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IntelliScanner has released its Wine Collector mini, a software and hardware package for scanning barcodes and organizing wine collections. The scanner tracks wines based on the barcodes found on many wine bottles, while the software automatically recognizes wines, organizes them and visualizes collections in a virtual cellar. The scanner is USB-powered, rechargeable, and has memory for retaining scans until the data can be offloaded.
Twelve South has launched a new subwoofer for Mac notebooks, the BassJump. The sub is USB-powered and comes with software that allows the sub to blend with a MacBook's built-in speakers, beefing up the midrange and low frequencies to improve the overall sound. The sub supports gaming sound effects and any other sound-based activities such as Internet radio and streaming video.
Amidio has released a DJ-style MP3 mixing app for the iPhone and iPod touch, Touch DJ. The software allows users to manipulate two MP3 files and take advantage of ‘Visual Mixing,' a feature which provides side-by-side graphic displays of both track waveforms. Customization controls include scratch looping, positioning, equalization, or effects and pitching functions, all of which can be done in real-time from the device's interface.
Ashampoo has launched v2.0 of its Cover Studio software for Mac, delivering additional covers and an enhanced editor. The utility is designed to help create disc labels, covers and booklets, and supports both modern direct-to-disc printing and track importing. The upgrade improves the editor function with new geometric shapes, an integrated undo function, new auto-scroll controls when dragging an object, and the ability to freely rotate text or objects into any position.
In Brief: Although Apple only provides drivers to support the new Magic Mouse on Mac OS X or Windows via Boot Camp, a recent software update has been hacked and converted into an .exe for operating the mouse on ordinary Windows PCs. Meanwhile, a separate report suggests Apple has been rejecting warranty claims for Macs that have been used in smokers' homes.
Buffalo Technology has introduced the DriveStation HD-HXU3, a new series of external hard drives featuring USB 3.0 interfaces. The high speed connection option is claimed to support transfer rates of up to 625MB/s, beating USB 2.0 and even FireWire by a considerable margin. Users can still connect using the current USB standard, however the transfer rates drop to approximately 480Mb/s.
SideFX has announced a new cloud service, HQueue, that is designed to work with the company's Houdini animation software. The Python-based job manager utilizes Amazon's EC2 compute loud to process renderings and simulations, but without requiring the user to leave the Houdini interface. Intensive computing can be processed by EC2 while the workstation resources are left free for other work.
Klausner Technologies has expanded its patent litigation efforts with new lawsuits aimed at Motorola and RIM, according to the Associated Press. The company claims both handset makers have violated its patents relating to visual voicemail technology. Although Motorola is said to license the technology for many of its phones, Klausner claims the Cliq handset utilizes the patented system without permission.
Google co-creator Sergey Brin followed up the introduction of Chrome OS with hints that the new operating system may eventually merge with Android. While the two are currently separate in most ways, the executive suggested the two could unite simply because smartphones and notebooks increasingly share common traits. He pointed out that both have Linux at the root and WebKit for their browsing engines.
The iPhone is slowly gaining momentum in the enterprise market, according to a recent report issued by TBI Research. The analysts believe employees have been a contributing factor, as many executives have first purchased iPhones for personal use before pushing the idea to their company's IT department.
HP this afternoon revealed mixed results for its quarter ended in October. The company's net earnings climbed 14 percent year-over-year to $2.4 billion, but its revenue dropped by 8 percent to $30.8 billion in the same time frame. It credits the profit boost to cost-cutting measures but saw its revenue drop across the board in every category, including the Personal Systems Group that handles its common PC business.
Sony on Monday introduced a new range of digital voice recorders with MP3 music playback capability. The ICD-UX200 and ICD-UX300F have a built-in, flip-out USB connector for easy transfer of files and can double as thumb drives for transferring other types of files. In the LP mode, the 4GB ICD-UX300F can record 1,072 hours worth of audio.
Jumsoft has launched a new set of themes for Apple's Keynote presentation software, Keynote Themes FX 5.0. The update introduces five new themes, all with coordinating fonts, frames, bullets and motion backgrounds. Ten more designs are carried over from the previous version. The five new ones are Air Blobs, Crystal Clear, DNA Chain, Glass Beads and Neuro Threads.
Mimo introduced what it touts as the industry's lowest priced auxiliary monitor on Monday, the 7-inch iMo Pivot Touch. It has a display with 800x480 resolution, 350cd/m2 brightness and a 400:1 contrast ratio. It can act as a secondary display for desktop computers, or as a standalone device, displaying digital photos and videos.
As promised, Nintendo will soon begin offering a paid video service in its home market of Japan. While free content has been available in Japan since May, users will now be able to access popular TV programs that include Sesame Street, Pocket Monsters, Pokemon and Nintendo's own educational programming.
Rogue Amoeba says it has released v1.0.2 of Airfoil Speakers Touch, a companion app for the company's Airfoil desktop client. The former streams various forms of Mac audio to handhelds. The update makes only one change, which is to restore images of Apple hardware and software to in-app displays.
Spotify on Monday launched a Symbian app for its streaming music service. Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, among others, use the Symbian operating system in the majority of their devices, potentially opening up the service to millions of new users. Spotify Mobile is already offered for the iPhone and for Android handsets.
Quickly turning around its pocket camcorders, Creative today added a third-generation Vado HD to its range. The new model carries a slicker design but more importantly addresses the image and audio quality that's sometimes been an issue for these cameras: it has a new sensor with better light sensitivity and manual exposure. A stereo microphone output gives it much cleaner input.
Samsung has announced it will soon replace the existing STORY Station range with a a new STORY Station Plus external hard drive line, add a new 2TB model and update the entire range with the inclusion of an eSATA interface. Compared to the original STORY drives which only have a USB 2.0 connection, the new 3.5-inch STORY Station Plus drives have the ability to transfer data at a 3-gigabit per second speed, or about six times faster than the outgoing models. A USB 2.0 port remains for wider compatibility.
Apple is set to launch two new TV ads in response to Verizon's criticism of AT&T's 3G network. Both ads focus on the iPhone's ability to maintain a voice call while simultaneously using features that require a data connection. The first sequence shows the iPhone interface as the user checks an e-mail, changes reservations and orders flowers without ending each call. The second spot features an iPhone user talking to a friend while checking movie times, sending the theater location and checking out a restaurant.
Google today gave Android a further edge by porting Google Maps Navigation to Android 1.6 phones. The update gives the T-Mobile G1, myTouch 3G and some international devices support for the turn-by-turn navigation system that was previously limited to the only Android 2.0 device, the Motorola Droid.
Ableton and Cycling '74 have launched Max for Live, a development tool for Ableton's Live 8 production suite. Users can build original audio components, which help to produce more distinct sounds during performances and recordings. Once finished, components are integrated back into the Live interface.
AT&T today countered efforts by Sprint, Verizon and Virgin Mobile in mobile data by adding the Data Connect Pass as an alternative to its subscriptions. The packages give occasional travelers the option of using 3G through a USB stick or similar device without having to commit beyond what they need. It also avoids unnecessary overage fees and lets users top up for the amount of necessary time if they run out of bandwidth before the usage period expires.
Intouch has released what it calls the first Internet-capable digital photo frame, the 7-inch IT7150. Apart from its ability to playback photos and videos, the frame can connect to Internet radio stations, weather information and social networking sites thanks to its Wi-Fi connection. It also carries an 800x480 resolution and a touchscreen that brings a virtual QWERTY keyboard.
A new worm has begun targeting iPhones and iPod touches, however it only appears to attack jailbroken devices, according to the security company Sophos. The worm, which works in a similar way to the recent 5 Euro scam, was reportedly discovered after a Dutch ISP noticed unusually high volumes of data traffic.
Speaking in an interview, Phil Schiller -- Apple's senior VP of worldwide product marketing -- has responded to ongoing criticisms of the App Store approval process. A number of developers have complained that it may take weeks or months for an app to be approved. Even after such delays an app can still be rejected, sometimes for what may be considered arbitrary criteria.
Despite being more than a month away from the public, Intel's Core i9 (Gulftown) platform has already been tested and is shown to be potentially as fast as its design implies. The move from four to six cores has translated into an almost perfectly linear increase in speed for those apps that can use multiple processors. In tasks such as 3D modeling and video encoding, a 2.8GHz Core i9 is found by PCLab to be roughly 50 percent faster than a Core i7 at the same clock speed.
The economy has bounced back quickly enough that the computer business will have seen a slight boost this year, Gartner said in a study published on Monday. The analyst group estimates that shipments will have overall climbed 2.8 percent in 2009 to about 298.9 million computers. It marks a sharp reversal from a forecast as late as September that had computers sinking 2 percent. A recovery of the sort is credited mostly to strong sales in the summer and "modest" anticipated growth in the summer.
With teasing having only just begun for the event, a brochure has already leaked for Apple's Black Friday sales. The document reveals conservative discounts for various products, for instance dropping the prices of iMacs to between $1,098 and $1,898. MacBook Pros are slated to cost between $1,098 and $2,448.
TomTom on Monday said two of its navigation devices will be offered at deep discounts at Walmart as part of Black Friday sales. This includes the ONE 125 SE and XL 325 SE. The former has a 3.5-inch touchscreen while the latter uses a wider 4.3-inch touchscreen. Otherwise, many share the same features, including preloaded US maps, the ability to speak out street names and a folding Go EasyPort mount.
Apple devices now represent exactly half of all smartphone traffic on the Internet, AdMob said today in its report for October. The iPhone has gained 10 percent of absolute share since August to reach 50 percent while Symbian has fallen again to 25 percent. Apple has identical share in the US.
Big-box retailer Best Buy has announced a brief holiday discount for Macs, already in effect. All iMac prices have been cut by $100, while MacBook Pros are between $100 and $200 cheaper, depending on individual configurations. Notably the deals are set to end after Wednesday, well ahead of Black Friday, the traditional date for Thanksgiving sales. Consequentially, they will also avoid overlapping with Apple's own sales plans.
Carrier KT has exposed details of the South Korean iPhone launch, confirming reports that the product will be released locally on November 28th. Plans are set to cost 45,000 ($39), 65,000 ($56) or 95,000 won ($82) per month on contract. Phone prices vary accordingly; a 32GB 3GS is set at 396,000 won ($342) under a base plan, but only 132,000 won ($114) under the most expensive plan. The 16GB 3GS and the 8GB 3G have been made free in some combinations.
The LG X120 netbook introduced early this year will soon be available in US, exclusively at RadioShack, the computer maker announced on Monday. LG's first netbook for the country sports a 10.1-inch LED backlit display with a 1024x576 resolution, Intel's 1.6GHz Atom processor and 1GB of RAM. The 160GB hard drive is preloaded with Windows XP, not Windows 7 Starter, and users can quickly access the web, photos, IM programs and an MP3 player through LG's Linux-based SmartOn interface without waiting for the operating system to boot.
Verizon today finally set out a launch for the Samsung Omnia II on its network. As confirmed in a leak, the Windows Mobile 6.5 flagship will reach the carrier's stores on December 2nd and should sell for $200 on contract, though only after a $100 rebate. The new edition also brings support for Visual Voice Mail, VZ Navigator and V CAST media apps.
Data Robotics started the week off with two major upgrades to its Drobo external drives. The Drobo S adds a fifth bay that gives it even more room (up to 10TB) and dual-drive redundancy that lets owners lose two drives at once without facing actual data loss. It further brings the first use of eSATA to give primarily Windows-based PCs a fast alternative to the normally more Mac-friendly FireWire 800 and universal but slower USB 2.0 ports.
Apple has posted a teaser for its annual Black Friday online sale, this year scheduled for November 27th. No discounts have been revealed so far, as they are only typically announced on Black Friday proper. The event should nevertheless see lower prices on Mac, iPod, and iPhone-related products, as well as universal free shipping.
Dell's Mini 3i is shipping to China with a possible unfair competitive advantage against the iPhone. The Android phone should be available by the end of the month through China Mobile's retail partners and later through Dell's own site. As expected, it will drop 3G and Wi-Fi due to the government-backed carrier's preferences but will still have a 640x360 capacitive touchscreen, GPS, Bluetooth and microSDHC storage.
Apple's Regent Street store in London reportedly generates sales of approximately £2,000 (~$3,300 USD) per square foot, according to an Evening Standard report. The store's sales numbers make it the most profitable retail outlet in London, beating the high-end retailer Harrods by a factor of three. Apple's presence on Regent street has also been credited with helping to vitalize the area and attract other retailers.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ