTC Android phones in favor of a flat metal front with gold-like trim.
Maxon has launched Cinema 4D 11.5, giving the software full Snow Leopard support and a new rendering engine. The suite handles 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering. Also new is an upgraded motion graphics module, MoGraph 2, with new physics, spline and explosion components.
Samsung has launched the Corby S3650, its first touchscreen phone aimed towards young mobile users. As such, there is support for Facebook, Twitter and MySpace online social networks. The color scheme of the device also reflects its target audience, with bright yellow, pink, white and orange as color choices for most of the outer shell.
Verizon today added a new USB-based 3G modem intended for world travelers. The PCD-made UWM190 supports EVDO Revision A for its data in most of North America but also has tri-band HSPA for 3G in the Americas, Europe and much of Asia. Its unique trick is a sliding cover that protects the swiveling USB connector when it's not in use.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard may be designed with a tablet computer in mind, a new report argues. The OS is for instance equipped with a new Expose feature, which allows users to click and hold a Dock icon to display all of an application's windows. Such a feature could be ideal for a tablet, which might not have easy key or gesture commands for triggering Expose.
Sony's PC arm and Google have entered into a partnership that will have the latter's Chrome web browser preloaded onto the former's VAIO netbook PCs. Google is also apparently in talks with other PC makers to make its browser the default in new PCs, in similar fashion to competitor Microsoft and its Internet Explorer browser. Sony PCs with Chrome are already shipping, though Google is saying the deal is thus far experimental. Google is also promoting the browser through TV advertising, a first for the company, and making it available when they download RealPlayer software.
Mozilla's Firefox browser cut significantly into Microsoft's market share of web browsers in August, data from Net Applications shows. Its increase to 22.98 percent of the market wasn't an absolute high but resulted in Internet Explorer reaching an all-time low of 66.97 percent, a sharp fall from 67.68 percent just a month earlier. Other browsers also made inroads, as Google Chrome climbed to 2.84 percent (fourth place) and Opera rose slightly to 2.04 percent (fifth place).
NetGear on Tuesday announced it is now shipping its RangeMax dual band 802.11 Wi-Fi router, the WNDR3700. The device earns its title through eight internal antennas that provide increased range and potentially better speeds: it supposedly handles as much as 350Mbps in real-world conditions. It's also the first NetGear product with its own broadband usage meter to track consumption across the entire network when using providers with low bandwidth caps, like Rogers or Time Warner Cable.
iRiver dipped into dedicated e-book readers for the first time today with word of its own device. The Story shares its aesthetics with the Amazon Kindle and has a 6-inch display with a QWERTY keyboard underneath for searches and other tasks; the system is extra-thin and has a 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to audio. A comic book-specific reader is a new addition optimized for the graphics-heavy format.
Napster's streaming and download music service will not be coming to the iPhone via a downloable app in the App Store after all, according to a recent MocoNews report. A rep from Napster said the service, which would be offered at Best Buy stores, is not being sent out for Apple approval because of the high licensing fees involved.
Auction site eBay has completed a deal to sell off its Skype VoIP division, according to an announcement. The deal is said to be worth $2.9 billion, granting a 65 percent stake to an investor group including Silver Lake, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. eBay is holding on to a 35 percent equity investment, and gaining $1.9 billion in cash, plus a note in the principal amount of $125 million.
Wireless provider Alltel on Tuesday announced it is now offering the HTC Snap handset. The four-band GSM device uses EVDO Rev. A networks for 3G data access as well as its built-in Wi-Fi connection. Users interface through Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard and a four-row QWERTY keyboard. Microsoft Outlook Mobile is preloaded onto the device, and an Inner Circle feature highlights and prioritizes messages from favorite contacts from any of their saved contact info that includes e-mail accounts.
Nintendo today treated buyers of the Wii and DSi with a mix of new hardware and software. The former's web browser, also known as the Internet Channel, is now free to use instead of paying the 500 Wii Points ($5) necessary from July 2007 onwards. On top of eliminating the price, the console maker has upgraded to a newer version of Adobe's Flash for better support of video and other web features.
China Mobile is indeed still in talks with Apple regarding the iPhone, a spokeswoman for the carrier says. The disclosure follows an Apple admission on Monday, stating that a three-year deal with China Unicom is not exclusive, in theory allowing for increased competition. The China Mobile representative has refused to describe the state of negotiations, other than to say that no conclusion has been reached.
Microsoft drew embarrassment this weekend when it revealed that the winner of its app development contest was an iPhone app. Although 14 out of the 15 young companies at the Startup Weekend event wrote for a Microsoft platform, it was an iPhone contact memorization app, Learn That Name, which won the most votes from those at the competition. The victory came despite having just 48 hours to build and test the app and should lead to a $3 download when it reaches the App Store.
Mac cloner Psystar has filed a second lawsuit against Apple, this time contesting policies surrounding Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Psystar should have the right to buy Snow Leopard and install it on third-party computers for sale, the filing says. The suit moreover accuses Apple of illegally linking Snow Leopard to Apple hardware, creating monopolies in the trade of "premium" computers, and/or systems running Mac OS X as a platform. "Apple's share of revenue in the market for premium computers -- computers priced at over $1,000 -- is currently 91 per cent," Psystar attorneys note.
NEC Display recently announced the upcoming release of its MultiSync EA190M 19-inch desktop monitor meant for workers. It has environmentally conscious features that include an ECO Mode, and is said to be twice as energy efficient and contain half as much mercury in its build compared to traditional LCD displays.
(Updated with US info) Samsung today added a ultra-zoom to its compact cameras. The semi-pro WB5000 (HZ25W in the US) centers on a 24X, 26-624mm equivalent stabilized lens that can compose super telephoto shots while still having wide-angle coverage for much closer distances. Unlike some of its peers, the 12.5-megapixel camera skews more towards veteran photographers with RAW shooting in Adobe's DNG format as well as manual controls up to and including the choice of the color temperature for white balance.
Microsoft today committed to a ship date for Windows Mobile 6.5, its last significant update to the current generation of its smartphone OS. The first devices to use the new platform should reach shops on October 6th. It's not said which evices will be the first, but HP, HTC, LG, Samsung and unusually Toshiba will be the first to have 6.5-equipped smartphones in North America. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will be the first in the US, while Bell and Telus should do the same in Canada.
Two major analysts are split on whether Steve Jobs will take the stage at next week's Apple publicity event. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray suggests that he will, in a move that could serve as the "first public confirmation of Jobs' health since his return to the company." Munster notes that Jobs' last presentation for an Apple event was on October 14th of last year, when he helped to introduce the first unibody MacBooks.
Parrot today previewed the Frankfurt Auto Show by launching the RKi8400. A rare in-dash car stereo meant specifically for the iPhone, the system lets users browse the Apple smartphone's music by album cover on an LCD and automatically invokes hands-free mode when a call comes in. Stereo Bluetooth is onboard as well and provides hands-free calling to any cellphone in addition to music playback for any device that recognizes A2DP, including iPhones and second-generation iPod touch models with 3.0 firmware.
Western Digital this morning at last unveiled its first 2TB hard drives intended for performance. The 2TB Caviar Black and the business-oriented RE4 spin at a full 7,200RPM but also have features rarely seen even at this end of hard disk technology: both have 64MB of cache, dual processors and dual actuators to move the drive head into position faster. It's hoped the extra features offset the potential slowdown from having to seek across four 500GB platters.
Garmin on Tuesday brought the price of its cycling GPS downwards through the Edge 500. The blue-and-white unit is pitched as the best of both worlds and tracks all the core features, including actual positional and speed data as well as the estimated calories burned and amount of climb or descent. It can similarly pair with wireless sensors either specific to Garmin or which support the ANT+ format, such as cadence or heart rate monitors, and will use that information to improve the calorie rate and other data already being tracked.
Nokia late yesterday revealed through a spokeswoman that the company will delay the launch of its Comes With Music unlimited subscription service in the US. Once on tap for 2009, the launch has now been postponed until sometime in 2010. No reason has been given for the delay, which comes almost a year after the initial promise of a later release.
Hitachi has expanded its Travelstar line of 2.5-inch hard drives with the 7K500 series, available in capacities up to 500GB. The new drives represents the company's highest capacity notebook storage without sacrificing the 7200RPM speed and 16MB cache. Media transfer rates have been increased to 1245Mb/s, approximately 16 percent faster than the 7K320-series drives.
Epson has unveiled its latest 17-inch printer, the Stylus Pro 3880. The device builds upon the features of the Stylus Pro 3800, adding new technology such as UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink. The eight-color ink set is claimed to provide more intense blues and violets for a wider color gamut.
Hewlett Packard has announced it will be providing real-time support throughout the HP forums for users who have recently upgraded to the new Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. HP has scheduled a time from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 9th where its Mac-connection team will be monitoring the HP Mac printing and scanning board on the companyís forums, in order to help customers with support issues for their HP products such as scanners and printers.
atPurpose Technologies and Abracode have both announced the latest version of their applications are now compatible with the new Max OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. atPurposeís atMonitor 2.1 application allows users to keep track of important system activity in real-time. It displays information such as disk reading and writing performance, network activity, memory specifications, and allows users to log all monitored values which are saved in an XML format. The program also offers three different ways for it to display information, via the menu-bar, a dock icon, or a floating window on the desktop.
As promised, Canon tonight launched the EOS-7D, its most advanced crop-frame digital SLR camera to date. The camera not only shoots at 18 megapixels, one of the highest resolutions for a camera that isn't full-frame, but also gives it two DIGIC 4 processors that help it shoot more quickly than other cameras in its class. It can shoot bursts of 8 frames per second for up to 15 shots in RAW or 126 shots in JPEG. The advanced processing also gives it video advantages over even the EOS-5D Mark II: it can record 720p at up to 60FPS or 1080p at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second, letting filmmakers capture at native speed without having to convert later.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN