As promised, Verizon tonight launched the Motorola Droid and HTC Droid Eris at its primary retail store on 34th Street in New York City. The midnight opening is the first official launch in the country but follows numerous reports from those who have visited Best Buy and Walmart stores and successfully obtained the phone ahead of its official street date. Walmart Super Center stores are also typically opening sales at midnight, though the next earliest opportunity will involve the 7AM and 8AM openings at some non-mall Verizon stores.
BCMonaco has announced its latest point-of-sale utility designed for professional restaurants, bcResto. The software provides tools for managing daily restaurant tasks such as taxes, orders, tables and waiters, along with organizing products and prices. Users can also keep track of both sales statistics and cash, while keeping a detailed record of individual waiter bills. Additional money management features include summarized bills, tickets and receipts, and the ability to automatically change prices based on percentages.
Arten Science has launched new contact-management software, ContaX. The new software allows storage and viewing of contacts, with communication and interaction available between contacts. It has a flexible database that can be stored anywhere, including hosted or synchronized services like an iDisk or DropBox. It can be used by individuals or expanded to small-business levels, and can communicate across OS platforms. The new software is compatible with R10Cipher for encrypt text and e-mail; it is also compatible with R10BatchMail for sending batches of e-mails.
Google has filed a countersuit against Illinois entrepreneur Erich Specht over the use of the Android trademark, according to the Business Insider. Specht in 1999 launched a company, Android Data Corporation, which sold a number of software titles using the Android name. The USPTO later granted the registration for trademark protection over the name "Android Data."
Apple is allegedly working on several iPhone prototypes that integrate RFID readers, according to Near Field Communications World. The report originated from a "highly reliable source" who contacted Einar Rosenberg, the CTO of Narian Technologies. Although Apple has submitted for several patents involving iPhone RFID, the report claims the technology is likely to be utilized in the next-generation handset.
RadTech has released the OtterBox Commuter Series, a new multi-layer iPhone hardcase. The inner layer is silicone for soft-surface protection from scratches and impacts, while the outer layer is hard polycarbonate for impact protection. The new cases also come with a transparent film cover for the iPhone screen. The ports are all available, with extra protection for the audio jack and 30-pin protector when not in use.
Microsoft's 802.11n adapter for the Xbox 360 has surfaced in Costco's online store for a slightly discounted price of $88. The accessory previously popped up in GameStop's inventory slated for November 3rd, although the listing was later removed. Costco claims the adapter is scheduled for shipment a week later on November 10th.
The NPD Group today revealed that initial Windows 7 sales were more than twice as strong as for Vista. Although declining to provide the number of copies estimated sold, the researchers note that boxed, retail unit sales of the new OS were 234 percent higher in the first few days than the 2007 release. The jump is credited to both to steep pre-order discounts, strong marketing and similar approaches that helped ship a large number of initial copies.
Following the release of Vue 8 Infinite and xStream this week, e-on is now shipping the rest of its Vue 8 animation utilities including Frontier, Pioneer, Esprit, Studio, and Complete. Frontier provides tools for creating scenic nature and Poser character rendering. The software supports any static Poser model and allows users to render the models using the native shading trees of Poser. A free version of SkinVue is included for enhancing skin realism.
(Update clarifying timing) Comcast in a new FCC notice (PDF) revealed that it has already begun implementing a new throttling system. The approach is now service-agnostic and will lower the priority of any data packets if a user's cable modem either tops 70 percent of download or upload bandwidth for more than 15 minutes or else is flagged as bogging down the CMTS node, which manages a neighborhood's cable modem traffic.
Sales of Windows 7 have broken Microsoft's sales records for an initial operating system launch, company CEO Steve Ballmer said at a Japanese press event today. The executive said early sales have been "fantastic" and that the new OS has generated more revenue in its first 10 days than any earlier version of Windows during a similar timeframe. He declined to provide specific revenue or unit numbers.
VUDU on Thursday announced that it has brought brought three key Internet apps to VUDU-enabled TVs. These are the same apps that were already available on the VUDU box and include Picasa, Flickr, Pandora, a free TV on-demand service and a few simple games. VUDU says it brought these apps to the TVs from its partners due to popular demand.
SwitchEasy has extended its iPhone and iPod accessories with the CapsuleRebel M case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and the Cubes case for the fifth-gen iPod nano, which is now available in silver and metallic gold. The CapsuleRebel M is a revised version of the companyís earlier CapsuleRebel case, and features an UltraFrame hard protection system, with soft polymer for cushioning. The case is designed to protect the back and sides of an iPhone, and includes an ergonomic spine structure for better grip.
At a press event in New York City on Thursday, wireless provider Verizon showed off the still-unannounced Casio G'zOne Brigade handset. Photos reveal that this is Casio's first rugged push-to-talk device to flip open vertically to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. This keyboard has four rows of keys that include a shortcut key for messaging along with a dedicated row of number keys.
ViewSonic earlier this week announced the VMP70 media hub, which allows users to bring the photo, music and video files from their PCs to their living room by displaying them on conventional TVs. While there is no Internet connection of any sort, users can add content using the two USB ports, with video files upconverted to 1080p quality.
Apple and AT&T may use an 8GB iPhone 3GS as a 'secret weapon' against the launch of the Motorola Droid if a rumor proves accurate. Two separate sources of BGR's say the two iPhone partners are considering replacing the existing 8GB iPhone 3G with a 3GS variant, preserving the same capacity and $99 price. The move would undercut Verizon by offering the latest iPhone at the same price as the less ambitious Droid Eris.
e-on has launched Vue 8 Infinite and Vue 8 xStream, new editions of its environmental rendering software. The updates were announced in mid-October, and deliver a series of new features for 3D terrain sculpting, plus increased xStream integration for improved workflow with various CG programs. The apps also include a new shader-based OpenGL preview engine -- improving real-time performance and preview accuracy -- plus enhancements to the quality and realism of atmospheric shadows, clouds and "god" rays.
On Thursday, Verizon Wireless said it has added three new prepaid mobile broadband data plans. Users can now opt for a $15 daily data allowance that includes 75MB of data, a $30 weekly package that includes 250MB of data and a $50 monthly offering with 500MB of data. These will be sold alongside a Verizon Wireless USB760 modem, priced at $130.
Apple is looking to hire a new iPhone manager with significant responsibilities, observers note. In particular the company is now searching for an "iPhone OS Platform Security Manager," who will be responsible for a team securing the booting, installation and running of the firmware. The worker is also expected to help plot a roadmap for iPhone security, and bring at least three years of experience running a development team, plus hands-on knowledge in designing against hardware and software exploits.
The MOTO Development Group is now making its 5-inch Android Media Platform (AMP) mobile Internet device (MID) available to developers. The device can run Google's Android 2.0 mobile OS and lets developers prototype interfaces, develop apps and extend hardware features. The MID is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP3430 CPU and uses a 5-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen, though an LCD of the same size is optional.
After making its appearance at Verizon earlier today, Sprint also announced that the BlackBerry Curve 8530 smartphone is coming soon to its lineup as well. Potential customers can register now to receive updates on the handset. Preloaded apps are the primary difference for Sprint's Curve 8530 and include the Sprint Music Store, Sprint TV and Pandora radio.
A source today claims the sequel to NVIDIA's Tegra mobile processor could muster double the performance of the original. The new chip is purported by "high ranking" industry contacts to be switching from an ARM7 architecture to the much newer ARM9 and also to use a dual-core design. Combined with improvements to the graphics core, the updated Tegra would be roughly twice as fast overall.
Verizon in a last-minute update today moved up the launch of the Motorola Droid for just one of its stores. Its flagship store on 34th Street in New York City will open at 12AM tonight for two hours to sell the Droid, the HTC Droid Eris, and accessories like the Droid's horizontal dock. This and other stores in the city will still open early afterwards, with most ready between 7AM and 8AM.
PC vendors that rely on AMD graphics cards are delaying their shipments scheduled for the first quarter of 2010 by nearly two months, say sources at the manufacturers, DigiTimes claimed on Thursday. Radeon HD 5000-series GPUs and HD 4000-series GPUs are reportedly facing shortages through a combination of factors. The shortage of the 40nm Radeon HD 5000 cards is due to a low yield at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) 40nm factories, while the 4000-series GPUs scarcity is allegedly AMD's own doing as it has scaled back production of older technology after releasing the more advanced 40nm parts.
Myka has moved on from producing media hubs by releasing its Myka ION nettop as a full-fledged home theater PC. As the name implies, the PC packs a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM, along with an NVIDIA Ion graphics platform to supply HD (non-Flash) video. It runs on Ubuntu Linux and includes Boxee and XBMC media center software as well as support for standard-definition Adobe Flash and Hulu's online streaming service.
Apple may be working on an easier and more comprehensive method of syncing data between devices, a new patent application hints. Even the company's current technology, built into iTunes and iSync, is described as too complex. "Though a user may have access to two similarly capable electronic devices, sharing data between the two devices may involve a number of steps," the application reads.
Dell today officially launched the Adamo XPS, the highest-end version of its designer ultraportable. The system is championed as the thinnest notebook ever and measures just 0.39 inches at its thickest point. Dell accomplishes the feat by tucking most of the computer components into the display section and relying on a unique hinge that opens underneath and acts as a built-in prop . In spite of its slimness, the notebook still has a removable battery, two USB ports and DisplayPort output but also weighs slightly more than its MacBook Air rival at 3.2 pounds.
The European Parliament today agreed on a new set of legal protections for those threatened with losing Internet access under anti-piracy rules. The new measure in the EU's Telecoms Reform Package considers Internet access a "fundamental" right and will require that EU countries implement a "fair and impartial" process if their laws allow for disconnecting alleged pirates. It will also permit those facing a disconnection to legally dispute their case, though this won't necessarily be part of the regular process.
Orb Networks has launched a Mac port of its self-named media streaming software. The app funnels music, photos and video from a computer to other Internet-connected devices, including game consoles, notebooks and various cellphones, such as the iPhone when using the companion OrbLive app. Content is primarily sourced from an iTunes library, but can also be pulled from webcam feeds and connected gadgets.
Young startup Isabella Products today unveiled a new digital photo frame that it hopes will make Internet access an always-available feature. The Vizit uses AT&T's cellular network to go online and, even more so than Wi-Fi, is ready to send and receive photos. It can send and receive photos through an online Vizit gallery or through e-mail but can also take photos sent by MMS.
Apple head Steve Jobs has been chosen as Fortune's CEO of the Decade. The magazine claims that "the past decade in business belongs to Jobs," not only because of his personal and corporate wealth, but the way he has "radically and lucratively reordered three markets," specifically movies, music and cellphones. His impact is also said to extend to computers, though it is less pronounced.
Verizon on Thursday introduced two new handsets, including its first touchscreen Chocolate handset from LG, the Chocolate Touch, along with the rugged Push-To-Talk Samsung Convoy flip phone. While not as advanced as the Chocolate BL40, the Chocolate Touch is being billed as a capable music phone, sporting Dolby Mobile sound processing, an integrated FM radio with 12 presets and song ID, as well as a dedicated key on the side of the device for quick access to music.
Nokia on Thursday said it has started shipping the X6. Its latest touchscreen-only smartphone is the first from the company to use capacitive touch and responds much more precisely and quickly to input than the pressure-based resistive screens of earlier models. Reinforcing this upscale image, the X6 is also more advanced than the 5800 XpressMusic with a 5-megapixel camera and 32GB of internal storage.
Samsung Mobile began shipping two promised touchscreen handsets on AT&T's network. The Samsung Mythic has a 3.3-inch touchscreen only interface and is the latest phone to work with AT&T's Mobile TV service. It runs on Samsung's own widget-based TouchWiz interface and brings top-level access both to the Mobile TV service as well as Facebook and MySpace.
Verizon this morning preceded the launch of the Motorola Droid two expected new smartphones, including its second Android phone. The HTC Droid Eris, also known as the Desire, is Verizon's interpretation of the Hero and comes in an all-black design with touch-sensitive buttons below the 3.2-inch screen as well as a trackball for one-handed use. It still carries the 5-megapixel camera, GPS and Wi-Fi, and still uses HTC's original Sense UI layer and built-in web browser Flash.
As foreshadowed in late October, Apple today revealed its first Parisian Apple Store, located in the Carrousel du Louvre. The shop is situated within close range of the famous Louvre art museum, and uses an elaborate two-floor design, with unique touches such as diamond-shaped windows. Coinciding with the store launch is the release of a free Musťe du Louvre iPhone app, which showcases various exhibitions, such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
Kaspersky has introduced Anti-Virus for Mac, a port of its long-running Windows and Linux software designed to cope with threats such as worms, Trojans and bots. Some features include e-mail and attachment protection, as well as download scans, and alerts on blocked files and programs. The software recognizes up to 30,000 threats; self-protection functions guard settings with a password, and attempt to prevent techniques from being modified or deleted.
Telus this morning took its turn at launching its own HSPA+ network and new devices, including the iPhone. It sells the iPhone 3G and both the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3GS units at the same $100, $200 and $300 prices as at Bell and Rogers on a three-year contract. The plans are slightly different than Bell's and start with a $50 Clear Choice iPhone plan that provides 150 minutes, unlimited evenings and weekends after 9PM and 500MB of data with tethering but supplies the perk of either unlimited local calls and MMS/SMS messaging to five numbers, double the minutes, or 1,000 outbound (unlimited inbound) messages.
Olympus as promised today released the E-P2 as its second-generation Micro Four Thirds compact. The update to the 12.3-megapixel camera primarily adds continuous, motion-track autofocusing that can better follow a subject across the frame. HD movie recording likewise gets a boost with manual control over the aperture and shutter speed.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl