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Anawiki Games has released Spooky Runes, a Halloween version of its Runes of Avalon 2 for the Mac. Spooky Runes is a puzzle-based adventure that takes place in Avalon, after it has been invaded by ghouls, bats, ghosts, and other various creatures. During the game players must solve a variety of puzzles which are spread throughout 35 different levels, in order to help the main character Evelyne collect enough magic runes to get rd of the monsters.
AKVIS has announced a new version of its photo enhancement tool, Noise Buster 7.0. The application is designed to remove noise in the color and luminance layers of images, both separately and together. The upgrade delivers a series of new features including support for Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, 64-bit Adobe Photoshop CS4, and Snow Leopard, as well as improvements to both the noise reduction algorithm and interface. Bug fixes have also been added for both the Mac and Windows versions.
Imagine Products has introduced new versions of its ShoutPut Pro and ProxyMill applications, which support workflows for Canon 5D Mark II and JVC ProHD digital cameras. ShoutPut Pro delivers tools for managing HD digital media, enabling users to make secure copies of a memory card or hard disk’s contents, in up to three locations, along with the ability to create Blu-ray or DVD archivies. ProxyMill is an HD conversion software, that allows users to create HD Log files, to customize QuickTime codec, image quality or bit rates, and to make low-resolution H.264 or MPEG-4 QuickTime movies.
RED this evening provided an update on the progress of its greater-than-HD EPIC and Scarlet cameras with a beta program for the EPIC-X and a feature boost for the Scarlet. The 5K resolution EPIC-X should now be available as a "beta" test camera before the end of 2009 and, in a first stage, will give those buyers a pre-production core body and all the equipment needed to use it outside of the lens, such as CompactFlash storage, an electronic viewfinder, a mount and power. This initial run should be available only in very limited numbers for $28,000 and will get special support up to and including CEO Jim Jannard's personal cellphone number.
In Brief: macProVideo.com has released a new tutorial video that provides lessons for working with Apple's MainStage 2 software. PlayHaven has announced a new platform that allows iPhone developers to create community sites for their games. Meanwhile, Infinity Data Systems has extended free phone support to customers using MailForge.
Microsoft's second-ever official retail store opened to lines resembling those of Apple's, an early estimate says. More than 1,000 are believed by the OC Register to have queued up for the Mission Viejo, California opening, some of whom had entered the line as early as the previous afternoon. It's not known how long lines remained in front of the store or how floor traffic has proceeded since the debut at 10AM local time.
Norway's Consumer Council, Forbrukerrådet, has spoken out against Amazon's terms-of-service regarding e-books purchased on the Kindle, as detailed in a post on the Council's website. The group's director, Hans Marius Graasvold, claims several points in the e-book agreement violate Norwegian consumer-rights laws.
Excel has introduced QuickLicense Server 1.0, an application for generating a vendor-branded floating license system. Under such a system, a server and monitor pairing keep track of protected programs. Tools in QuickLicense allow users to configure a server, observe its operations, and alter the number of purchased licenses, and well as manage the number of protected apps that can be used at a customer site.
The Internet has turned 40 years old this week, with its beginnings occurring at 9pm on October 29th, 1969. On that day, engineers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) nearly 400 miles away sent data over the first two nodes. Back then, the Internet was known as Arpanet, after the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which commissioned its creation.
Sony Ericsson is offering a look at a new white version of its XPERIA X3 smartphone thanks to an official video (viewable below) released on Friday. The device will be the first from Sony Ericsson to run on Google's Android operating system. The November 3rd release date for the device is once again touted as part of the clip.
Primera has announced PTPublisher, new burning and printing software for the Mac. The app is based on the Roxio burn engine and allows users to burn or print discs through any networked Primera disc publisher. A real-time status bar displays bin levels, ink levels and system errors, while administrator functions give control over an authorized user list and password assignments, as well as e-mailed status notifications.
China's Soyea has recently released a new Mobile Internet Device (MID), the Z5, which sports a 5-inch touchscreen with 800x480 resolution. Processing power comes courtesy of a 1.2GHz Intel Atom processor, and there is 1GB of RAM onboard. Internet access comes from either a Wi-Fi connection or 3G module with access from China Telecom. Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR is also present.
Plantronics today launched a rare Bluetooth headset aimed primarily at the desktop. The Voyager Pro UC bundles a USB Bluetooth adapter with the familiar Voyager Pro and lets any Mac or Windows PC handle calls over the wireless earpiece if they don't already have built-in Bluetooth. Its functions can work natively with many VoIP apps, including Skype and business-class apps from Cisco.
Marware has launched updated Sport Grip and Sport Grip Deluxe cases for the fifth-generation iPod nano. Both cases are made of silicone, and protect a Nano's back, bottom, top and sides from scrapes and scratches, while also reducing the likelihood of slipping. The basic Sport Grip comes with a clear screen protector and a microfiber cleaning cloth.
HTC is updating its own user interface for its touchscreen smartphones, as evidenced by the company's recent patent filing. The handset maker's design appears to be a spiritual successor to TouchFLO and Sense UI. While still unnamed, it would mimic the layout and organization of a virtual book, according to images and the description in the patent application.
Lee Clow is resigning from his position as the chief creative officer for ad firm TBWA/Media Arts Lab, reports say. A veteran of the advertising industry for more than 40 years, Clow is best known for orchestrating Apple's most famous marketing campaigns, such as the 1984 Superbowl ad. The executive is also responsible for the dancing silhouettes in iPod ads, and the Get a Mac campaign attacking Windows PCs.
Nokia today closed a chapter in its online history today with news that it would close its N-Gage gaming service. The company plans to shutter the game download and community in September 2010 and is moving all its users over to the Ovi Store. Games on devices and in the store will remain, but Nokia warns that community features like high scores will come to an end as part of the switchover.
Nintendo's next-generation portable game machine could have free 3G access built in, company president Satoru Iwata commented on Friday. While not a definite plan, the executive tells those he is at least considering an echo of the Amazon Kindle's business model, which charges extra up front in return for lifetime 3G access. The model would be dictated by Nintendo's younger user base and the primary gaming focus of its devices.
MacUpdate has released MacUpdate Desktop 5, an update to its software management utility. The latest version features smart scanning, enabling automatic scanning and matching for more than 30,000 software titles. The user interface has been redesigned to be cleaner and easier to use, while users can download and install updates with a single click.
Olympus' success to its first Micro Four Thirds camera should make its debut in as little as a week based on both official and unofficial news. A teaser page from the company is counting down to a "new PEN" launch on November 6th and has been accompanied by a leak showing the new camera. Still believed to be called the E-P2, the camera now appears to be virtually identical to the E-P1 on the outside but will come in black and have the option of a stereo mic attachment in addition to an add-on electronic viewfinder.
CrushFTP has released an update to its self-titled FTP software. Version 5.0.3 offers improved user-management functionality and options for consolidating multiple Virtual File Systems. SSH port forwarding has been added, along with support for additional FTP servers when acting as a FTP Proxy/Protocol Translator.
Video is likely to be the next big focus of a lot of Apple's digital content, reports RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky. The analyst recently spoke to three Apple executives, including CFO Peter Oppenheimer; the VP for iTunes and Internet services, Eddy Cue; and finally David Moody, the VP for worldwide Mac marketing. The executives note that video is seen as the next "exploding" opportunity after music, but that it is currently being hampered by several obstacles.
Taiwan's AU Optronics at the FPD International show has been demonstrating a rare 14-inch OLED display panel capable of displaying 1080p (1920x1080). AUO claims a high 100,000:1 contrast ratio despite the size and an all-white brightness of 200cd/m2 for the panel, which is also smooth at 120Hz.
Apple is facing yet another lawsuit over delayed MMS support on American iPhones, court documents show. Although the feature was eventually enabled on September 25th, the case's plaintiff -- Alabama resident Clyde Franklin -- charges both Apple and AT&T of misleading the public on MMS availability, with promises that it would become an option on the iPhone 3G and 3GS with the arrival of the v3.0 firmware. It did not, and Franklin notes that only a small disclaimer on the Apple website made mention that AT&T support would only come in "late summer."
Bell on Friday said it will soon add the Samsung Omnia II to its lineup in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The announcement is significant as the first HSPA version of the handset for North America and for its use of Bell's upcoming HSPA network, scheduled for a November 5th launch. Reflecting Samsung's sponsorship of the event, Bell Omnia II owners will have access to a free Olympics app to keep track of events and a decal for the phone back.
Verizon's launch of the Droid next week may involve a carefully orchestrated store opening, a source said late yesterday. Carrier stores will reportedly open at 6AM, or four hours early, to accommodate an expected rush of early buyers on November 6th. The Motorola Android phone is said by BGR be accompanied by the budget-minded Droid Eris at the same time.
At the FPD International show in Japan, LG has revealed its future plans for OLED TVs and confirmed that its 15-inch OLED HDTV will ship before year's end, as promised earlier. LG's OLED sales and marketing VP, Won Kim says 20-inch and larger OLED panels will be built in 2010, 30-inch and larger models in 2011 and 40-inch displays in 2012. Kim points out OLED TVs will be more expensive than their LCD counterparts in 2012, but expects this will flip by 2016.
A pair of leaks have revealed NVIDIA's Fermi hardware should both be a dramatic visual upgrade and have a quick release of mobile parts. A post today on a Chinese forum shows samples of the graphics chipset that include 3D rendered faces with both extremely high detail as well as particularly complex visual effects, such as natural-looking facial hair or skin glare. One also shows the level of detail possible with relatively fast raytraced lighting.
Apple has officially launched the iPhone in China to relatively warm response, at least in Beijing, reports say. The device became available at 6:30PM local time on Friday, first through a China Unicom flagship store after a ceremony attended by Apple VP Greg Joswiak. Although there were no overnight lines as at some launches, just under 300 people are said to waited in front of the store for a chance to buy the product.
A Sprint executive revealed the carrier's plans to release software updates for its smartphones and other news via a web chat on Thursday. David Owens revealed the Android-powered HTC Hero and Samsung Moment will get an update to the OS, though hasn't specified whether it will be version 1.6 or 2.0. Android phones are expected to also go down in price thanks to higher volumes, and Sprint is considering adding an Android handset with an integrated MiFi-style router.
Apple in two years has pushed the iPhone up to 2.5 percent of the entire cellphone market, Strategy Analytics estimates. The company has roughly doubled its share from a year ago and now has half the share of established firms Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which have remained flat at five percent. Some of the gain is likely to have come at Nokia's expense, as it shrank to 37 percent share, its lowest since the start of 2007.
ASUS chief Jerry Shen at an investor conference late yesterday said his company should have an Android-based smartbook on shelves by early 2010. Reversing earlier doubts about a market for such a system, Shen says a portable based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip and the Google mobile OS should be the first "secret weapon" for the company and will likely cost just $185. The price is roughly half what most builders charge for an Atom-running netbook.
Verizon this morning became the first provider to offer EpixHD streaming video as part of its service. Those who have both a FiOS Internet connection and a FiOS TV subscription with the Epix TV channel can watch an unlimited amount of movies on the web at up to 720p. About 150 titles will be in rotation online, but the service will emphasize major, recent movies from MGM, Lionsgate and Parmaount; it should scale to include about 15,000 titles both old and new.
Scosche has released a new line of home and car USB chargers, the powerFUZE and powerFUZE Pro. The products have both USB charging ports and AC/DC in-car converter ports. As a result, owners can either plug car accessories into any wall outlet or charge electronic accessories in a vehicle's 12V power socket. They can charge two mobile devices at once, with each of the USB ports providing 1A output for a faster charging speed.
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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