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Update does not fix Apple's compatibility block
Palm on Monday announced that it is set to launch webOS 1.2, an update to the Pre firmware. The Palm Synergy service has been expanded to support LinkedIn contact syncing, with profiles presented in the Pre contacts. The e-mail function now allows users to filter the results in the current folder by typing in a search term. While navigating the Internet, files can be downloaded directly from within the browser.
Security Essentials utility to be offered for free
Microsoft is set to launch its new anti-malware service, Security Essentials. The utility is designed to help protect systems against viruses, spyware or other maliciously crafted software. Following the same basic structure as third-party antivirus software, Microsoft's program runs in the background and alerts users as potential threats arise.
Torque 3D game-developing app
GarageGames has released its Torque 3D cross-platform game-creation software, after its six-month beta period. The app features a variety of tools for designing and editing either a game or simulated environment. The software's rendering capabilities work with photo-realistic simulation to create custom styles, and supports per-pixel dynamic lighting or normal and parallax occlusion mapping. With the integrated "world editor" users get full-access to all Torque subsystems, along with shader definition, terrain editing, or river and road creation functions.
PDFpen 4.5 update imrpoves OCR accuracy
SmileOnMyMac has released an upgrade to its PDF editing tool with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, PDFpen 4.5. The latest version integrates Nuance Communication's OmniPage 15.5 OCR engine, delivering improved accuracy when performing OCR on scanned documents. Other changes include the ability to scan directly into PDFpen from either Image Capture or TWAIN scanners when using a Mac OS X 10.6 operating system, along with a new text-highlighting function which enables simultaneous selecting and highlighting of text within a single action.
Tchao back after 15 year hiatus
Apple has rehired a former employee, Michael Tchao, to serve as the vice president of product marketing after a 15 year hiatus, according to the New York Times. Spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed that Tchao will report to Phil Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide product marketing.
Verizon internet security, online storage
Verizon has announced both a new Mac versions of its Verizon Online Backup and sharing software (VOBS) and its Verizon Internet Security Suite. With the storing and sharing app, users can back-up selected files and folders to their designated storage plan, and restore them at a later date. Users can also send or receive invitations which allow people to download or upload photos onto their storage space, for simpler sharing of music, videos, or files. The online storage plans range in size from 5GB to 250GB, with monthly fees starting at $2 and ending at $20.
Group suggests Greenpeace isn't the only watchdog
A California-based nonprofit, As You Sow, claims it has been a significant influence in Apple's latest campaign to develop environmentally-conscious practices. Although Greenpeace typically gets the first mention amongst organizations pushing companies to improve their methods, As You Sow suggests it directly engaged the Mac maker to disclose carbon footprint data.
App awaiting approval for entry into App Store
Atebits has announced additional details of its upcoming Tweetie 2 iPhone app. The update is promised to be a complete overhaul, rather than a cosmetic revision with only a few small changes. The app will allow users to send and receive video tweets, while tweet streams can be live-filtered in a similar way to the Mail utility.
Intel plans more frequent Atom updates
Intel will more aggressively update the Atom processor than it has in the past, executive VP Sean Maloney said in an interview published today. The company waited roughly a year between the original Atom launch and its Z500 upgrade but now plans to put it more closely on the faster "tick tock" pattern it uses for regular processors, where it first shrinks the manufacturing process for an existing design and later ships a new architecture built on that process. Such upgrades will start in earnest with Pine Trail this fall, which technically achieves both by moving to a smaller 45 nanometer design and moving the graphics core to within the processor.
Web-based portal allows passwords on documents
Apple has released a maintenance update for iWork '09, while adding several new features to iWork.com. The software update, v9.0.3, primarily focuses on improving stability and fixing several bugs. File sizes of Instant Alpha images have been reduced, while users have more control over file sizes of inserted movies.
Part of criminal profit-making scheme
Macs are being deliberately targeted by a Russian hacking group, says Sophos security researcher Dmitry Samosseiko. The group is a subset of a larger criminal network known as the Partnerka, which normally turns a profit through spam promoting fake online drug vendors, and malware in the form of "scareware" anti-virus protection. The Partnerka have generally concentrated malware efforts on Windows users, who together represent the largest possible target.
RED shows upcoming camera accessories
RED has recently posted teaser images and little else for some upcoming pro-level camera accessories on a RED forum board. Among the upcoming products, all of which are due for a release sometime in October according to the posts, is the RED Bomb Electronic View Finder (EVF), as well as the EPIC and Scarlet camera bodies introduced in March. There is also the REDmote, that will allow for wireless control of the EPIC or Scarlet cameras, with what RED calls nearly infinite customizing options.
Acer Android-based A1 priced for Europe
Acer's Android-based A1 handset will soon be available for sale in at least France and Germany according to a listing at electronics retailer Expansys. Though the listing has since been pulled, it allowed a look at the device's specs. Previously rumored to arrive in September, the device will get Android 2.0 (with "Donut" features like device-wide search) and will be powered by Qualcomm's relatively speedy 768MHz 8250 CPU. A 3.5-inch touchscreen with an 800x480 resolution will serve as the core interface.
Update available for latest 160GB models
Apple has released a firmware update, v2.0.3, for the latest 160GB iPod classic. The update adds support for Genius Mixes, the iTunes feature that automatically creates playlists. Tracks are analyzed and combined into several genre-based mixes that can be listened to via iTunes or directly from the iPod.
Three new BenQ projectors have dual HDMI inputs
BenQ has recently said it will soon begin shipping three new HD projectors for us in home theater installations. The three projectors are pitched to tech-savvy home theater enthusiasts, and the front-projection W600, W1000 and W6000 all work on Texas Instruments-based DLP front projection chips. The W6000 is the most feature-packed of the three, with 1080p, native 24fps support, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,500 ANSI lumens of brightness.
iLuv i1166 portable player arrives
Several months after it was announced, iLuv's i1166 portable player has started shipping today. The 9-inch device covers most forms of digital media and uses a notebook-style shell to accommodate both DVDs and all video-capable iPods; both movie discs and the Apple devices are put inside while users rely on an external display with a custom interface to navigate and watch videos. An SD card slot and a USB port also give it an option to play raw DiVx videos.
Verizon to offer subsidized Gateway netbook soon
According to a leaked document, wireless provider Verizon will soon begin offering its second subsidized netbook with the upcoming addition of the Gateway LT2016u, Engadget reported on Monday. The computer will be sold on a two-year data contract, and like the first Verizon-subsidized netbook, the HP Mini 1151NR, will use Qualcomm's Gobi data modem to access Verizon's 3G data network. Otherwise, the netbook packs a 10.1-inch display with a 1024x600-pixel resolution, a 1.6GHz Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive.
Samsung SCH-W880 gets 12MP autofocus camera
Samsung's second handset equipped with a 12-megapixel camera has been spotted on Monday and may just replace the current 12-megapixel offering from the phone maker, the Pixon12. The phone, so far only known as the SCH-W880, was spotted in a Taiwanese print ad that reveals the handset's camera as well as 3X optical zoom and the ability to record HD videos. It should also have a 3.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen with WVGA (800x480) resolution.
Additionally calls for $800 MacBook
Thomas Weisel analyst Doug Reid has raised his price target for Apple stock, shifting it from $180 to $210. The analyst cites "store checks" as an influence, indicating continued product demand; also important to the target are factors like higher anticipated IT sales, and China Unicom's iPhone deal. The latter is said to support beliefs that Apple could sell 24.9 million phones during FY2010.
PSP Go launch software
The PSP Go when it launches this week will already have a substantial catalog and ways to buy many games in shops, Sony said today. A total of 225 games should be available to download that will include both regular games, some PSN-only games and PSP minis. The console maker also promises to IGN that it will sell "game cards," or physical vouchers for the games themselves, for those who still expect to buy games in retail shops.
LG BL20 gets official intro, price, more
LG on Monday officially announced the upcoming release of its newest New Chocolate series handset, the BL20. While most of the specs have already been known, including the 5-megapixel camera, 2.4-inch display, and touchbutton interface, the official release adds an approximate release date and pricing for the handset. The BL20 should ship in Europe at first sometime in October, priced at the equivalent of $394 without needing a contract.
Phase One intros 645DF medium-format
Phase One today upgraded its core medium-format camera body in launching the 645DF. The upgrade to the original 645 incorporates both a traditional leaf shutter as well as a focal plane shutter, the combination of which helps give it unusually flexible flash sync and exposure options. The camera has one of the fastest flash syncs available and can trigger the light at up to a 1/1,600 second shutter speed, and exposure times can be as little as 1/4,000 of a second or as much as a full hour.
No solution over horizon
Apple is currently probing recent problems with Mac SuperDrives, according to a developer in contact with the company's support and developer staff. Several drive models have been experiencing trouble mounting discs, in some cases blocking people from upgrading to the newly-launched Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The word of Apple investigating drive failures comes by way of a representative in the company's Developer Relations team.
HTC Desire in FCC testing
HTC's Desire (also known as the Predator) was discovered today in an FCC testing entry. Most information remains secret, but the Android-based smartphone has appeared with CDMA and should support EVDO-based 3G as a result. The news supports notions that the phone is destined for Verizon.
Also adds plug-in support for iPhoto, Aperture
Smith Micro has introduced Stuffit Deluxe 2010, an updated file compression utility. The latest release features Stuffit Connect, a cloud-based transfer service that can share and store up to 2GB of material. Deluxe 2010 also builds in Stuffit SmartSend, an e-mail tool for more effective file attachments, and plug-in support for photo software such as iPhoto and Aperture.
Panasonic shows 50-inch HD 3D PDP, glasses
Panasonic on Monday announced it has developed a 50-inch plasma display panel and the associated active shutter glasses that work with the company's 3D HD system introduced at CES in January. The set uses Panasonic's new high-speed 3D drive technology that allows for the rapid illumination of pixels while retaining brightness. Most systems often take regular output and end up either producing rougher-moving images or a dimmer picture.
NVIDIA Ion accelerates Flash
NVIDIA at a recent presentation showed its Ion chipset accelerating HD video on a netbook. While the hardware can already process HD already on the system, the new demo shows YouTube's HD video smoothly with Ion's full decoding enabled where the same footage stutters when it has to rely mostly on the Atom processor. The technique works by adapting Ion to recognize and process the H.264 encoded video inside the Flash environment.
New version adds international conferencing
ooVoo has released v2.2 of its self-titled application, used for cross platform video conferencing. The OoVoo 2.2 update adds desktop sharing capabilities, allowing users to display their documents or presentations during video conferences. The latest version also adds international conferencing to Canada, Germany, Italy, the UK and Israel.
New dual-core ATI Radeon graphics cards seen
The ATI Radeon HD 5870 x2 and a new 5850 X2 graphics card have been spotted in photos recently. The former has been leaked earlier, and should be out on the market sometime in October. The photos show the card is ultra-long, raising questions as to whether it will fit into mid-sized or large tower cases. The single-core HD 5870 is 11 inches long, with estimates from the photos putting the dual-core version at perhaps 12 or 12.5 inches.
May compete with offerings from Sony, Microsoft
Nintendo is planning to expand its Wii-based video distribution service to reach outside of Japan, according to a regional business publication. The suggested expansion (subscription required) would begin as soon as Nintendo's next fiscal year, and likely involve places such as North America and South Korea. Content is expected to parallel offerings in Japan, in the sense of providing inoffensive cartoons, educational programs and general entertainment. Also present may be ads, possibly including full-length infomercials.
Better known for its network storage, QNAP today rolled out the NMP-1000, its first attempt at a networked TV media player. The device on its basic level acts as a conduit for Internet and locally shared network content with the ability to access Flickr and YouTube from a TV as well as see iTunes shares and DLNA-aware devices on the local network. A 3.5-inch SATA bay lets it share its own media and play 1080p movies in most common formats, including popular ones like DivX, H.264 and XviD.
May impact prevalence of Macs in schools
Apple has made major alterations to its educational licensing program, ones which could potentially raise the cost of Macs for schools. The company is said to be abandoning a previous volume licensing scheme, which allowed institutions to buy Mac OS X at costs of $39 to $59 per copy, depending the amount of licenses ordered. Instead, schools must now pay for annual license renewals.
South Korea cell rate plans
The South Korean government's Communications Commission today ordered (subscription required) that carriers cut their subscription rates. The act follows up election promises by President Lee Myung-bak and will have all three major carriers in the country slash their voice, data and bundle prices by varying degrees. SK Telecom, which has just over half of the Korean market, will cut its voice rates by 27 percent to about $35 and its data plans by about 19 percent. KT will cut its own basic voice rate 20 percent to about $20 a month and will drop its data rates a sharp 62 percent. LG Telecom's voice prices should lower by about 25 percent.
Data zones added for activity charting functions
toolsfactory has updated its flagship GPS tracking application, rubiTrack 2.0. The latest version adds zones -- display ranges of values directly in the track and chart for speed, pace, elevation, heart rate, cadence, power and gradient. The update also features support for weather handling, Polar HRM file import and multi-selection filtering in activity groups. Version 2 includes a tool for publishing rubiTrack activities online and supports visual track editing for splitting and trimming activities and fixing incorrect GPS data.
TomTom XL 340S LIVE uses AT&T
TomTom added its first true mid-range GPS device with an Internet connection. The XL 340S LIVE updates the earlier 340S with live data pulled over AT&T's cellular network: like the more advanced models, it uses the link to get updated traffic information as well as Google Local Search and relevant data like gas prices and weather. The traffic data in particular helps with TomTom's IQ Routes to gauge the quickest routes based on historical traffic patterns.
Blame directed at Apple, AT&T marketing
A lawsuit filed in a US District Court in Minneapolis has once again accused Apple and AT&T of failing to warn about MMS limitations, according to the Pioneer Press. Plaintiff Kyle Irving charges that both companies have breached contract, avoiding a duty to inform the public that MMS services would not be available in the summer. In particular Irving explains that on buying an iPhone in June, he was promised that the device would have MMS capabilities.
HP Pavilion dv8 details confirmed
HP inadvertently confirmed its own notebook plans this morning by posting specs of its own in a technical brief. The Pavilion dv8 (not yet pictured) will be its first 18.4-inch notebook and its second system after the Envy 15 to use a mobile Core i7 processor. While it's unclear if there will be multiple stock configurations, the one model on show has the base 1.6GHz Core i7, which can clock up to 2.8GHz when less than four cores are needed.
Debut scheduled for later this week
Carrier China Unicom has put an end to some earlier rumors, and formally announced details for the launch of the Chinese iPhone. Reuters reports that an unspecified model should cost 5,000 yuan, approximately $732, when sales begin on October 1st. Subsidies between 893 and 4,253 yuan are available for those signing up to a Unicom plan.
PSP Go part by part dissection
A teardown of Sony's imminent PSP Go has revealed the handheld to be unusually accessible. iFixit notes that the system is kept together through typical Phillips screws and that the battery can be replaced, including without breaking the "void if broken" seal as long as the user is skilled. It's also a high capacity battery that holds 930mAh -- more than the Nintendo DSi's 840mAh or the 789mAh of the iPod touch -- though the large screen means its battery life is roughly similar at three to six hours depending on the task.
Moto Sholes to be known as Tao at Verizon
Motorola's Android-powered Sholes A855 handset has recently passed the FCC in a filing, indicating it should be ready for sale in North America. While photos, a feature-set and user manuals aren't available for about another six months, a data sheet confirms the Sholes will include EVDO Rev A network support and have a Wi-Fi radio. The phone is expected to reach Verizon stores in October, where it is likely to be renamed to the Tao.
iPhone app downloads reach 2b
Apple this morning said that App Store downloads had reached the two billion mark. The news follows just 158 days after the company said it had reached one billion downloads and now has over 85,000 apps with over 125,000 registered developers. It proves that the rate of downloads "continues to accelerate," according to Apple chief Steve Jobs.
Nokia acquires Dopplr
Nokia on Monday said it has acquired Dopplr. The deal gives the phone designer access to Dopplr's social location service, which lets users share each other's trips and recommended places at each stop, such as museums and restaurants. Nokia didn't provide the financial terms of the deal or say when it expected the deal to finish.
EU limits MP3 player sound levesl
The European Commission on Monday set volume limits for MP3 players in all European Union member states. Similar to existing rules for maximum volume exposure anywhere, the limits should prevent devices from outputting sound louder than 80 decibels under their default settings. Officials argue the limits are necessary as many devices can play music at levels loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage but without warning listeners.
Orange UK to carry iPhones in 2009
Orange UK this morning said it has struck a deal with Apple to carry both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS "later this year." The carrier doesn't yet have information regarding phone prices or service plans but does say it will sell the handsets both online, at retail, and at "selected high street partners." No mention is made of Carphone Warehouse, which handles third-party sales for the iPhone today.
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