Apple on Thursday released an update to its Server Admin utility for Snow Leopard Server, as well as Boot Camp drivers for Windows. Server Admin tools 10.6.2 includes the latest releases of iCal Server Utility, Podcast Composer, Server Admin, Server Monitor, Server Preferences, System Image Utility, Workgroup Manager, and Xgrid Admin.
Big Fish Games has released Drawn: The Painted Tower, a new puzzle-adventure game for the Mac. Players must travel through painted worlds and unravel the secrets of the Painted Tower in order to rescue a girl named Iris. Each floor of the tower has been locked by a curse, which requires players to solve a series of puzzles in order to unlock. Players will also meet a variety of different characters throughout the game, some of which will help the players succeed while others will try and stop them.
Paramount and TransGaming have announced a December release for a Mac version of Star Trek: D-A-C. The new game is a top-down space shooter game pitting Starfleet against the Romulan Empire, supporting online multiplayer for up to 12 players, online co-op and single-player gameplay. Gameplay options include survival, team deathwatch, conquest and assault. Defeated ships offer new abilities and score pick-ups in survival mode, while conquest and assault gameplay involve attacking or defending sectors of space.
Dragan Milic has released Springy 1.6, adding several new capabilities to the archiving software. Springy can open and browse the contents of an archive or a disk image without extracting any files, and can extract all content or specific files from an archive. It can modify an existing archive or disk image, with options to add, overwrite, delete or rename contents. It also supports both extraction and archiving contents via drag-and-drop.
Christian Kienle has introduced Ebbinghaus 3.0, the latest version of the flash card application for organizing cards into decks, folders or "smart decks." All cards will be displayed within a table, while a progress indicator shows overall performance. The update features a study function that displays the cards consecutively, allowing users to type in an answer, while smart decks can be configured to contain only certain sets of cards.
Ringce has announced the final release of Slammer, a layout and geometry utility for Mac OS X. Designed for both graphic designers and app developers, the layout tool can be used for creating blueprints, customizing borders and size presets, or saving and exporting templates. Version 1.0 includes improvements to the Unibody theme and introduces customizable themes, enabling users to alter the six built-in themes or create new ones. Layout templates can be exported to JSON format, helping to integrate Slammer creations with other apps.
Sony on Thursday introduced plans to launch an online portal for music, movies, books, and other content such as applications, according to BusinessWeek. The market, named Sony Online Service, is expected to fulfill CEO Howard Stringer's goals and help the company compete against alternatives such as iTunes.
Twitter today added its promised geolocation feature for tweets. The addition gives any app using the API, but not the Twitter site itself, the option of tagging posts with a location as well as to automatically draw on the location for position-based features, such as finding tweets in a certain area. It isn't exclusive to GPS-equipped devices and will work with Wi-Fi and other methods that can generate the relevant data.
Apple has allegedly established a system to minimize licensing costs for 3G components patented by Qualcomm, according to Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. While most 3G OEMs are paying Qualcomm roughly 4 percent on the wholesale price of their phones, Apple reportedly dodges most of the fees and pays an estimated 1.6 percent of its iPhone revenue to the chip maker.
Dell today posted disappointing results for its latest quarter ended in October. The company saw its year-over-year revenue drop 15 percent to about $12.9 billion and its net income drop even further, falling 54 percent to $337 million. Both decreases were blamed on poor results both in the public sector and in its staple home PC business, where its shipments were up about 17 percent compared to a year earlier but its revenue was down 10 percent, an indication that many buyers were opting for less expensive PCs.
The recently launched Palm Pixi handset is now selling for just $25 at Amazon, or about $75 less than it did at launch, though it still requires a two-year contract with Sprint. It's not known why the price cut has been made just days after the phone's release.
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer today warned at a yearly shareholders' meeting that the company needed to improve the standing of Windows in the future. The executive was emphatic that Microsoft was still in a comfortable position with "96 out of 100" choosing Windows worldwide but acknowledged that Apple had cut into Microsoft's share in the past year. He downplayed the amount, labeling it a "a couple of tenths of a percent" but added that even the claimed amount was significant and worth fighting for.
Divergent Media has released an update to its M2T/MTS batch converter, ClipWrap 2.0. The program converts HDV or AVCHD files into QuickTime movies that can be used with any QuickTime-based application. Features in v2.0 include enhanced speed when rewrapping files, as well as additional format support.
Microsoft announced on Thursday it will soon release Power Pack 3 for Windows Home Server. The update is meant to improve the integration of Windows Home Server with Windows 7 and Windows Media Center by allowing backup and restore of Windows 7 comptuers, Windows 7 Libraries integration, new features in Media Center and added support for netbooks. Windows Home Server is meant for network-attached storage devices.
Canadian wireless provider Telus is suing competitor Rogers over ads that say Telus' wireless voice and data network is less reliable than its own. Such claims can no longer be made, Telus argues, as it recently launched a 21Mbps HSPA+ network that is on par with Rogers' in terms of speeds. Telus claims requests made to Rogers to stop airing these inaccurate ads were ignored, resulting in the lawsuit filed through the British Columbia Supreme Court.
Olive has introduced a new home music server with its Olive 4 HD which sports a 2TB capacity and the ability to rip music CDs. Compared to the earlier and similar looking Opus Nį4, there is a digital to analog converter (DAC) and all the ports are now gold-plated. The DAC is a high resolution unit in the form of Texas Instrument's 192kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown PCM1792A.
Apple Store workers will soon have more apps for their iPod touch-based EasyPay handhelds, a source claims. The devices are currently meant to run Easy Touch, an app which handles roaming checkouts in tandem with an attached card reader and barcode scanner. Apple is gradually retiring an assortment of Windows CE-based checkout units, which have been criticized as slow and unreliable.
Hasselblad today kept its H3DII camera line alive by adding a specialized model, the H3DII-50 Multi-Shot. It addresses image quality through an unusual approach that drops the need for the Bayer filtering common on virtually all cameras: it takes four shots, each offset by a pixel, and composites these into a single image. The result is a shot where every pixel has full color information and eliminates the visual artifacts that creep up on even better cameras, such as moirť from the interpolated color values.
The recently highlighted Qualcomm Mirasol e-reader prototype may be the first to offer the capability to play action games, thanks to a gaming controller accessory revealed on Thursday. The mirasol display technology is capable of reproducing colors and can play back video and the company behind it is seeing a potential as a gaming platform for its device. The plug-in controller has two control sticks, like many popular gaming consoles.
Cerulean has released an iPhone version of Trillian, its normally Windows-based instant messaging client. The app syncs with both web and desktop clients, and supports several different messaging networks, including AIM, ICQ, Google, Jabber, MSN and Yahoo. Users can correspondingly login with multiple accounts, and switch between chats via tabs.
Dell today quietly slipped the Studio 17 Touch into its lineup as its first touchscreen notebook. The 17-inch system adds multi-touch input and carries Dell's own suite of touch apps, such as its photo browser. Most of the design remains the same and is treated as a desktop replacement and media center hybrid with a 2.1-channel JBL speaker system and HDMI output.
Google provided its first public details of Chrome OS at a special event today. Electronista supplied coverage of the just-ended even; all updates are listed in reverse chronological order. Among the news unveiled are the first public view of the OS, that there will be no beta today and that the platform is being open-sourced early as Chromium OS a year ahead of its planned late 2010 release.
Sony's PS3 gaming console may soon benefit for the Mozilla Firefox web browser, according to a rumor in a Wednesday PSInsider report. The source is said to be close to Sony, and indicates the two companies have been in talks regarding the matter. Whether a deal has been reached in the negotiations is not known, the source points out.
Virgin Mobile's Canadian division will soon carry the iPhone, according to an announcement. The company has revealed few details, except that it will sell both the 3G and 3GS, and that a launch should happen sometime "in the coming months." The device will also be the carrier's first HSPA-based phone, possible through an upgraded Bell cellular network.
AT&T on Thursday announced it will soon add the HP Mini 110 netbook to its range of 3G mobile broadband equipped netbooks. The Windows 7-equipped netbook sports a 10.1-inch LED display, an Intel Atom CPU and 1GB of RAM. There is otherwise a 160GB hard drive, along with a webcam and built-in microphone.
Despite an official promise of launching its 9-inch mobile tablet PC at the end of October, Archos has not delivered and is now saying the device will not see store shelves until early in 2010. The device will ship early in December, but retailers such as Amazon and Walmart will not get the device until the new year. Its specs are expected to carry over, including the inclusion of Windows 7 Starter Edition and the $500 price tag.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has chastised a Mac developer in response to a letter regarding a name change, reports say. The CEO of Little App Factory, John Devor, says he was recently served a notice by Apple lawfirm Baker & McKenzie, asking him to change the name of iPodRip, a program used to transfer content from an iPod or iPhone back to a Mac. Devor decided to plead his case with Jobs directly, writing an elaborate e-mail message.
Intel's first Celeron processor based on its 32 nanometer Arrandale design should ship this spring, a leak says today. The P4500 will clock in at just 1.86GHz but should be a dual-core example and have 2MB of Level 2 cache and perform faster than an older 45nm Celeron. Both Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost will reportedly be disabled, as with the Core i3, to keep the price down and differentiate from faster Core i5 and i7 models.
As promised, TomTom has released an updated GPS app for the iPhone. A previously unannounced feature is support for the iPod touch, which normally lacks a GPS receiver. As with the recent Magellan app however, Touch support can only be enabled by docking with a first-party car kit.
Germany's Sharkoon is coming out with a USB 3.0 hard drive dock that allows users to plug in any IDE or SATA hard drives and transfer data through a fast USB 3.0 connection. The Quickport Combo is an upright drive station that can support 2.5- and 3.5-inch IDE or SATA hard drives as well as optical 5.25-inch IDE drives. SATA hard drives can be plugged directly into the top-facing dock, while IDE devices are connected via the dedicated front connector.
Two of Lenovo's first notebooks to use AMD processors have been given hard specs in a German leak. True to form, the ThinkPad X100e is now known to be Lenovo's first portable in between netbooks and notebooks and should use a 1.6GHz Athlon Neo, an 11.6-inch 1366x768 display and a multi-touch trackpad. Configurations will vary but should hold up to 4GB of RAM, a 3- or 6-cell battery, and between 160GB and 500GB of hard drive space.
The MacBook and the iPod touch have both taken positions on a Time list of the top 25 travel gadgets for 2009. The updated plastic MacBook is complimented for being tougher than its predecessor, and having LED backlighting, which contributes to a maximum seven-hour battery life. The magazine also remarks on the presence of a glass multi-touch trackpad, and the removal of mercury and arsenic from materials.
iBuyPower on Wednesday introduced its latest gaming PC, the Chimera 2. The various hardware components are housed in a new Chimera Inferno II Chassis with a wraparound flame color scheme. Users can spec a 2.66GHz Intel Core i5 or i7 but can also switch over to AMDís 2.8GHz or 3.2GHz Phenom II processors.
Imation this morning made further inroads into hard drives by shipping two new designs. The Imation Pro WX gives both Macs and PCs their first Wireless USB external hard drive and transfers data at a usable 15MB per second over the air. It comes in a single 1.5TB capacity and uses a physical USB adapter to provide its wireless connection. Imation sells it for $450.
Agile Web Solutions has released the completed version of 1Password 3, its web login utility. The software generates custom passwords for websites, remembering login information for automatic insertion later. Users can also save content related to online shopping, such as credit card numbers.
Livescribe today followed trends today by launching its own app store for its intelligent pens like the Pulse. The unusual addition uses a combination of the pen output, screen and audio features to provide a mix of games, education tools and utilities. In many cases, users draw some of the interface itself; language tools speak dialogue.
Apple has released two new software updates, beginning with a firmware update for the 24-inch LED Cinema Display. The update fixes an error with the built-in iSight camera, which may not be detected as intended by some programs. Downloaders must have an Intel Mac, as well as Mac OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6.2.
Verizon added a new rugged phone to its slate through the Casio G'zOne Rock. The clamshell is hardened to the military's 810F standards for dust- and waterproofing, shock and temperature but also now has six apps tailored for hiking and other outdoor activities. It uses its GPS both for a distance-aware compass as well as a pedometer; it also has independent apps for the lunar calendar, sunrise/sunset, temperatures and the tides.
ASUS' Eee PC 1201N today received more definitive release details for the US. The American version will have both the 1.6GHz dual-core Atom 330 and NVIDIA Ion chipset that should give it both faster overall performance and the option of 1080p video, including in Flash 10.1. The netbook will be one of the first to come with Windows 7 Home Premium and accordingly come with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive.
Apple may have delayed the launch of its repeatedly rumored tablet line to incorporate newer parts that could include an OLED touchscreen, a purported leak claims today. While an often mentioned 10.6-inch version with an LCD is still deemed on tap, the entire line may have been moved to the second half of 2010 to accommodate a 9.7-inch OLED from LG Display. The company may be delaying the launch to wait for OLED prices to fall, as a panel costs $500 today where Apple could save $200 to $300 just by waiting several months.
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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