Verizon has released a new television teaser, Stealth, for the upcoming Droid smartphone. Maintaining the sci-fi theme of other Droid marketing, the commercial begins with stealth aircraft dropping small spheres out of their weapon bays. The spheres are then shown slamming into the ocean and rural areas, spooking horses and confusing the locals. The objects begin to open as people walk closer, exposing the Droid handset inside.
Samsung tonight unveiled a breakthrough for its NAND flash memory that could lead to much more storage in handhelds. The new approach manages to fit 32 gigabytes of memory into a single chip that measures just 0.6mm (0.02in) thick through the use of extra-thin, "bare" packages that are half as thick as before but are just as sturdy. Combined with a 30 nanometer assembly process, the chips are both 40 percent thinner and lighter and should lead to thinner smartphones and media players.
Pangea Software has released Bracketeer 4, the latest version of its photography utility that combines bracketed exposures into a single image, resulting in a wide range of shading in each photograph. The software provides users with an alternative to Tone Mapping, with a different technique called "Enfusing.” The program creates images directly from the bracketed source images, without ever having to create an HDR image first. This is claimed to help deliver a more realistic looking picture while improving processing time.
SuperMegaUltraGroovy and toastycode have launched an upgrade to the their Mac audio recorder, releasing TapeDeck 1.3. The software behaves like an old-style tape recorder, with the ability to export to WAV, AIFF and MP3 formats. Users can customize content with animations and sound effects, while past recordings can be managed from within the application interface.
Toon Boom Animation has launched a new animation title, Flip Boom All-Star, aimed at teens and older users. The software can import digital images and provides drag-and-drop drawings that are ready to be added to animations. It supports text entry and handles MP3 audio files. Animations can be uploaded to portals such as Facebook and YouTube, or transferred to an iPod or iPhone.
Boris has released a new Adobe After Effects plug-in, Boris XML Transfer. The utility transfers Apple's Final Cut Pro program sequences to After Effects, preserving all aspects of Final Cut projects such as effects, audio, media clips, transitions, geometric transformations, and multi-clip edits. Trimmed clips retain full editing capabilities in Adobe After Effects, presented as stepped-up or stepped-down layers.
T-Mobile users tonight have been reporting a widespread outage of service across the US. Those affected are finding themselves unable to call or use data services like 3G or messaging. The exact cause of the outage isn't currently known.
Sumitomo 3M has previewed an optical film capable of bringing naked-eye 3D to small- and medium-size LCD panels without requiring the viewer to wear special glasses, according to Tech-On. The technology, demonstrated at FPD International 2009, is claimed to retain spatial resolution and enables quick switching between 2D and 3D content.
Rogers scored a minor coup tonight by becoming the first carrier in the world with the LG Eve. Also known as the GW620, the touchscreen slider is LG's first Android phone and hinges on a special Social Network Services app that pools Bebo, Facebook and Twitter updates into a single area. It simultaneously integrates those with the phone's regular contacts to tie phone, e-mail and SMS messages.
The One Laptop Per Child Association, the manufacturer behind the OLPC notebooks, has axed its plans to build a dual-screen XO device, according to an Xconomy interview with the group's founder and chairman, Nicholas Negroponte. The second generation notebook, originally announced in May of last year, has been scrapped as OLPC instead focuses on adapting the first-generation XO with updated internals.
Verizon today noted that it plans to add a data tethering option for the Motorola Droid. A representative tells Gearlog that, regardless of the open nature of Android, the new smartphone will eventually support the same $15 Broadband Connect add-on plan as other devices and can share its 3G connection with others. The support should go live in early 2010 and will carry the same 5GB transfer cap as Verizon's regular tethering and 3G modem plans.
Other World Computing on Tuesday announced that it is now offering a Mercury Pro external Blu-ray drive with a quad interface. Users can choose between USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, or eSATA connection methods. The company claims the Pioneer BDR-205 can reach burn speeds of up to 12X on Blu-ray discs, 16X with DVDs, 4X on DVD-DL media, and 40X for CDs.
Best Buy today struck a deal with Roxio to create a unique online and DVD hybrid movie service for the big-box retailer. The unnamed project hopes to give users buy once, play anywhere privileges: those who buy a DVD in-store will then have access to a CinemaNow-based portal for watching movies both on computers as well as on smartphones and Internet-aware Blu-ray players. Many of the movies will be new releases instead of reprints or old titles.
Cowon's second announcement regarding the US market on Tuesday involves another one of its personal music players, the iAudio E2. The iPod Shuffle-sized player has Cowon's well-known audio enhancement features, letting users pick from one of eight audio enhancement profiles. Each mode has a built-in voice guide that is used to preview the sound enhancement presets.
Walmart will be selling Xbox 360 Arcade edition for $199 bundled with a $100 gift card this upcoming Saturday, Kotaku reported on Tuesday. If true, this would be the best deal for the popular gaming console to date. At the same time, the leaked inventory screen capture reveals a number of other items on sale, including a $148 Sony Blu-ray disc player and a 42-inch Sharp TV for $498.
Cowon has priced its iAudio 9 portable digital media player and confirmed the device is coming to the US within a week. The first versions of the devices will be available only in black, with an 8GB capacity and 16GB version. The device will sport a 2-inch color screen with a 320x240 resolution and a capacitive touch strip for navigation, as well as Cowon's well-reputed sound processing technology.
AT&T on Tuesday sued Verizon for allegedly misleading customers with its
Koyono has introduced two new products for its line of Mac and iPhone accessories, the HyperMac and the Magneat. The HyperMac is an external battery and car charger designed for all MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks, as well as all three iPhone models. It features a 5V/1A USB power port, which enables it to charge any USB-powered device and Mac simultaneously. It also supports both 16.5V and 18.5V output for different device requirements, adjusting automatically.
LaCie on Tuesday revealed its latest storage solution, the Network Space 2 Network Attached Storage (NAS) and media server. Again designed by Neil Poulton like many of LaCie's similar products, the Network Space 2 is user friendly thanks to the preloaded LaCie Network Assistant. This allows users to customize the dashboard with widgets, which let them access networks and drive information as well as user accounts and drive capacity.
Apple is reportedly developing a new checkout system based on the iPod touch, according to an ifoAppleStore report posted on AppleInsider. The "EasyPay touch" configuration consists of an iPod case integrating a barcode scanner, additional battery cells and a magnetic stripe reader. The hardware is paired with custom point-of-sale (POS) software.
Sorenson has launched Squeeze 6, an upgraded version of its video encoding tool. The program is aimed at professionals, and allows users to specify various audio and video controls such as compression, normalization and noise reduction. New to the code is a substantially faster encoding speed, as much as five times better when using H.264 or On2 VP6.
The iPhone now represents almost exactly one third of all touchscreen phones in the US, new comScore info says. Of all touch phones in the country, 32.9 percent are iPhones while all others trail significantly behind. Most of the runners-up are Verizon devices and include the LG Dare and Voyager at 8.7 and 7.8 percent respectively. The BlackBerry Storm has just seven percent, while the T-Mobile G1 is both the most popular Android and T-Mobile phone on the list with 3.6 percent.
An image of what is believed to be an upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad netbook, the x200e, has surfaced online. While the company has only said it's considering the concept, the leak suggests the computer is real and appears to have a cosmetically different form factor and that it may still use Windows XP.
A hacker in the Netherlands has attempted to extort several iPhone owners, reports say. The hacker is believed to have used port scanning to identify T-Mobile-branded phones running SSH, commonly used in jailbreaking techniques. Because many people do not change the default root password on jailbroken devices, the hacker was able to take control of iPhones, and send custom text messages warning them to visit a website in order to resecure their firmware.
Broadpoint AmTech analyst Doug Freedman today revived talk of NVIDIA making its own x86 processors in a new research note. He claims that the graphics company has been recruiting "extensively" from employees of the one-time chip designer Transmeta and is using these to speed along one or more unknown designs. It may also not need to use Transmeta-like code translation as many of the original x86 architecture patents lose their effectiveness.
Native Instruments on Tuesday introduced the Traktor Kontrol X1, a new controller for DJ software. The device is based on the Traktor DJ platform and designed to be used with timecode-controlled configurations including hardware mixers and turntables or CD decks. Two X1 units can also be combined for setups with four turntables.
Verizon today confirmed and clarified rumors of a high profile launch for the Motorola Droid. Some of its retail stores will open at 8AM or as early as 7AM on November 6th to accommodate an anticipated rush of early customers. Only mall stores will open as usual.
Blackra1n coder George Hotz has released blacksn0w, a new jailbreaking utility that unlocks iPhone firmware v3.1.2 and the latest baseband v05.11.07. The tool now allows users to upgrade to v3.1.2 from older firmware without losing the unlock. The process also enables tethering, allowing the handset to be used as a computer-connected modem even on carriers, such as AT&T, that still block the function.
Creative's sub-brand ZiiLABS on Tuesday released the previously unveiled optimized implementation of the Android operating system for its Plaszma development platforms, including the Zii Egg media player and ZMS-05 system module. The Android Plaszma release is based on Android 1.6 and lets supporting handheld devices play back 1080p videos for the first time.
Toshiba released updated Satellite Pro, Tecra and Portégé business notebooks on Tuesday to get its work PCs onboard with Windows 7. The Satellite Pro line features new screen sizes, including traditional 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch displays as well as a 13.3-inch touchscreen. Most of these business-oriented notebooks will ship with Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Professional on separate DVDs so businesses can upgrade whenever they are ready. The new Satellite Pro U500 Touch has a multi-touch display and ships with Toshiba's touch-ready productivity software, LifeSpace.
America's Apple and Orange, a division of France Telecom, have formally dropped an arrangement for exclusive French iPhone sales, says Dow Jones. France was in 2007 one of the first markets to receive the iPhone, and as in other countries at the time, negotiations left only one carrier in control of sales; unlocked phones were still available only through Orange, and at a high premium. Orange rivals SFR and Bouygues Telecom eventually complained to the country's competition regulator, which issued first preliminary then final rulings against exclusivity.
Apple leads in brick-and-mortar retail stores but is no match for more universally oriented stores online, Consumer Reports says in its December issue (subscription needed for results). Of all major physical retailers, Apple scores the highest in a reader study. Although tied with Costco for an official 90-point score, it ranks highest through its perceived product quality, customer help and the ease of the buying process.
Apple is on the verge of building the first Apple Store within Philadelphia proper, writes Metro. The newspaper notes that design plans for the outlet are today scheduled to be reviewed by the city Art Commission, but most likely to be approved. The planned location is in an existing structure at 1607 Walnut Street, in a district suffering from slumping retail sales.
Meizu's M8 phone is about to undergo a major overhaul that draws on interface elements from at least three major operating systems, a copy of leaked firmware shows. Version 18.104.22.168 will shift its attention more towards Android with an app launcher much like Google's. However, that launcher will also be available directly from the drag-to-unlock screen and like Windows Mobile 6.5 will let users unlock directly to the phone or e-mail apps instead of visiting a home screen. Android's influence is equally evident in a contextual menu showing in the M8's web browser.
China Unicom has only acquired a little over 5,000 iPhone subscribers since officially introducing the device last weekend, according to Reuters. Nearly 300 people attended a Friday launch ceremony at a Unicom store in Beijing, but actual sales have been marginal, paling in comparison to other countries. On the original launch weekend of the iPhone 3GS, Apple sold over 1 million units divided between just eight countries.
EVGA has released a new hybrid card, the Hybrid GTX 275 Co-op PhysX, which uses NVIDIA's GTX 275 and GTS 250 GPUs on the same card. The two split tasks accordingly, with the GTX 275 taking care of the graphics while the GTS 250 does PhysX computing for physics in games like Batman: Arkham Asylum (included in the box) or Mirror's Edge. There is 1.28GB of combined memory while the GTS 250 and GTX 275 chips run at 633MHz and 738MHz, respectively. Total memory bandwidth tops out at 179.8GBps.
EA Mobile has released four new iPhone and iPod touch applications on Apple's App Store: NBA Live, EA Sports FIFA 10, Mystery Mania, and Boggle. NBA Live is a basketball game where players take control and play against authentic NBA teams in a variety of modes. Features include the ability to unlock and add legendary characters to a team, fifteen different music tracks to choose from, and the ability to control the players via the virtual analog stick or accelerometer. Different game modes include an 82-game Season mode, an Exhibition, and a Playoff mode.
Avanquest Software’s Nova Development unit in collaboration with Nickelodeon has launched three new children’s software titles for the Mac, consisting of Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego Go! characters. The two latest Dora the Explorer games include Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom and Dora the Explorer Lost and Found Adventure--both require children to search for various items that have been taken from them and hidden away.
The launch of Windows 7 has triggered at least a temporary spike in PC sales, Morgan Stanley analyst Katheryn Huberty says in an investment note issued yesterday. Pointing to NPD sales data, the researcher notes that computer sales jumped about 40 percent during the week of Microsoft's OS launch compared to the same time a year earlier. The number is partly offset by buyers holding off on purchases during the previous two weeks, when sales dropped 29 percent and then 2 percent versus 2008, but is well above earlier weeks, when sales were up by at most 19 percent.
Orange UK is already being criticized for its data policies in regards to the iPhone, the BBC reports. The carrier yesterday announced its intentions to launch the iPhone on November 10th. Mentioned in subscription plans however is a 750MB "fair usage" limit on data, despite other marketing claims that data is unlimited, as at rival iPhone carrier O2.
(Updated with official stance) On a recent trip to China, Intel's CEO Paul Otellini has been talking about the chipmaker's upcoming high-end Larrabee GPU with China-based graphics card makers, DigiTimes reported on Tuesday, citing sources at the card makers. They claim Intel is planning on offering preferential pricing for the GPU both on its own, as well as bundled with other Intel products. The Larrabee is expected to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce and AMD's Radeon products and is due for a 2010 launch.
Following rumors last week, Peek on Tuesday launched its expected TwitterPeek. It embraces the same single-purpose philosophy of the earlier device and here is dedicated solely to Twitter: users can check their feed and write posts or replies. Its always active use of T-Mobile's EDGE network lets it provide updates most anywhere inside the US without having to manually refresh or look for an access point.
Wholesaler China Ontrade has potentially provided a clue as to Apple's future plans by selling what it claims is a part for a fourth-generation iPhone. The "iPhone 4 generation midboard" reveals little about the device it's made for but appears to match the physical dimensions of what would be expected for an internal part in an iPhone, such as its length, its width and a places for the camera and Dock Connector. The store also claims to have photos of the full shell due soon and that the design has an "amazingly beautiful" back, hinting that it's not the same as for the iPhone 3G or 3GS.
Spring Design late Monday revealed that it has sued Barnes & Noble for allegedly infringing on the design of its two-screen Alex e-book reader. The company claims to have been working with Barnes & Noble in confidential terms since spring of this year but that the bookstore 'stole' the idea, unveiling its Nook reader without telling Spring Design in advance. The latter also says it has been obtaining patents since 2006, well before development of the Nook would have begun.
Sony Ericsson has unveiled its latest flagship handset, the XPERIA X10, which had been previously referred to by the codename Rachael. The smartphone is promised to be the first of many devices built upon the company's Android-based UX "Open OS" platform. The X10 is the highest-end Android phone to date and features a fast 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 480x854 resolution, and an 8.1 megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus.
Dell's Android-based Mini 3iX has surfaced in Brazil with support for Wi-Fi and 3G UMTS/HSDPA on 850MHz, 1900MHz and 2100MHz bands, according to photos posted on the Brazilian site CelularCafe. The integration of 850MHz 3G components adds evidence to rumors suggesting Dell is planning to bring its Mini 3i smartphone design to the US market.
Now AAPL Stock: 97.9 ( + 1.47 )
Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ