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RIM's BlackBerry Storm 2 has surfaced in several authorized reviews, potentially indicating the device is almost ready to be launched. Although several unauthorized videos have been circulated, the latest materials likely feature hardware and software that has been finalized for close scrutiny.
Apple may have a temporary exclusive on Intel's fastest workstation Xeons early next year, a purported leak argues tonight. An unnamed source says Apple is readying a Mac Pro based on the Xeon version of Intel's Gulftown six-core architecture and that the Mac builder would have a short exclusive for the processors, launching its own workstations in the winter while everyone else would have to wait until the spring. What configurations would ship aren't known by the MacBidouille tipster.
HTC's upcoming HD2 smartphone has been spotted on T-Mobile internal documents, according to TmoNews. The recently announced handset, marking HTC's latest flagship, will ship with Windows Mobile 6.5 and a capacitive 800x480 touchscreen. Internally, the device sports a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 448MB of RAM, and 7.2Mb/s HSPA connectivity.
Samsung and Blockbuster have announced a collaborative effort to bring additional content to Samsung's HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and Blu-ray home theater systems. Owners of select devices will be able to access Blockbuster's range of on-demand content available for rent or purchase.
Dell's computer shipments have continued a steep decline, as competitors including Acer, Toshiba and Apple have gained market share. The latest data from research firm Gartner appears to corroborate many points from an earlier report issued from IDC.
Acer today prepped for the upcoming release of the Aspire Z5610, its first all-in-one desktop with multi-touch input support. The system draws on Windows 7 for its extra touch features and has a relatively large 23-inch, 1080p display to work with. Processing power is basic and comes from a dual-core 2.6GHz Pentium, but the system brings both 4GB of RAM and relatively fast graphics from an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570.
Apple on Wednesday released performance updates for both its Leopard and Snow Leopard operating systems. The downloads address intermittent stalls caused by hard drives, an issue reported by a a small number of users. The updates do not appear to include any other bug fixes.
Dell's namesake Michael Dell in a talk late Tuesday criticized both his own products and Microsoft. Despite his company offering multiple netbooks, including the Mini 10, the CEO largely dismissed the category and said a "fair amount" of buyers are unhappy with them for both their smaller screens and slow performance. Many existing notebook owners in particular often come back disappointed as they lose what they liked about their larger portables.
A leaked roadmap from Motorola may have detailed upcoming Android smartphones from the manufacturer. According to a Wednesday Dialaphone slip, the image shows a version of the Droid handset will ship early next year, but with a touchscreen only instead of carrying the Droid's QWERTY sliding keyboard. This handset is also expected to get an 8-megapixel camera rather than the imminent Droid's 5-megapixel shooter.
Samsung recently showed off a prototype 3D HDTV sized at 55 inches. The set uses a 240Hz speed panel for reproducing traditional two-dimensional images at up to 1080p resolution, and sends out 120Hz images to each eye when in 3D mode. Samsung claims there is no ghosting during fast scenes in 3D mode, while no loss of resolution is endured when watching traditional content.
Orbicule has released a major update to its microscopy software, Macnification 1.6. The tool allows scientists to organize, analyze and compare microscopic image captures. It utilizes Quick Look, Spotlight and QuickTime, and features a non-destructive workflow to protect original captures. New in v1.6 is full 64-bit support for use in Snow Leopard, and Grand Central Dispatch awareness to exploit all of the available processors on a given Mac.
Sony Ericsson has begun shipping the Aino, the first handset to support Remote Play on Sony's own PS3 game console. The Aino is a touchscreen slider, another first for the company, and was introduced alongside the Satio this spring. With the Aino, users will be able to turn on or off their PS3s, navigate the XMB interface and access the web as well as DRM-free media saved on the drive.
Computer Docking Systems has announced the Dock-a-Mac vertical docking system for MacBooks. The black acrylic station docks with any black or white MacBook, and is available in three configurations, based on video output. Buyers can choose between VGA, DVI or HDMI options, which connect a computer to an external monitor or TV. Vertical orientation allows for better heat dissipation, and the docking bar is removable for portability's sake.
Apple has successfully recaptured its fourth place spot in US computer market share, according to early estimates from IDC. The Mac creator had slipped in spring but should now have bounced back to claim 9.4 percent of shipments, or about 1.64 million Macs. The number is a rapid 35.2 percent growth in what it had shipped one season earlier and is a rare example of a sharp year-over-year growth in the current climate, as it represents an 11.8 percent boost over Apple's share a year ago, in summer 2008.
The first Michael Jackson album to be released after the singer's death, This Is It, will indeed be available through iTunes, says the senior VP of publicity for Epic Records. Lois Najarian also notes that the two-disc collection should be released on October 27th, although there continues to be a dispute with Sony and the Jackson estate over selling individual tracks. Depending on the resolution of the conflict, shoppers may either be required to pick up the complete album, or get the option of buying individual songs as usual.
The Chinese cellular carrier China Unicom has finally set an local launch date for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Customers will be able to purchase Apple's smartphone beginning October 30th. Following the initial launch, the company is expected to expand sales to its online store and Apple's retail locations.
Samsung on Wednesday launched the Blue Earth handset after unveiling it early this year. The environmentally-friendly phone sports a full touchscreen, unlike other "green" handsets, and has multimedia playback capabilities. To earn its credentials, it has a built-in solar panel for charging its battery using the sun. The handset is made of Post Consumer Material (PCM) plastic from used water bottles and, along with its charger, is made without harmful substances such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or phthalates.
Toshiba on Wednesday updated its notebooks with Windows 7 and a rare promise among Windows PC makers. The company promises that all of its systems running the new OS, including its touchscreen models, will go without any icons on the desktop except for the default Recycle Bin. System performance should get a boost as the PCs will run as little software in the background as possible, in many cases only running anti-virus tools.
Avid has revamped its M-Audio Oxygen collection of USB-attached MIDI controllers. Each keyboard features DirectLink technology, which maps controls to production suites including Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason, Logic and GarageBand. Models are divided into 25-, 49- and 61-key versions.
Acer president Gianfranco Lanci at a press conference today predicted that his company would "finally pass" Dell for market share within six months. The company lead expects to have more overall share than Dell by the end of winter 2010 and credits it directly to better sales and the resulting financial health. Where Dell has seen falling profits, Acer expects its profit during the summer to have grown 14 percent compared to a year earlier, to about $106.8 million.
Piracy is a minor but still important problem for iPhone app developers, says analytics firm Pinch Media. The company notes that shortly after the launch of the App Store in 2008, it began receiving complaints that Pinch tallies of new users were exceeding official figures displayed by iTunes Connect. The discrepancy is now believed to be attributable to piracy, tracked by Pinch since May of 2009.
Logitech on Wednesday released the Notebook Kit MK605, which is made up of a wireless laser mouse and wireless keyboard, along with a pivoting riser stand. The wireless peripherals connect to the notebook via the included Logitech Unifying receiver. The receiver barely sticks out from the notebook it's connected to via its USB port, and it can also pair to four more wireless devices.
AT&T on Wednesday struck a deal to provide 3G for a full-size notebook. Its version of the business-oriented 15.4-inch Dell Vostro 1520 notebook ships with an embedded 3G connection to AT&T's HSPA network for data access. Other than the link, buyers will also get around-the-clock hardware tech support.
Das Keyboard today grew out its input line through Model S, its first full-feature keyboard. The new peripheral now have media keys for music playback and a second USB port for a peripheral. Compatibility also gets a boost through support for KVM multi-computer switches and a PS/2 adapter for older Windows PCs.
Local company M1 is set to become Singapore's second official iPhone carrier, according to an announcement. A deal is said to have recently been forged with Apple, though no details are yet available on phone prices or subscription rates. A launch should occur sometime before the end of 2009.
Verizon Wireless chief Lowell McAdam today partly spoiled his own company's launch plans for the BlackBerry Storm 2 by confirming it in an interview about it ahead of its formal release. The executive says he has already shown the smartphone to shoppers at one of the carrier's stores and claims they were impressed by the sequel, whose central boost is a piezoelectric touchscreen that provides simulated physical feedback for button presses.
NewsGator has formally announced TapLynx, a new development framework for iPhone and iPod touch applications. Titles produced through the framework are meant to display constantly-updating media content, delievered via RSS feeds. Text, images and video clips can be arranged inline, and sharing options can be integrated in the form of e-mail, Twitter and Facebook support.
Nintendo on Thursday brought out its first non-white Wii controllers for the US. Previously only found in Japan, black versions of both the Wii remote and the nunchuk controller will reach the country. Both are functionally identical to their reference versions, although the remote will include the MotionPlus add-on and all-black protective jacket in the box.
Acer on Wednesday announced it will soon launch a number of new Windows 7 powered PCs, including its first multi-touch notebook, the 15.6-inch Aspire AS5738PG notebook. At the same time, Acer updated its Timeline series of Aspire notebooks with dual-core CULV processors and the new Microsoft OS.
Hidden iPhone compatibility features have been found in Google Wave, reports say. Wave is used to merge e-mail, wikis, instant messaging and social networking, and is currently in its beta stages. The web app is supported in two ways on an iPhone, the first being visiting its website through Safari. People are warned that their browser is not supported during the preview period, but after proceeding, problems should be minimal.
Toshiba this morning refreshed its notebook line for Windows 7 but centered its attention on its first two touchscreen models. The Satellite M505 Touch and U505 Touch both have multi-touch displays both to use Windows 7's more touch-aware interface as well as Toshiba's own custom touch apps. A bulletin board app provides a space for calendars, notes and photos, and a ReelTime app provides a visual file search that uses a thumbnail timeline to find content by when it was created or changed.
A minor revision of the iPhone 3GS is now shipping with a new bootrom, preventing the use of somecurrent jailbreaking techniques, hackers claim. Phones with iBoot 359.3.2 are believed to have gone on sale last week, quietly and without explanation from Apple. The new code is said to prevent the 24kpwn exploit, however, which has been used for some time in jailbreaking tools, including those from the unofficial iPhone Dev Team.
Barnes & Noble's imminent e-book reader may make a second, multi-touch display its central feature, a leak shows today. Renderings, photos and details obtained today by Gizmodo show the device having both a grayscale e-paper display, like most readers, but also a small, full color, multi-touch LCD. The interface would not only give a responsive, adaptable keyboard but would be used to browse and pick books.
JVC has introduced its latest home theater audio system in Japan. The 1.2-inch thick system, made up of the AX-FT amplifier and SP-FT speakers, is thin enough to be hung on a wall or stood up on its stand on a bookshelf. The amplifier is rated at 4x20W and supports both Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats but will also play AAC audio files.
Acer on Wednesday made a new claim to the fastest smartphone available with the Liquid. The company's first Android phone, it's one of the first to ship with Android 1.6 but is also the first Android phone to ship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Using the 1GHz chip makes it faster than the 800MHz Samsung Moment and helps drive the 800x480 touchscreen as well as speed up 3D and Android's already accurate web browser.
The Wi-Fi Alliance today unveiled a new standard it hopes will make Wi-Fi the de facto standard for peer-to-peer wireless. Known as Wi-Fi Direct, it will turn any supporting device into an access point and let it auto-discover other compatible hardware nearby. The technique will not only simplify ad hoc networks, reducing the need for a dedicated router, but will let peripherals use Wi-Fi where they couldn't have before: cameras, mice and other devices could work without needing any special setup.
Nikon as expected this morning launched the D3s. Its update to the mainstay pro DSLR adds 720p, 24FPS video like the D300s before it but is most notable for its dramatically improved light sensitivity. The 12-megapixel camera is one of the first to shoot up to ISO 12,800 at normal settings but can be manually set to shoot at ISO 102,400 -- four times the original D3 as well as other top tier DSLRs.
Flip Video today countered the threat of the iPod nano as a camcorder by launching a redesigned Flip Mino HD. The pocket camcorder has a sleeker, silver-hued design but focuses most on addressing gaps in its design: the new version doubles storage to 8GB, enough for two hours of video, and has a much larger 2-inch LCD (up from 1.5 inches). Other upgrades include the HDMI output from the Ultra HD as well as more responsive touch-sensitive buttons.
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Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X