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App promotes health care reform in US
Apple has reversed course and approved iSinglePayer, an iPhone app advocating health care reform in the US. The app had initially been rejected for being "politically charged," as it contains charts and information regarding single-payer health care systems. Users can even find the nearest congressperson and view campaign donations provided by companies in the health sector.
Palm spurs open-source apps, web downloads
Palm at a special event tonight staked out its differences with Apple by making key changes to its developer program. The smartphone developer is one of the first after Google to foster open development and said it will dismiss its usual $99 app submission fee for any developer whose webOS apps are open-source. Back end data on app downloads and other sales info will also be available to all developers on request.
Hardware upgrades enable integrated apps
Novatel is set to upgrade its MiFi pocket router with expanded support for a variety of apps. The new features, such as Eye-Fi and VPN utilities, utilize an applications processor found in the European MiFi 2352 and the MiFi 2372 distributed through AT&T and Rogers in North America.
802.11g model expected to see price drop
Confirming earlier reports, Microsoft's upcoming 802.11n adapter for the Xbox 360 has landed in GameStop's inventory for $99. The accessory integrates dual antennas designed to maintain faster data speeds, while the improved performance should enable users to stream 1080p videos available through the new Zune movie service.
Apple restricts necessary technology for Flash
Adobe's mobile website contains new information that directly blames Apple for preventing the company's Flash Player from being allowed onto the iPhone platform. Visitors attempting to install Flash Player on their iPhone are reminded that the project has stagnated due to Apple's rules.
Chamber shunned for opposing greenhouse gas limits
Apple has sent a letter of resignation (PDF) to the US Chamber of Commerce over a disagreement involving proposed environmental legislation, the New York Times reports. Chamber president and chief executive Thomas J. Donohue recently voiced opposition to expanded EPA policies aimed at greenhouse gas emissions.
Sony VAIO X may be ready in November
Sony's VAIO X ultralight could be ready next month and have a second notebook follow along if a rumor tonight proves true. The 1.5-pound notebook would ship in November, according to CrunchGear, and would be a direct replacement for the VAIO TT. A strategy of the sort implies it will use a low-voltage Core 2 Duo, which would support Sony's claims of extra-long battery life.
Bell's early HSPA launch official
Bell today confirmed its early HSPA launch and said it will launch the new network in November, about three months ahead of its self-imposed deadline of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The network will also launch faster than expected and start off with HSPA+, which like the recent Rogers upgrade will give it a peak speed of 21Mbps downstream and about 5.76Mbps for uploads.
QNAP rolls out TS-410 home NAS
QNAP furthered its push into mainstream network-attached storage on Monday with the TS-410. While resembling its work-oriented drives, the NAS is meant for the home and has built-in DLNA and UPnP servers to share media over a local network, including to the PS3, Xbox 360 or to iPhones and iPod touch devices through an iPhone app. It also brings BitTorrent, FTP and HTTP downloaders to grab files no matter which computers are online.
All programs add Snow Leopard compatibility
Nisus has updated its two word processor packages, releasing Writer Pro 1.3.1 and Writer Express 3.3.1. Both updates fix compatibility issues with Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Writer Express has been given a new document manager and a style library, as well as the ability to attach an active document to a message in either Mail or Entourage. Similarly new is a selection history panel, and an option to automatically capitalize the first word of each sentence during typing.
Motorola Droid due at Verizon on Oct. 30th?
Motorola's Android-powered Droid handset, also known as the Sholes and Tao, may arrive at wireless provider Verizon as soon as October 30th, according to a Verizon leak made public by a Monday BGR report. This date may just be the official unveiling of the device by Verizon, as it is believed to be coming out very late this year.
May simplify cross-platform development
Adobe is well into the production of updated Flash Authoring software, allowing the creation of iPhone apps, says an Adobe product manager. Mike Chambers notes that a private beta of the new software is already in effect, and some titles built with Flash have already reached the App Store, such as Fickleblox and Trading Stuff. A public beta of the tool will be released by the end of the year, alongside Flash CS5.
Cell South lowers Hero price and adds plan
Cellular South began taking pre-orders for the HTC Hero along with a pair of moves to draw attention to its launch. The phone itself will cost just over half of Sprint's price at $100 versus the larger carrier's $180. Both Android device versions have the same features, including HTC's Sense UI, a 5-megapixel camera, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi.
D-Link all-in-one DIR-685 router now out
D-Link has began shipping its Xtreme N DIR-685 all-in-one router that was first introduced back at CES in January. The device has a built-in draft N Wi-Fi module that allows it to communicate with network attached storage devices and a 3.2-inch LCD screen that lets it play streaming video or double as a digital photo frame. The screen can also display device status information via graphs and gauges. D-Link's SharePort feature lets networked computers share printers and other USB devices.
Dell Vista PCs to ship with Windows 7 for free
On Monday, Dell has began offering buyers the choice to hold off on receiving their desktop or notebook PCs until Windows 7 becomes available. The computer maker is not only offering a free upgrade to Windows 7 on any PC it sells with Windows Vista as part of its new Windows 7 Free and Easy program, but offering to perform the switchover itself. This means any PC sold will, at the buyer's request, ship to them with Windows 7 right on the new operating system's launch date of October 22nd or very soon thereafter.
3M shows easily integratable 3D optical film
The optical systems division of 3M on Monday said it will soon sell a newly developed 3D optical film for handheld devices that will let users view stereoscopic 3D images on handhelds without having to wear 3D glasses. Vikuiti uses directional backlight technology to send and focus left and right images sequentially into the viewer’s eyes. This allows for full resolution to be displayed for each eye. It only requires one LCD panel and operates at a fast 120Hz refresh rate that more naturally mimics what the human eye sees.
Best Buy intros miQ mobile web backup
Best Buy stepped out of its usual role as retailer today by launching mIQ. Its service is designed to save smartphone data and will backup contacts, photos, videos and other data to 1GB of online space that can be accessed through the web or through a native phone app. Social network also plays a part as the app merges Facebook, Flickr, FriendFeed and Twitter updating.
Likely to draw fire from Apple
Mac cloner Psystar has announced a new OEM licensing program, designed to spread the company's virtualization software. Subscribers to the program gain access to the company's Darwin Universal Boot Loader (DUBL), which allows users to install Mac OS X on a PC, instead of just an Apple-branded Mac. Users can in fact have up to six operating systems on a computer, but hardware certified by Psystar must at least have Linux, Windows Vista or Windows 7 pre-installed.
Dell ZinoHD will be labeled Inspiron, specs leak
Some specs and details of the upcoming Dell Zino HD series of nettops were revealed, thanks to a recent DellZinoHD search. Two models in the Zino HD series will be offered, including the Inspiron 300 and Inspiron 400. Both have potentially been readied for Windows XP, Windows Vista or the upcoming Windows 7, with the support page also including a manual for Ubuntu.
BlackBerry Dakota and Essex get early info
Two of RIM's more important future QWERTY BlackBerries have been spoiled today through a pair of slips of details as well as photos. Formerly known as the Magnum, the Dakota should be RIM's first smartphone to have a touchscreen in a conventional shape, like Palm's devices. Salomondrin adds that its camera may be unique in the industry as a whole: it would use a "liquid lens" system that changes the shape of the lens itself to refocus without needing a thick and at times unnatural mechanical focusing system.
Gateway bringing Windows 7 convertible tablet
A number of images and specs for Gateway's upcoming convertible tablet PC, the EC18T, have been revealed ahead of any official news from the system builder. Outside of the new OS, a Monday Engadget leak reveals the 11.6-inch tablet will ship with an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM. Graphics will be handled by Intel's integrated GS45 Express chipset.
Windows Marketplace for Mobile launches
Microsoft today surprised Windows Mobile users with an early but low-profile launch for Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The app store is meant as the official gateway for apps on Windows Mobile 6.x devices, including 6.5 models like the HTC Pure. However, the portal so far only has 34 apps, 10 of which are games, and so far carries paid apps with average prices above those found in the iPhone's App Store.
Devices simulate buttons, gestures
Microsoft is exploring the concept of multi-touch mice, a new research paper reveals. The paper is being presented today as part of the User Interface Software and Technology conference, and identifies five different prototypes, each based on different sensor technologies. The devices also rely on different ergonomics, and in some cases enable different functions.
Active Media intros USB 3.0 external SSDs
Solid state and USB storage drive maker Active Media Products recently introduced its Aviator 312 line of USB 3.0 external solid state SSDs. The drives are available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities and support read speeds of as much as 240MBps and write speeds of 160MBps. The drive is one of the first USB devices to reach its peak speeds through the USB 3.0 interface, which allows transfer speeds of up to about 5Gbps, or about ten times faster than USB 2.0.
Charger powers laptop while charging battery
QuickerTek has released a new MacBook Air power charger, the Auto and Airline Charger. The charger includes an adapter for use in an automobile or an airplane. The product differs from Apple's chargers that are included with every MacBook Air, with the ability to power the laptop while simultaneously charging the internal battery. All of the standard MacBook Air power options are maintained, including MagSafe. The charger features additional safety options such as a user-serviceable inline fuse and power filtering.
Sprint brings 4G data service to 10 new cities
Wireless provider Sprint on Monday announced the expansion of its 4G ultra high speed mobile broadband service to ten new markets. Sprint's 4G network offers download speeds up to 12Mbps in peak conditions and encounters real-world speeds closer to 2-4Mbps. It is significantly faster than 3G, with Sprint claiming up to 10 times faster speeds than 3G services. The new markets mostly involve Texas and include Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Killeen-Temple, Lubbok, Midland-Odesssa, Waco and Wichita Falls. Salem, Oregon and Milledgeville, Oregon also get the new network.
To include auto-refreshing homepage
Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg.com, has confirmed the development of a Digg iPhone app in an interview held at a FOWA (Future of Web Apps) event in London. The interviewers were given a sneak-peak of the app prior to the talk. During discussion, Rose appeared surprised they had been able to view the app, which he then acknowledged.
NPD shows Mac use in US on the rise
Over 12 percent of all US homes have at least one Mac but aren't exclusive to the platform, the NPD Group found in its latest Household Penetration study. The number is a large jump from nine percent just last year, but about 85 percent of these also have at least one Windows PC as well. These homes are also more likely to have three or more computers, at 66 percent, versus just 29 percent for Windows-only homes.
Questions of practicality impede progress
Apple has been working on a rumored tablet computer since at least 2003, claims a group of the company's former workers. Although a final tablet may only be released in early 2010, 2003 is said to have seen the creation of a PowerPC-based prototype, one which would have been impractical for anyone to use. "It couldn't be built," says Joshua Strickland, a former Apple engineer. "The battery life wasn't long enough, the graphics performance was not enough to do anything and the components themselves cost more than $500."
Toshiba Cell Regza and 4K appear
Toshiba took the lead at Japan's CEATEC show by unveiling its most advanced TV to date. The Cell Regza 55X1 uses a variant of the same Cell processor found in the PlayStation 3 and can handle tasks that were previously difficult or impossible in regular sets: it can record up to eight simultaneous digital over-the-air TV shows at once using a special DVR box and will even display those images simultaneously. Image correction also moves up with self-congruency adjustment at the edge of the display, better color balance and sharper upscaling for DVDs and other sub-HD video.
Suffering declines due to iPhone, iPod work
Scottish manufacturer Wolfson Microelectronics is projecting year-over-year financial declines for its fourth quarter, says the Financial Times. Revenue is expected to be between $33 and $34 million, flat relative to the second and third quarters of 2009, but down from $37.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The trouble is attributed mainly to a broken relationship with Apple; while Wolfson chips are featured in the iPhone 3G, there are none to be found in the iPhone 3GS.
MSI GT740 gaming notebook gets Windows 7, Core i7
MSI on Monday said it will soon follow up its first quad-core Core i7 powered notebook, the 15.4-inch GT640, with the larger 17-inch GT740 gaming notebook. Like the smaller PC, this new one will also ship with Windows 7. Another shared feature is the NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M 3D graphics chipset, which should give it added performance beyond just the faster Intel processor.
Netgear bows Linux-based RangeMax router
Netgear this morning challenged Cisco in customizable routers with a new Linux-based RangeMax model. The WNR3500L has the same 802.11n Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet and USB device sharing as the regular WNR3500 but runs on an open-source Linux platform and will take common unofficial router firmware like DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato. These give it much more customization than the proprietary OS and can bring features that Netgear wouldn't introduce itself.
iPhone app ties into AT&T plans
Vonage plans to release iPhone and BlackBerry applications on Monday afternoon Eastern time, Reuters says. The apps should make Vonage's VoIP service portable on any American BlackBerry or iPhone. Unlike most VoIP offerings however, the apps do not attempt to provide free calling. They instead provide cheaper rates, in some cases more than 50 percent below normal carrier fees, according to Vonage.
Samsung Behold II coming to T-Mobile
T-Mobile started off the week with word of its first Samsung phone with Android. The Behold II has graduated from a feature phone to a full smartphone and carries the full Google suite of apps as well as Android Market for third-party apps. Unlike the Galaxy it's based on, though, the Behold II is Samsung's first phone to bring its TouchWiz interface and not only has the widget sidebar but a 3D cube menu that provides shortcuts to common tasks like media, the web and the Amazon MP3 online store. Microsoft Exchange sync also adds to what Google would bring itself.
Kempler reveals W PhoneWatch
Relative newcomer Kempler & Strauss this morning made official the W PhoneWatch. It provides similar functionality to a watch phone like the LG GD910 but should be even smaller; despite the size, it doesn't require a stylus for its touchscreen interface. It serves as a full media phone with 4GB of built-in storage as well as a microSD card slot and the option of playing videos as well as music; it can even use its camera for video recording.
Blu-ray not likely for new iMacs
Despite implications of Blu-ray Macs soon, the rumored iMac overhaul isn't slated to get the better disc format, tech writer John Gruber claimed on Sunday. Known for sources that have accurately predicted iPhone details, he said that Blu-ray was once considered likely but that the "new word" is that it has been dropped. Why this might be hasn't been addressed.
Adobe unveils Flash 10.1 without iPhone
Adobe at its MAX show launched Flash 10.1, a major update to its plugin that promises video on devices that normally haven't been capable. The release adds hardware graphics acceleration on computers and should make HD Flash video possible on netbooks and ultraportables and standard definition possible on smartphones. NVIDIA already promises that its GeForce, Ion and Tegra chipsets will speed up the Flash update when available.
HTC Pure and Tilt 2 arrive at AT&T
AT&T's phone introductions on Monday have been headed up by its first smartphones to ship with Windows Mobile 6.5. The Pure is AT&T's more unique entry and has a 3.2-inch but very sharp 800x480 screen that takes advantage of the Microsoft platform's more touch-friendly interface, Windows Marketplace and a more accurate web browser with Flash. HTC's own TouchFLO 3D interface is similarly new for AT&T and puts contacts, media and other data at the top level. A 5-megapixel camera, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi put it on par with HTC's Touch Diamond2 despite the smaller frame.
AT&T intros two Pantech, two Samsung phones
AT&T today sought to address the limits of messaging phones with four new models that center on a new browser. The Pantech Impact and Reveal, as well as the Samsung Flight and Mythic, all have a new AT&T web browser based on Opera that not only renders HTML more accurately -- a rarity on non-smartphones -- but also uses compression to reduce the bandwidth overhead on the 3G network. It further provides shortcuts to location-sensitive news, maps and points of interest.
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