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Amid rumors that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, is considering a takeover bid for the US rival Sprint, sources claim the German company's biggest shareholders are preparing to force changes, according to the Financial Times. Although both companies have remained mum on any private negotiations, the report corroborates earlier suggestions that D Telekom has become frustrated with the performance of its US subsidiary.
Sakar International has launched a new line of Kodak webcams, which includes a driver-free webcam, the S100; an auto focus webcam, the T130; and a webcam with a three megapixel sensor that produces HD quality video, the P310HD. The series also features the W100, an entry level model, and a two megapixel auto focus webcam called the L200. The new Kodak line of video cameras can automatically connect to IM and VoiP services including AOL, MSN Instant Messenger and SKYPE -- which automatically launches the designated application without the user having to navigate their computer to open the program.
MacSpeech has launched a new international version of its speech recognition software, with new localized multi-language support for France, Italy and Germany. The latest MacSpeech Dictate 1.5 International now converts speech to four different languages including English and French, by having the user create a voice profile in their preferred language. After creating a profile, users can simply open the profile whenever they want to run the MacSpeech program, having it convert the speech into the pre-specified language.
Game developer Infinity Ward tonight ended up confirming Microsoft's plans for a 250GB Xbox 360 Elite by detailing a special bundle for the software team's upcoming shooter. The Modern Warfare 2 Limited Edition both includes the added capacity as well as a custom paint scheme for the console, two wireless gamepads and a copy of the game itself. The bundle should already be available for pre-order and will come at $399, a discount compared to buying the individual items separately.
Intuit has released the QuickBooks 2009 for Mac R8.2 patch, adding Snow Leopard support to the small-business financial software. The update also fixes a series of problems including an issue that prevented customer product codes from completing registration, along with errors that appeared during importation of IIF files with large customer lists. The release also improves stability with print previews or or application of report filters in the Vendor Phone list report.
Google has announced that the upcoming Android 1.6 OS update is expected to ship on devices as early as October. The timing could be an indication that the OS will arrive with handsets such as the Moto Cliq on T-Mobile, or potentially Sprint's HTC Hero.
AMD has introduced several new processors, the Athlon II X4 620 and 630, that have been added to the company's 'mainstream' desktop platform. The 620 component represents AMD's first quad-core processor to ship for less than $100, while still integrating the latest 45nm process architecture.
Vuzix has announced the Wrap 310, its latest video eyewear device. The Wrap series integrates many of the same capabilities as the company's visor-style displays, but pairs the technology with the look of traditional sunglasses. The device also offers an improved user interface, along with independent focus adjustments and a choice between several lens colors.
Wolfram Computing has released webMathematica 3.0. The technology serves as a foundation for Wolfram|Alpha, the company's web-based computational engine. The update integrates the abilities of both Mathematica 6 and 7, adding an expression language and improved efficiency when calling Mathematica from web pages. Custom tags are also new, with a library of tags that can redirect flow as web pages are generated.
The Wall Street Journal will start asking those using the mobile version of its news to pay for the privilege, newspaper owner and News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch warned today. Although the company currently offers its phone-optimized version for free, a new plan launching within "one to two months" will ask non-subscribers to any WSJ edition to pay $2 per week for mobile access. Those who pay for either the online or print editions will have the rate cut in half, and only those who subscribe to both will get the mobile format for free.
Arkeia has launched Arkeia Network Backup 8.1, an update to its cross-platform backup software. Version 8.1 brings Snow Leopard compatibility and Custom Restore Objects (CROs) that give system admins the ability to assign restoration rights, enabling end users to restore their own systems. With CROs in place, users can recover a volume without requiring IT workers and without the delays of waiting for assistance.
Archos in the same presentation that unveiled the Archos 5 has also confirmed that the company plans to enter the smartphone market with a high-end media phone. The tentatively-titled Phone Tablet is aimed at the same high performance, full touchscreen category as handsets like the iPhone 3GS or Toshiba TG01 and would be tailored to match. It should have a slightly smaller screen than the Archos 5 at a still-large 4.3 inches but a higher 854x480 resolution and a 1GHz ARM Cortex processor, both of which would put it above competing phones today.
Motorola is involved in talks with large US carriers in releasing its Android-powered Cliq handset, according to Co-CEO Sanjay Jha speaking in a Monday WSJ report (sub required). Thus far, only T-Mobile has been confirmed to get the phone, with shipments believed to start as early as October or November. A Motorola Android handset, codenamed Sholes for Verizon, has also been linked to AT&T. Jha has said Motorola hopes to eventually offer its Android handsets through all US wireless providers. The executive expects to release more Android handsets in 2010.
More evidence of a mid-October release of the recently unveiled Motorola Cliq handset has appeared in a Tuesday TmoNews leak. A photograph of a brochure showing a pre-order date of October 19th of Motorola's first Android device has surfaced, corroborating an earlier report that showed the Cliq launching at T-Mobile in October; this now narrows it down to a specific date for advance purchases.
TV and monitor maker ViewSonic on Tuesday introduced six new LCD HDTVs, ranging from a 20-inch set that can double as a computer monitor to a 42-inch HDTV. Starting from smallest to largest, the 20-inch VT2042 has a resolution of 1600x900, the 23-inch VT2342 gets a 1920x1080 screen while the VT2645 has 1366x768 pixels in its display.
TUNEWEAR has launched a new collection of cases for the fifth generation iPod nano. The new Nano, released last week, has a camera, microphone and a larger-sized display, forcing the need for new case designs. TUNEWEAR has produced three, two of which have optional starter kits, and a revamped protective film.
Belkin has introduced its Home Base networking hub on Tuesday, which allows users to share peripherals using their existing wireless networks, including printers, external hard drives or other USB devices. The Home Base is compatible with other Wi-Fi b/g/n devices and will also allow users to automatically back up a connected computer's files onto a designated and connected USB hard drive.
Apple has issued a clarification regarding the iPhone 3.1 firmware's anti-phishing capabilities. Released September 9th, the update includes a promised ability to detect phishing and malware sites while using Safari. Early accounts have shown inconsistent performance however, with some phones recognizing hazards, and others missing them completely. The behavior may create the impression that the feature is broken.
An upcoming tablet PC from Wacom has been spotted on the Internet, thanks to an anonymous source. Specs aren't completely clear in the shots given to Engadget, with the text on the box for the device revealing mostly that the Bamboo Touch tablet will support multi-touch input. However, the move would lead to the first Wacom device designed to work with only finger contact, as its previous tablets like the Intuos 4 have always depended on pressure-based stylus control.
Bose in an event this afternoon upgraded the SoundDock line with a new, particularly high-end model. The SoundDock 10 adds a dedicated subwoofer to reproduce the low end and has two large transducers that borrow the same technology as found in the Wave radio to project upper- and mid-range frequencies. Fresh for any Bose system is a completely interchangeable dock: it can not only accommodate different iPhones and iPods but can fit an optional $150 Bluetooth receiver for wireless stereo or, in the future, recognize non-Apple players.
Wireless provider MetroPCS on Tuesday announced some details on its upcoming high-speed 4G LTE mobile broadband network. Due for a release in the second half of 2010, MetroPCS will partner with Ericsson and Samsung to power the provider's 4G LTE service. Along with the service, which will be released thanks to Ericsson infrastructure, MetroPCS plans on launching a dual-mode LTE/CDMA smartphone built by Samsung in the major cities that MetroPCS offers its service late in 2010.
Microsoft has announced a reorganization of its Office 2008 for Mac product lineup. The software now comes in just two main editions: Home & Student, and Business. The latter is new, adding a series of differences on top of the regular releases of Word, Excel, Entourage and PowerPoint.
As promised, Archos today launched its first-ever device to use a smartphone-class OS. The Archos 5 Internet Tablet still uses Archos' own more developed interface for media playback but takes advantage of Google's platform for more advanced web browsing, e-mail, and true third-party apps. Speeding this along is a new app portal known as AppsLib that carries Android apps written with the Archos 5 in mind or reformatted for its input, such as Deezer for Internet radio or ThinkFree Office for Microsoft Office document viewing (and later editing).
MSI this afternoon gave its US audience the Wind Top AE2200, the most advanced version of its all-in-one desktop. It gets a 21.6-inch touchscreen with MSI's own interface for apps, editing and games, but it's also treated as a media center with its own TV tuner and HDMI input. Helping the goal along are parts that put it above nettops and let it decode HD, such as a 2.7GHz Pentium dual-core and GMA 4500 video.
The French government has taken one step further towards enacting a controversial piece of Internet piracy legislation, says the Associated Press. A bill today passed through the National Assembly, having already gained approval from the Senate in July. Only one step remains before it becomes law, that being a third approval by a committee bridging both houses of parliament.
Sony Ericsson has launched a teaser website that promises to introduce a "world first product launch" that will "forever change the way you listen to music." The website invites users to register in order to get an invitation to a live webcast presentation of the new product, which is scheduled for 11:00AM GMT+1 (5AM Eastern) on Monday, September 21st.
Despite the announcement of a deal by local carrier KT, a South Korean iPhone is still being held up by government licensing issues, says the Korea Times. The Korea Communications Commission has put a hold on approving the device, as a result of the phone's location-based services. In general, any company providing location-based information to Korean customers must have a special license. Companies are often prodded to situate appropriate servers in the country, even though it is not a strict legal requirement.
Epson on Tuesday introduced two new products, including the PowerLite 1716 mobile projector and Perfection V600 Photo scanner. The PowerLite 1716 weighs less than 4lbs for relatively easy portability and sports a 1024x768 resolution along with a high 2,700 lumens of brightness. The 3LCD projector has USB support for displaying images over a USB cable rather than a VGA connection when it's connected to a Windows PC.
Intel in European Union court files today fought against the recently imposed $1.45 billion fine for its alleged antitrust violations. The American processor designer believed the European Commission didn't provide enough evidence that Intel practices hurt AMD's European PC business in an "immediate, substantial" way. It instead claimed that AMD was actually gaining share for some of the five-year period covered by the fine and that AMD's struggles were linked more to specific PC builders and regions.
Monkeybread has released v9.6 of its REALbasic plug-ins, which expand the development platform. New in the update are special Snow Leopard classes, such as ones for OpenCL, Core Location and spellchecking. Also present are a variety of new classes and methods for Cocoa, and a variety of Core Image filters, such as CISpotColor and CIBumpDistortionLinear.
Atheros today unveiled a mini PCI Express card that it hopes could give netbooks and other small portables full wireless without the added bulk of a separate chipset. Known just as the AR9002WB-1NGB, it has both a single-stream 802.11n Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth in a single package. The combo not only provides up to 150Mbps networking in ideal conditions but manages to avoid the interference that often plagues systems with separate Bluetooth; it automatically adjusts the transfer rates to avoid colliding data and to improve practical speeds.
Apple says that it has appointed a new general counsel, Bruce Sewell, who will also serve as the company's senior VP for Legal and Government Affairs. He is replacing Daniel Cooperman, who previously held both positions for two years, and will be retiring towards the end of September. Sewell is noted to have formerly served at Intel, in identical roles.
Verbatim today started up a new line of travel mice under the Easy Riser badge. Every model has a base that can adjust in height to fit into a more natural position when in use, but can collapse into a flatter shape either for unusual hands or for carrying. They all share an ambidextrous design and cross-platform support that works with Macs and Windows PCs.
Needham & Co. is raising its price target for Apple stock from $200 to $235, says one of the research firm's analysts, Charlie Wolf. The bump is based entirely on the performance of the iPhone, Wolf notes, and in particular the effects of the App Store. The store is said to have had "explosive" growth since January, and it is thought that a "virtuous circle" involving app developers and smartphone buyers could soon push iPhone sales higher.
The FCC inadvertently revealed through a filing Microsoft's plans to replace its aging Xbox 360 Wi-Fi adapter with a new model. Labeled as the Wireless N Network Adapter, it would not only add the faster wireless speeds but a second antenna to improve reception. The peripheral would as before attach through USB but is now black to color-match the now mainstream Xbox 360 Elite.
Logitech on Tuesday introduced its Portable Lapdesk N315 for adding comfort to users who do their notebook computing away from a desk. Besides keeping users' skin cool, the new Lapdesk has a pull-out mouse pad for using external mice or an add-on keypad on a stable surface. The top of the Lapdesk has an anti-slip coating to keep notebooks in place, and the entire desk is washable.
Seagate today spun an important update to its FreeAgent networked media players. The FreeAgent Theater+ HD increases the maximum resolution for video to 1080p and adds support for DTS audio on top of Dolby Digital. Additionally, it now becomes networkable through an Ethernet jack that lets it stream content from other computers on the local network.
Lenovo today became the latest PC vendor to enter the multi-touch game with updates to both the ThinkPad T400s and the X200 Tablet. Both now recognize at least two fingers and, besides being better-suited to Windows 7, have a new companion app known as SimpleTap that provides quick finger-driven shortcuts to simple but important tasks like changing the volume, toggling Wi-Fi or putting the system to sleep.
Apple's frequently rumored tablet received more details on Tuesday with an apparent leak of production plans. Taiwan's Economic News claims the touchscreen hardware is now slated for February and that companies will start shipping parts in December. The publication reiterates the presence of a near 10-inch touch display but now insists the tablet will be based on a custom processor (likely ARM-based) from recent acquisition PA Semi and will use HSDPA for its 3G access, likely putting it on AT&T's network.
Now that Microsoft has finally made available the Zune 4.0 update, users can finally unlock the Zune HD and use its full feature set. We've already taken a quick tour of the player to give readers, especially those most familiar with the iPhone or iPod touch, an impression of what the interface is like. Read on for more details and photos.
Microsoft tonight provided full details for its Zune update with the launch of the Zune HD, including features both on the device and the PC side. Both the player and the new 4.0 software now support renting movies in 720p and in standard definition from the Zune Marketplace. Crucially, the player is also now revealed to have non-media (but first-party) apps: the Zune HD will support just a calculator and MSN Weather out of the box but should get Facebook and Twitter apps before the end of the year. 3D games are also coming in 2009 and should include Audiosurf Tilt, Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition and Vans Sk8: Pool Service to start.
Microsoft's long-anticipated venture into touchscreen players has just arrived in the form of the Zune HD, and we've already had an opportunity to unbox the player and give it an early look ahead of our full review. What might impress iPod owners first -- and the most -- is the sheer quality of the display. This is one of the few players to get to Apple's level in quality, responsiveness and the interface. The OLED display is extremely vibrant and high contrast, more so even than Apple's better iPhone or iPod touch displays; unlike an LCD, the Zune's OLED doesn't need a backlight and so black really is black. Colors pop out, and there's no ghosting or other slight visual artifacts you get from most mobile displays. We could easily see ourselves watching at least TV-length videos on the Zune HD during a commute just because of the pleasing picture.
Agent18 and GizFever.com have announced new cases for Apple’s latest iPod nano 5G. The new models by Agent18 include the NanoShield and ForceShield, which deliver protection against bumps and scratches and shield against dirt, dust and debris. NanoShield features a hard plastic case with a click-together design, and provides access to all ports, switches and functions. With ForceShield users get the same button and port freedom while the iPod nano is inside the silicon shock-absorbing casing.
Adobe on Monday released the latest version of its PhotoShop Camera Raw 5.5, Photoshop Lightroom 2.5, and DNG Converter 5.5. The updates deliver additional software support for five new popular camera models, such as the Nikon D300s and D3000, the Olympus E-P1, as well as the Panasonic DMC-FZ35 and DMC-GF1. In addition, the new Camera Raw 5.5 plug-in also fixes an issue involving demosaic algorithms in the raw conversion process, for Bayer sensor cameras that have un-equal green response time.
HP this morning revived its sleeping Envy label for two new systems targeted at the same slim but high-speed designs as the MacBook Pro. The Envy 13 and 15 are both housed in aluminum-and-black shells and drop the usual optical drive to shed weight and thickness: the 13-inch model is relatively light at just over 3.7 pounds and is 0.8 inches thick, while even the larger 15-inch system is slightly over 5.1 pounds and under an inch. Both also draw on Monster's Beats PC audio to produce better built-in audio than most notebooks, get color accurate displays, and have a MacBook-like trackpad nicknamed the "clickpad" that hides the main button underneath the surface.
As part of a shift to ultra-thin notebooks, HP tonight launched two crossover 13.3-inch notebooks that it hopes are both fast and portable. The ProBook 5310m is unofficially the most portable full-performance notebook ever with an 0.93-inch thick body (versus Apple's 0.94 inches) and a 3.8-pound weight; it accomplishes the feat through an aluminum shell without an optical drive and, unusually, by giving the option of a full-speed 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo as well as a CULV-based 1.2GHz Celeron dual-core. Using the Celeron gives the system as much as 7 hours of battery life using the stock 4-cell battery.
HP's launches today have included the company's first Pavilion All-in-One PC, the MS200. The system borrows the same core design principle as the iMac and balances the entire computer on an angled stand; compared to Apple's full speed computer, though, the MS200 is consciously treated as a step above nettops and is meant as a dorm room or kitchen PC. The new offering is based on a 1.5GHz Athlon X2 and brings Radeon HD 3200 integrated video that can offload much of the 3D acceleration and movie decoding work.
Filling out some of HP's multiple portable launches today are two important updates to its Mini netbooks. At the head of the updates, the Mini 311 is HP's first crossover and centers on NVIDIA's Ion chipset. The graphics and system core gives the netbook 1080p video decoding (outside of Flash) and much faster 3D than Intel's solution but also helps smoothly drive the significantly larger 11.6-inch, 1366x768 display.
In amidst its launches today, HP updated its MediaSmart Server line with an unusually strong emphasis on Mac support. Even as they're based on Windows Home Server, the EX490 and EX495 both can be administrated over the network using the current version of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Client for Mac. They can also be used directly to recover a Mac from a Time Machine backup created on the server and have a new media aggregator that automatically pools content from Macs and Windows PCs based on the media type, the individual computer or a given folder.
HP on Tuesday announced the release of its new family of desktop PCs aimed at businesses, in the form of the Compaq 6000 Pro and HP Compaq 6005 Pro. The main difference involves the choice of CPUs, with the Compaq 6000 Pro available with a number of Intel chips, including various Core 2 quads, Core 2 Duos, dual core Pentiums and Celerons, while the Compaq 9005 Pro can be had with chips from AMD's Sempron, Athlon II, and dual-core, triple-core or quad-core Phenom II processors.
HP as part of its sweeping Tuesday updates announced it will soon begin shipping seven new business oriented LCD monitors, including the 17-inch HP Compaq LA1751g, 18.5-inch HP LE1851w, 19-inch LA1905wg and LA1951g, 20-inch HP LE2001w, 22-inch LA2205wg and 24-inch LA2405wg. The five new HP Compaq LA monitors share most if not all specs, with the same 1,000:1 static contrast ratio (3,000:1 dynamic), 250cd/m2 brightness (300cd/m2 in the LA2405wg) and 5ms pixel response times. They all also sport DVI, DisplayPort and VGA video inputs.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k