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Mobile apps aren't an important factor in the success of a smartphone platform, Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie claimed today. Interviewed at the company's Professional Developer Conference, the veteran developer tried to downplay apps as a lure and insisted that "all the apps that count" will be available on every smartphone as the time to write and port code is much shorter than on the desktop. Ozzie instead implied that it was the OS itself and its built-in features that would make the difference.
Adobe has announced an update to its live audio and video capturing utility, Flash Media Live Encoder 3.1. The app is designed as a media encoder that streams both audio and video in real time to Flash Media Server software or the Flash Video Streaming Service. Users can perform up to three simultaneous encodes and save data to a local file during encoding. The upgrade provides support for Mac OS X, while retaining all of the features of FMLE 3 for Windows.
EA Mobile has launched two new games for the iPhone and iPod touch, Auditorium and Surviving High School. Auditorium is an audio-visual puzzle game where players must guide a “Flow” of particles into audio containers. The game features five acts with up to 7 levels in each, and has variety of different ways for users to win each level. Players control the “Flow” via the touchscreen, where they can attract, repel or deflect the light stream, while avoiding obstacles that can disrupt it. Users can also go to the in-game store and buy additional movement features such as new acts, concepts, colors and themes.
German computer maker Smartbook AG has continued to threaten companies, including EE Times, that have been using the term "smartbook." The manufacturer recently sought a restraining order against the chip maker Qualcomm. Although Qualcommm and other companies, such as Freescale, use the term smartbook as a generic reference to portable Internet-ready devices that fall between the typical classifications for netbooks and smartphones, Smartbook AG has argued that it owns the sole rights to the trademark.
Dauger Research has announced Pooch and Pooch Pro 1.8 with new support for Snow Leopard. The clustering software provides a graphical user interface for its supercomputer-compatible parallel computing utiliities. Version 1.8 can configure, manage, monitor and maintain Mac clusters (also Linux clusters) and uses technology like BSD-standard sockets for communications, POSIX-standard paths for file access, and Apple's open source mDNS library.
Snarb.tk has released a public beta of its new iTunes controller, Everplay. The new media player offers playback of music from iTunes libraries and Last.fm online radio services. It can browse and search for individual tracks, with metadata and playcounts both updated on the next launch of iTunes. Everplay also supports a jukebox mode for making playlists on the fly.
Google's rumored Chrome OS release should primarily center on its first public demo of the platform, a notice tonight. An event is said due on Thursday that should include a "complete overview" of the web-centric OS, including its technical underpinnings as well as demos. It's now thought by TechCrunch that a code release is possible but that a more formal release isn't coming until 2010.
Big In Japan's popular Android app ShopSavvy has finally been ported to the iPhone platform. The software utilizes the phone's integrated camera to scan barcodes, enabling users to quickly view information such as local and online prices and inventory availability. The app was believed to be awaiting the auto-focus capabilities of the latest iPhone 3GS, however the developer claims it is compatible with the full range of iPhone generations.
Just About Managing has announced SimCap 1.0, an iPhone Simulator screencapture utility. The title is designed for developers creating App Store images, or else professional demonstration videos. Extended sequences of stills can be captured, aiding with action shots. When recording video, users can choose whether or not to display cursors or gestures.
NVIDIA in a low-key move today launched the GeForce GT 240. The chipset brings performance from the mid-level to sub-$100 cards and uses the newer 40 nanometer manufacturing process to make itself a reasonable fit in budget PCs: its low energy use both helps it occupy only one slot and to run entirely off the power of the PCI Express bus instead of needing a separate power connector.
The App Store is doing fairly well in China, in spite of obstacles to its adoption, says the Wall Street Journal. Over $1 million in sales are said to have been made so far, a significant amount given the short space of time in which the store has been open. Some popular apps include the instant messaging title QQ, and the real-time strategy game Command & Conquer: Red Alert.
Swindon Borough Council is planning on offering free Wi-Fi to the entire population of its town by April of next year, says a Tuesday report. The UK town's 186,000 residents will not have to pay any connection charges or subscription fees for the service, due to be called Signal. The project will cost the equivalent of about $1.68 million and is run by newly formed Digital City UK Ltd, 35 percent of which is owned by Swindon's city council.
Barnes & Noble will soon accept its gift cards as payment for purchases made in its eBook store, the book retailer announced on Monday. Not only will both physical and online gift cards be accepted online, but also through Barnes & Noble's own nook e-book reader and other wireless devices compatible with the B&N eReader software.
Sony on Tuesday launched the first VAIO W series netbook for its Signature Collection, with the Holiday Sparkle. The 10.1-inch netbook sports a white exterior peppered with a decorative snowflake pattern that will appear different depending on the angle it's viewed from. Other specs of this special edition netbook remain the same as other W series netbooks, including the 1.66GHz Atom, 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive.
Acer's first Android-powered smartphone, the Liquid A1, will be out in the UK in late November, according to UK electronics retailer Clove. The phone will, as previously reported, run on a detuned, 768MHz version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon instead of the full-blown 1GHz CPU.
Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf has issued a slight downgrade to Apple stock, dropping his rating from "Strong Buy" to simply "Buy." Apple's share price has grown less than 15 percent over a recent $200 price target, he notes, meeting "admittedly arbitrary" criteria for a lower valuation. Also bearing blame is said to be the economy, which remains in recession and may be the ultimate arbiter of whether Apple makes any gains during the holiday season.
HP was sued late last week for allegedly neglecting a major flaw in its Pavilion Elite desktops. Plaintiff Michael Kent and owners whose systems use an Intel Core i7 processor along with Pegatron's "Truckee" mainboard, including the e9150t, e9180f, e9180t, m9600t and m9650f, have reported in HP's forums and elsewhere that the systems regularly seize up after about 30 minutes of use. In some cases, the system produces an "uncorrectable hardware error" or a "timing issue" and leaves the user with no choice but to reboot, while at others it simply freezes the display.
Microsoft today lost a lawsuit that could temporarly block it from selling netbooks and other PCs in China (registration required). A Beijing Intermediary People’s Court determined on Tuesday that two fonts used in Windows 98 SE, 2000, XP and Server 2003 weren't properly licensed from Zhongyi Electronic and that Microsoft must pull sales of any of those releases from the Chinese market. The two companies already had a license agreement but have disagreed over what it covered.
GPS maker Magellan has launched a new iPhone GPS application, RoadMate 2010. Like most such apps, the software provides turn-by-turn navigation, with features like bookmarks, lane guidance and spoken navigation cues. Aspects separating RoadMate include a pedestrian mode, and an associated "find your car" option, which marks a parking place for later return.
Origin PC on Tuesday introduced new customizable gaming PCs, with the Genesis desktop and 18.4-inch Eon18 notebook. The former can be had with a choice of processors, including a quad-core Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 975 that's been overclocked to 4.2GHz. As a gaming PC, the former can also be equipped with up to three 1GB GeForce GTX 285 video cards.
Palm may prove to be Verizon's best hope if the Droid line doesn't bear fruit, Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu said in a note today. He points to contacts within the cell industry and supply chain that suggest Verizon will carry one or more of Palm's webOS phones, such as the Pre or Pixi, sometime in 2010. Sales of both the Motorola Droid and HTC's Droid Eris have purportedly been "somewhat disappointing" and may lead to Verizon using Palm to bolster its smartphone catalog.
Kingston on Tuesday announced the release of the DataTraveler Locker+ USB Flash drive series with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption. Meant for businesses which require data security, the thumb drives won't reveal their contents without a complex password. They also thwart automated password cracks by automatically reformatting the drive after 10 consecutive incorrect guesses.
Developer David Kocher has introduced an update to his Mac FTP client, Cyberduck 3.3. The new version has been rebuilt using the Rococoa framework, in order to provide both Snow Leopard and 64-bit support. Other changes include a new application icon, restored PowerPC support, and an Octal input field for permissions.
Google has released v2.0 of Google Earth for the iPhone, its portable 3D mapping software. Users navigate a graphic representation of the Earth, on which various places, businesses, photos and Wikipedia articles can be located. The second edition is a major update, allowing users to import Google Maps content from the web. After logging into a Maps account, the app can impose route information on terrain.
Dell today at last began taking orders for the Adamo XPS teased over the past several months. The system comes in just one default configuration and color, arriving for $1,799 with a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium. Contrary to earlier reports, the system will use just Intel's GMA 4500 graphics instead of NVIDIA hardware.
MOTO Development Group on Tuesday showed off its first round multi-touch casino gaming table prototype at the Global Gaming Expo 2010 in Las Vegas. Similar in concept to the Microsoft Surface, the touch table has Blackjack and Texas Hold ‘Em poker games built into it. The table has one large integrated touchscreen that supports multi-touch inputs from many players.
Apple is looking to hire a new game programmer for its Cupertino headquarters, listings show. The person would specifically hold the title of "game/media software engineer," and work with a small team on various entertainment apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. Requirements include three to four years of game development experience, with knowledge of C, C++, Objective-C and/or iPhone programming. Applicants must also have "at least one AAA title" under their belt, and ideally skills in audio, graphics or network code.
Dell today boasted an industry first by becoming the first to ship its computers in bamboo packaging. The Mini 10 and 10v will have boxes made primarily of the more efficient material, which regrows much faster than the trees used for cardboard and is more easily renewable. As it takes as much stress as steel, it even provides more protection and replaces not just cardboard but also the foam normally used to cushion against an impact.
A recent FCC filing reveals that a new notebook from Lenovo is coming soon, powered by a 2GHz Intel chip believed to be the quad-core Core i7-920XM. The FCC filing points to the finished product as the ThinkPad W701 and confirms this with the presence of a Wacom digitizer, which has only shipped as part of the earlier W700.
OCZ today formally launched the Colossus, its first solid-state drive line aimed primarily at the desktop. The 3.5-inch SATA II disks are designed both to fit directly into desktops without a mounting kit but also to provide performance above even some notebook SSDs. OCZ has raised its speed claims beyond early estimates and now says that the fastest Colossus drives reach peak read and write speeds of 260MB per second and sustained write speeds of 220MB per second.
(Updated with Greenwich info) Though only recently rumored, plans have already been confirmed for an Apple Store opening in Nashua, New Hampshire. The new location will launch Saturday, November 21st at 10AM, within the Pheasant Lane Mall at 310 Daniel Webster Highway. The Apple Store is on the first floor near the food court.
Amazon today gave the green light to selling the Kindle 2 in Canada. The reader is the same international version sold elsewhere and will give Canadians the same access to the Kindle bookstore as Americans. Some Canadian publications, such as the Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen, are also available in subscription form for the e-book reader.
ASUS has quietly staked out a claim to the fastest CULV-based ultraportable by adding the UL30Vt to its stable. The system takes the familiar 13.3-inch display and 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo of the original version but adds a GeForce G 210M. The gesture lets the under 1-inch thick PC handle HD video and some modern 3D but includes a switchable graphics system that optionally reverts to the more miserly Intel GMA 4500 graphics when the system is running on battery power.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 iPhones have been stolen from CEVA Logistics in Willebroek, Belgium, according to regional newspapers De Standaard and Gazet van Antwerpen. Although the exact number of phones taken is uncertain, each one is estimated to have been worth between €575 and €675, putting the total value of the robbery around €2 million, or $3 million US. It is suspected that the thieves had inside information, as they cut a hole in the roofing precisely over where the iPhones were being held.
T-Mobile today restored the Sidekick to its lineup after having pulled it for more than a month after the results of its major data outage. Both the Sidekick 2008 and the newer Sidekick LX 2009 are back on sale and have been price-cut in a bid to renew interest. The LX 2009 has dropped by $25 to $150 on a two-year plan, while the older model now costs just $50 on the same terms.
(Update with possible explanation) A problem autofocusing the Droid's 5-megapixel camera has been suddenly fixed according to reports from multiple users. Although it had previously had problems properly locking on to subjects at all since the Droid launch, owners at HowardForums and elsewhere now say it has suddenly started focusing properly in almost every case, suggesting a silent over-the-air fix. Some have noticed it after rebooting the phone or changing settings, but others say they did nothing that might have triggered a check for an update.
Adobe today fulfilled earlier promises and provided betas for both Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2. Both are the first from Adobe to have a Flash layer that supports multi-touch input, including gestures such as pinching to zoom the window. Flash Player specifically gets H.264 hardware decoding through newer video chipsets and, initially for Windows PCs, can significantly reduce the workload on the CPU or a notebook's battery.
A new study published by SquareTrade revealed that the smaller name brand notebook manufacturers are usually more reliable than their larger rivals. Of the top nine, ASUS has the lowest tracked breakdown rate with fewer than 10 percent of its notebooks failing in the past two years. Toshiba, Sony and Apple also have better-than-average performance and are either just over or under the same figure.
Dell's Streak tablet will launch in the US with a carrier deal for 3G, Taiwan's Commercial Times newspaper said on Tuesday. The normally PC-focused builder is reportedly working "in cooperation" with AT&T to launch the mobile Internet device next year on its network. It may also not be the only model as local manufacturer Qisda is tapped for a "lineup" and not just the one device.
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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