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The European Union in a decision this week formally approved the use of 3G and eventually 4G data on the 900MHz and 1,800MHz GSM bands. The measure substantially improves the amount of bandwidth available for cellular Internet access in EU states and should render it less expensive as well. Besides reducing the need for more cell sites, allowing frequencies lower than 2,100MHz for 3G will also extend the range and coverage of existing service.
Andrei Doubrovski has released an enhancement patch, Elements+ 1.0, for Adobe's Photoshop Elements 8.0 software. The patch unlocks a number of advanced functions and makes them available in dedicated dialog boxes. The kit adds eight dialog boxes, including color and tone, selections, layers, masks, smart filters, paths, test and scripts. The scripts dialog box provides many features of the actions palate from the full Photoshop application.
EZQuest has launched higher capacity versions of its Cinema Pro rack-mountable RAID and Thunder RAID products. Both storage devices are geared towards video professionals with flexible RAID settings for fast data-transfer rates or a balance between speed and redundancy.
Vuzix has begun shipping its latest video eyewear device, Wrap 310, that was initially announced in September. The new eyewear incorporates the same basic functionality as the companyís visor-style displays, but with an outer design that resembles traditional sunglasses. It features a maximum screen resolution of 428x240 for each of its widescreen displays, which is said to be comparable to viewing a 55-inch screen from approximately 10 feet away.
Although not due to be unveiled until next week, Motorola's Droid stands to be Verizon's best phone to date, a preview finds. The first look at BGR characterizes it as one of the best Android devices to date, with high build quality, a fast processor with PowerVR graphics, good call quality and a long-lasting battery that can run for an entire day. Android 2.0 is also significantly more polished and brings a much improved browser and e-mail.
TUNEWEAR has launched a new iPhone and iPod dock, the VisualDock. The unit is an AV-capable docking station with S-Video and line outputs. Special controls toggle simulated 3D sound, and alternating between charge or charge/sync modes when connected to a computer. The dock supports the iPhone 3G and 3GS, all iPod nanos, first- and second-generation Touches, the Classic and the older fifth-gen video iPod.
A new Universal Charging Solution (UCS) has been approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a division in the United Nations, according to a Thursday report. The energy efficient charger will be compatible with all cellphones regardless of make and model, with certain unnamed manufacturers already incorporating the standard into their products, the ITU says. Other than the energy savings, the new charger will also help eliminate waste as the charger can be retained as new phones are upgraded and older ones are thrown out.
Nokia will delay the release of its flagship N900 smartphone to November, Peter Schneider, the head of Maemo marketing at Nokia indicated on Friday. This represents a near one month delay and is apparently due to a wait for the feedback of software developers who received 300 pre-production units. The device will be the first from the world's top phone maker to use an open-source Linux operating system.
FCP World has announced new Blu-ray templates for the latest version of Final Cut Studio. The company's plug-in delivers 60 background templates, on top of the original five that come with FCS. All of them can be used for both Blu-ray and AVCHD discs; each is fully animated and looping, with room for customization in the form of personalized logos and titles.
Retail chain Walmart on Thursday said it's now offering technical support staff at its locations. The staff will come from NEW Customer Service Companies, and will be available in all US Walmart stores, launching in October and in time for the holiday shopping season. With the offering, Wal-Mart is following in the footsteps of big box electronics retailer Best Buy's Geek Squad.
Despite previous efforts to bring support for the ZFS file-system to Mac OS X, Apple has dropped the project. Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz several years ago publicly claimed Leopard would utilize ZFS instead of HFS+, although Apple only provided limited support for the new technology. Even the read-only functionality was dropped with the transition to Snow Leopard.
Miraizon has released Reframe, an app for converting audio and video between standards. Users can for instance convert video from PAL to NTSC, SD to HD, and film to video. Advanced settings make it possible to alter video properties such as frame rate or size, as well as audio details like sampling rate. Other settings help fine-tune video conversion through scaling, resampling, and tweaks to the precision and dynamic range of decoding.
Verizon may be timing the launch of its BlackBerry Storm2 to draw as much attention away from it as possible, a telling report may show. A seemingly final document given to Engadget has the Storm2 shipping on October 28th, the same day as the Motorola Droid is known to make its high-profile debut. The move would guarantee less attention paid to the updated BlackBerry and would be made all the more prominent by Verizon's decision to remain silent about the phone during its worldwide launch just two weeks earlier.
Motorola's third known Android phone may be its first touchscreen-only and first regionalized Android device. A leak Friday points to a device known as the Zeppelin that, unlike the Cliq or Droid, would depend only on its 3.1-inch, 480x320 touchscreen for input but would have advantages primarily for Chinese users; it would have two SIM slots both for regular GSM as well as for China-native CDMA services that can use the removable cards. A look at the side also reveals that it may be the first Android phone with HDMI video out and likely a powerful graphics chipset as a result.
Accessory maker Belkin has issued a special product recall, addressing some of the company's TuneBase car docks. Specifically affected are the TuneBase FM with ClearScan, the TuneBase FM with Hands-Free, and the TuneBase Direct with Hands-Free. As a result of a problem with washers, versions of the docks bought on or after April 1st may produce smoke or fire when plugged into a car's power port.
BBC Worldwide, the parent company of BBC, is considering launching a premium version of its iPlayer online service that would be accessible by global audiences. Such a service would allow viewers from outside of the UK to watch popular BBC programs, such as Top Gear and Torchwood as well as listen to streaming BBC radio stations. BBC executives have yet to commit to pricing but suggest they could charge per episode, potentially as high as $10 depending on the content.
New rumored hardware details for the Adamo XPS suggest the system will be only a mild upgrade to the existing Adamo 13 that trades larger speed gains for its extra dimensions. The ultra-thin model should sit in between the two upgraded current models with ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processors between 1.4GHz and 1.9GHz versus the minimum 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo S in a challenger like the MacBook Air. The Engadget tips also claim the built-in solid-state storage will be less than for current Adamos with either a 128GB or 180GB solid-state drive.
Chronos has launched SOHO Notes 8 and Organizer 8, each with completely rewritten core engines. Notes is a notetaking app that can capture, organize, share and sync material such as text, images, PDFs, voice recordings and web archives. Organizer combines Notes and Print Essentials into a suite that also manages tasks, calendars and contacts.
As part of a just-announced partnership between Ericsson and Samsung, the latter has released the first USB modem fully compatible with the new Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G standard. The Samsung GT-B3710 modem will be sold commercially through provider TeliaSonera in 2010 in Norway and Sweden. It promises to bring peak speeds of 150Mbps downstream as well as 50Mbps uploads.
Lenovo has officially launched a new 11.6-inch IdeaPad notebook in Japan, the U150. The portable is one of Lenovo's first CULV systems and runs a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 2GB of RAM. Making the CPU upgrade gives it a faster GMA 4500 graphics core that can better handle the 1366x768 native output. A 250GB hard drive is standard fare, and the IdeaPad is one of Lenovo's first with Windows 7 to come stock.
Absoft has launched Pro Fortran 11 for the Mac. Version 11 includes both 32- and 64-bit compilers, allowing developers to design code for Mac, Windows and Linux using a single code source. Similarly present is support for OpenMP multi-core parallel programming standards when using Nehalem-era Xeon processors.
After a leak and Japanese details earlier this week, Dell on Friday brought its SX2210T display to the US. It represents Dell's first dedicated multi-touch display and supports one- or two-finger input in operating systems that recognize them, particularly Windows 7. Regardless of platform, the 21.5-inch LCD is relatively high quality for a TN-based panel with an 83 percent color gamut and a 50,000:1 contrast ratio.
Following Amazon's announcement of Kindle software for Windows users, the company has acknowledged that it is also working on a Mac version, according to Fast Company. Although the spokesperson did not provide specific details regarding the Mac app, the PC edition allows users to purchase, download, and read content from the Kindle store.
The next version of Aperture may be named Aperture X, an Amazon leak suggests. A book called Aperture X: A Workflow Guide for Digital Photographers has appeared at the Amazon website, credited to Ken McMahon and Nik Rawlinson, who previously wrote a guide for Aperture 2. The book's listing includes the warning "UNDER NDA," suggesting that it was meant to be kept hidden in a database.
During a Thursday third quarter earnings report, Netflix has revealed increased revenues thanks to a 22 percent increase of streaming video use, and this from a smaller subscriber base. At the same time, CEO Reed Hastings revealed Netflix will become available for streaming on another electronics device, though he did not offer any other specifics. Hastings did indicate game consoles are also key to the expansion of the service, which could spell an end to the exclusivity of Netflix on Microsoft's Xbox 360.
The iPhone platform could overtake rivals Nintendo and Sony for the lead in growing handheld gaming in as little as five years, a DFC Intelligence report says. The analyst group believes portable hardware from the Japanese companies is likely to still lead in terms of sheer units in the future but believes growth has "peaked" for devices like the DSi or PSP Go where Apple's platform is still climbing quickly. By 2014, the iPhone and iPod touch are expected to be the only major devices still seeing significant growth.
Following news of Nokia's patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, UBS analyst Maynard Um suggests the possibility of a hidden agenda. The case -- involving Nokia patents on technology ranging from 3G to Wi-Fi and GSM -- could be a preemptive strike in order to avoid possible infringement issues with soon-to-be-released Nokia phones, many of which contain multi-touch capabilities similar to Apple's own.
Toshiba UK on Friday launched four new business notebooks in its Satellite Pro series, all preloaded with Windows 7 Professional. The additions include the 13.3-inch U500, the 15.6-inch L500, the 17.3-inch L550, 15.6-inch L450 and the same-sized L450D. Each includes Toshiba's LifeSpace application suite just for Windows 7-powered Toshiba notebooks, which helps users to organize their appointments and help them find up to 5,000 recently accessed files visually.
Best known for having bought the rights to Palm OS, Access late on Tuesday entered phones itself by previewing the ELSE and a matching Linux phone operating system, the ELSE INTUITION. The 3.5-touchscren phone is co-designed by Emblaze and has a heavily upgraded version of Access' Linux Platform with a custom interface: it centers on a unique rotary-like home screen and menus that are easier to use with one hand as well a more intuitive multi-tasking interface that shows running all running apps at once. A side strip of buttons simplifies navigating through lists or back to higher levels.
Giant banner ads for iPods have created political controversy in Boston, writes the Boston Globe. The ads are said to have first arrived in the fall of 2007, a few months before the opening of the city's flagship Apple Store. Covering a wall measuring 13,750 square feet, the banners immediately drew fire from the Outdoor Advertising Board, which called them illegal. They have nevertheless remained in place, though in June of this year the companies behind the ads were required to pay the state $110,000 and request a new permit from the city's government. The permit was approved within the same week by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
Microsoft today reported its third consecutive decline in quarterly revenue. The company's total revenue during the summer dropped a sharp 14 percent year-over-year to $12.92 billion and is attributed almost exclusively to the Windows division, whose own revenue fell 38.76 percent to $2.62 billion. It also saw a decline in the overall health of its Business and Online Services groups.
An FCC filing (PDF) from Novatel has revealed that Dell plans to apply its rugged XFR badge to a tablet PC for the first time. Titled the Latitude XT2 XFR, it would take the company's familiar 12-inch XT2 convertible tablet but harden the system for use outdoors or in more dangerous workplaces: the body would have extra shock-absorbing protection, particularly at the corners and the hinge. It would also have protected ports to guard against dust or water.
Acer wrapped up the week today by rolling out a new high-performance desktop LCD that appears first in Japan. The 24-inch S243HL uses a white LED backlight that provides it with an extremely high contrast ratio even when compared to typical LED-lit displays, jumping from 1,000:1 to 8,000,000:1 with dynamic contrast active. The thinner technology also contributes to a main panel that measures about 0.57 inches thick, although the base is thicker.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
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