Verizon has filed a response to AT&T's lawsuit which had sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ban the "there's a map for that" ads critical of the latter carrier's 3G coverage. Verizon defends its ad campaign, claiming the coverage maps are accurate and clearly labeled as 3G networks. AT&T argues that the ads mislead customers to believe the comparison includes 2G coverage.
Creative subsidiary ZiiLABS has announced that it will unveil the Zii smartphone platform at the upcoming Zii Summit event. The ZMS-05 system-on-a-chip (SOC) components are claimed to be the first to offer 1080p video playback capabilities on a handheld device. The Media Rich Processor also boasts OpenGL ES 3D graphics with acceleration for web browsing, video playback and imaging.
Apple on Monday released a wide range of new printer drivers for Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The drivers add compatibility for many printers and scanners manufactured by Canon, Brother, HP and Lexmark. Users with devices not supported by the drivers included on the original v10.6 installation DVD can use Software Update to automatically check for new drivers after the printer or scanner is connected to the Mac.
SGI has introduced the Altix UV, a new series of supercomputers geared for large databases or analysis operations. The computers are based on Intel's Nehalem platform, with support for configurations utilizing quad-, six, or eight-core Xeon CPUs. Devices can be scaled to integrate up to 2,048 cores, with architectural provisioning for up to 262,144 cores.
Apple has allegedly expanded its iPhone app review process to include computerized filtering of submissions, according to Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber. The new "static analysis tools" are designed to catch developers trying to use Apple's private APIs, which the iPhone SDK terms explicitly prohibits.
Mad Catz today dipped into networking with its own wireless bridge. Meant as an alternative to the official Xbox adapter, the Wireless-N Gaming Adapter takes the Ethernet connection from an Xbox 360, 20GB PlayStation 3 or any computer and turns it into an 802.11n Wi-Fi signal. The peripheral doesn't reach full 802.11n speeds but can still peak at 150Mbps.
A new MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) launched today in the US in the form of Simple Mobile. The cell provider has its own pick of phones but emphasizes attaching the SIM card over its own devices; customers are encouraged to bring their own unlocked phones, including smartphones. About 180 phones have already been pre-screened, though it should work with other devices.
Palm on Friday announced users of the Pre smartphone on both the Sprint network and Bell in Canada will receive an automatic over-the-air software update to webOS 1.3.1. The Palm Pixi, released on Sunday, shipped with the updated operating system as well. A number of new features are made possible with the new OS, and some known issues were resolved. One such new feature is the integration of Yahoo contacts, calendar and messaging into Palm Synergy, along with Outlook EAS, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn accounts. The Yahoo contacts and calendars can also be integrated into the Pre's respective applications, while Yahoo! IM can be used in the webOS Messaging app.
onOne has published Photo Essentials 3, an updated version of its extension for Photoshop Elements. The add-on attempts to simplify certain tasks in Adobe's software, such as color correction, framing, enlargements and background removal. The latest edition introduces Make It Cool, a module which applies effects from a list of over 40, including sepia toning and simulated HDR (high dynamic range).
Sleek Audio on Monday launched its wooden SA1 in-ear headphones which can be tuned and worn either as wired headphones or wirelessly. The SA1 set has 6mm drivers housed in a Siam rosewood body. Thanks to Sleek's optional Kleer wireless system, the wires can be detached and users can listen to music wirelessly. Frayed, pinched or otherwise damaged wires can be replaced anytime.
T-Mobile is now shipping the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Its arrival at the provider does not come as a surprise and the touchpad-equipped handset is T-Mobile first RIM device with 3G network access. The handset is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with video capture, and has an integrated Wi-Fi module along with Bluetooth.
As promised, Microsoft has released the Windows Marketplace app for Windows Mobile handsets running on the older 6.0 and 6.1 build of the OS. Devices equipped with Windows Mobile 6.5 already have Windows Marketplace preloaded. The free-to-download application store is available for both touchscreen and traditional handsets, and will allow users to browse and download apps from the store.
Verizon today responded to predictions for Motorola Droid sales with only a brief statement on their actual results (subscription required). A spokeswoman for the carrier declined to say whether or not a rough estimate of 250,000 Droids sold is accurate but did say the company is "very pleased" with sales in just over a week since the Android phone reached stores. Verizon doesn't normally provide sales breakdowns for phones and doesn't intend one for the Droid, she says.
Cynical Peak has released v2.3 of Rivet, its Mac media streaming software. The app shares music, video, photo and podcast content with consoles on a local-area network, namely the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Material can be pulled direclty from Aperture, iPhoto or iTunes libraries, though video can only be streamed from custom folders.
Gartner today said the computer industry is recovering much faster than expected. Based on processor sales, the analyst group estimates PCs have turned from double-digit year-over-year declines at the start of the year to slight increases by the end. It still expects processors, flash memory and other chip technology to face an 11.4 percent decline for all of 2009 but also anticipates levels jumping back to an all-time high seen in 2008.
Native Instruments has released Sonic Fiction, a new Kore instrument featuring "otherworldly" samples. The software provides a variety of field recordings such as volcanic mudpots and television static, among others. Users can select a sample and apply the synthesis and sound processing functionality of Absynth, Kontakt and Kore engines.
NVIDIA today provided details of the first official hardware to use its upcoming Fermi architecture. The Tesla 20 series is even more optimized for general-purpose computing standards like OpenCL or NVIDIA's own CUDA and handles complex math that previously hasn't been as practical, such as ISO standard double-precision math and C++ code processing. Unlike past models, though, the card model also has a video output and works as a video card rather than just as a companion device.
Apple is planning to launch a new iPhone app for visitors to its retail stores, several sources claim. So far dubbed "Concierge," the app is expected to mimic the company's web-based reservations system, which lets users schedule Genius Bar and One to One appointments. Users should also be able to monitor various types of membership subscriptions. No date for the app's release has so far been leaked.
Samsung today confirmed plans to launch a new femtocell for those on CDMA phone networks. The 3G UbiCell still creates a local cell for CDMA phones to make calls over a home Internet connection but also adds EVDO Rev A so that 3G phones without Wi-Fi can still get online when reception would be poor. The UbiCell plugs in through Ethernet and has GPS to provide 911 and other mapping features.
IBM's Roadrunner supercomputer has been dethroned from the TOP500 list in terms of computing performance by the Cray XT5 supercomputer, nicknamed Jaguar. The XT5 uses AMD Opteron cores and posted up a 1.75 petaflop/s speed in the Linpack test, outpacing the Roadrunner's 1 petaflop/s performance.
Gamers should in the future be able to play OnLive titles via an iPhone, the company claims. The forthcoming service takes an alternate approach to processor load, shifting the burden from local devices to OnLive's servers; gamers play via a video stream, making performance more closely tied to bandwidth. Early iPhone support was demonstrated late last week alongside clients for TVs and computers.
Hitachi on Monday added a new range of SimpleDrive external desktop hard drives available in up to a 2TB capacity. In addition to the new capacity, the disks have a Turbo USB 2.0 interface that is said to be 25 percent faster than the traditional spec. Hitachi includes its Fabrik backup software, which automatically copies over selected files from the host PC and includes 2GB of free online backup.
Intel today promised a version of its Xeon processor specifically tailored to high performance computing (HPC). The design will share the same architecture as the eight-core Nehalem-EX but drop to six cores in return for greater overall performance. Clock speeds should be higher and will still take advantage of the extra bandwidth of the new platform, making it a better pick for clusters and multi-processor servers.
Sprint on Monday launched its 4G mobile broadband in two Texas cities, Austin, and San Antonio. As before, the WiMAX network promises speeds between 3Mbps to 6Mbps for downloads in real-world use, which should bring VoIP, video and other tasks that are normally too data-intensive for 3G networks. Sprint's 4G mobile broadband network is already available in regions such as Chicago, Dallas and North Carolina.
ASUS could push its way to near the top of notebook market share by buying out one of its largest competitors, company chairman Jonney Shih reportedly revealed today. He hopes for ASUS to reach the top three in notebook builders by 2011 and says the company has talked to Toshiba about buying its notebook business. Nothing has been finalized, and it remains unclear how close if at all the two may be to a deal.
CodeWeavers has posted the first beta of CrossOver Games 8.1.0, a significant update to the company's Mac virtualization software. The program runs Windows games within Mac OS, potentially eliminating the need to use Boot Camp, or even own a copy of Windows. Version 8.1.0 is concentrated on support for Left 2 Dead 2, set to be released November 17th. COG owners should already be able to play the demo.
AT&T loaded up its phone catalog today with one new BlackBerry, pricing and a ship date for a second, and an updated LG designer phone. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 effectively replaces the 8300 series at the carrier and, like the T-Mobile version, has both GPS and Wi-Fi but keeps the price low by shedding 3G and using a simpler 320x240 display as well as a 2-megapixel camera.
Mark/Space has launched two important Mac applications, The Missing Sync for Android and GoGadget for webOS. After a month's delay, the former is now in public beta, and can now sync content such as music, video, contacts, photos, ringtones and miscellaneous files to an Android-based smartphone. Data is pulled from the likes of Address Book, Entourage, iTunes and iPhoto.
Talk of Nintendo using Tegra 2 gained support today through new sources of information that also point to a faster Sony PSP. Detailed explanations given to DigitalFoundry say the sequel to the DSi should use the future NVIDIA processor and not only see a "colossal" jump in speed versus the DS line but could be as fast as the Wii while supporting more visual effects.
Apple took tentative steps towards buying AdMob ahead of the recent Google acquisition, say sources contacted by Bloomberg. Google agreed to pay $750 million in the deal; the combined company will own between 30 and 40 percent of the mobile advertising market. Apple is said to have approached AdMob a few weeks before the Google bid, entering into private negotiations. Both companies have refused to comment publicly on the matter.
Nokia this morning launched an upgraded version of a key feature phone and shipped its flagship business phone. The 5330 Mobile TV Edition puts a DVB-H mobile TV tuner in Nokia's budget music phone and lets it watch free, digital broadcasts with a programming guide to pick channels. It's optimized for the format as it uses the owner's headphones as the antenna and has long enough battery life to last for six hours of TV.
Casio on Monday upgraded two of its key Exilim cameras to focus on low-light image quality. The EX-FH25 superzoom and EX-FC150 compact both have backlit CMOS sensors borrowed from the Sony TX1 and can take in more light, improving the detail both for night scenes as well as portraits of backlit subjects. Both cameras accordingly have dedicated scene modes.
Samsung started the week by launching its second Android phone on a world level. The Galaxy Spica, or i5700, sits closer to the mid-range but is one of the fastest Android phones ever with an 800MHz proecssor. Its main sacrifices versus the original Galaxy are the use of a less expensive LCD in place of an OLED and a 3.2-megapixel camera instead of the 5-megapixel example on the higher-end phone.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R