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onOne has launched Plug-in Suite 5, a collection of six Photoshop utilities geared for photographers. The package includes full versions of FocalPoint 2, PhotoTune 3, PhotoFrame 4.5, PhotoTools 2.5, Genuine Fractals 6, and MaskPro 4. FocalPoint provides tools for adding depth-of-field and selective focus controls to images. The latest version integrates a blur algorithm that can be customized to achieve a desired look.
Walmart helped spur Black Friday sales today by selling the HTC Droid Eris on discount. The Android smartphone has dropped from its original $100 to $30 on the same two-year contract as at Verizon. It doesn't require a rebate but is currently backordered.
Apple's Mac mini has taken the lead in a comparison of in-use power efficiency, according to data gathered by Sust-it. The survey includes over 100 systems, with the 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-equipped Mini holding the top two positions with either a 120GB or 320GB hard drive.
Collins America on Thursday introduced the BagAmp, a portable amplifier system geared for musicians. The system features the company's "Audio Piston" technology that eliminates the need for the rubber ring that holds a typical speaker cone in place. The flat-faced drivers, measuring 3 inches, are claimed to produce similar sound to many 5-inch drivers.
Users of the Sony Aino smartphone in the UK are finding some problems when using the device's touchscreen interface, according to a Thursday report. Only a small numbers of the devices in Britain are affected, says Sony Ericsson spokesperson Mattias Holm, and the company is working on resolving the issue. Details of the problem have not been disclosed, however.
About two weeks after revealing a Windows XP-powered
Today is the big shopping day, Black Friday, and online retailers sprung into action early this morning to bring you the best deals of the year. Places like eCost.com were slashing prices on everything from iPhones to HDTVs. Today they dropped the price on the refurbished iPhone 3G to $359.99 with $9.99 for shipping. Other items from eCost include a 32-inch Westinghouse LCD HDTV for $279.99, and a Lenovo ThinkPad for $319.
FedEx will be using a new Senseaware sensor in packages sent out to 50 of its medical clients this spring, which will allow the customers to get real-time updates on a package's status. This will not only include an exact location, but also temperature, whether or not the package has been opened or exposed to light. A built-in accelerometer will also detect drops, while a cell antenna will send out the collected data whenever the package is not in flight.
PC maker Dell announced this week that it is making an experimental version of the open source Chromium OS for the company's Mini Inspiron 10v netbook. The OS is available as a USB key image file, but Dell technology strategist Doug Anson warns the file should be used with an assumed risk, as it has minimal testing.
Carphone Warehouse today raised its profit estimates for its fiscal year based on the surprise success of its smartphone business (subscription required). Its earnings for its first fiscal half-year before tax and other factors jumped sharply from £65 million ($107.2 million) a year ago to £103 million ($169.9 million) and is attributed directly to the success of its smartphone sales, particularly touchscreen devices. Its sales of the iPhone were considered a strong factor, as were sales of BlackBerry devices and Nokia's Nseries.
Microsoft has demonstrated Silverlight video streaming for the iPhone, according to reports. The technology relies on server-side transcoding and HTML 5's video tag, but displays Silverlight content in a native MPEG-2 v8 format recognized by the iPhone's version of QuickTime. "So it's the same IIS smooth streaming content, the same server, the same point of origin, but now I can get that content to play without any code changes, without any real work, on the iPhone. That's the critical thing for our customers," says Microsoft User Experience platform manager Brian Goldfarb.
Apple has agreed to change their terms and conditions for UK customers, following criticism from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), according to Tech Digest. The trade group rebuked the California-based company for infringing upon the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999 (UTCCRs). Apple will reportedly revise its local terms and conditions for clarity and compliance with the regulations.
What is believed to be the successor to the touchscreen-equipped LG Arena has been spotted (PDF) passing testing at the Wi-Fi Alliance. Little is known about the LG Arena Max LU9400, other than that it will have Wi-Fi capability. It will also presumably retain the touchscreen interface, though it isn't likely to have a smartphone-grade operating system such as Windows Mobile or Android.
Earlier this week, Mac and PC peripheral maker Zemno introduced what it calls the first portable docking station that supports the internal connection of hard drives, batteries and peripherals. The DeskBook Pro Docking Station uses the company's ModBay technology that lets users plug in either of the three types of devices. Each ModBay contains either a hard drive, a battery or other peripheral; the dock has two of these.
As promised, Apple has opened up the development of iTunes LP and Extras content, publishing guidelines and templates on its website. Extras recreate the special features of DVD and Blu-ray discs, while LP provides something similar for music. Independent record labels have complained that Apple first restricted LP to the four major labels.
Sony finished up its week with a major firmware upgrade for the Walkman X1000. The 1.1 update significantly ramps up the accuracy and speed of the NetFront web browser, whose performance was a liability in our review and has compared poorly against those in rival devices like the iPod touch and Zune HD. It also brings faster scrolling and an update that uses Bing instead of the now outdated Windows Live Search.
Japanese PC maker Kohjinsha has taken its dual screen notebook concept it showed off at last month's CEATEC show and made it into a production PC. The DZ6HKE16E is the first of the DZ-series of notebooks, and comes with a 1.6GHz AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 CPU, 1GB of RAM. There is also an integrated ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics chipsets to drive the two 10.1-inch displays, each with 1024x600 resolution and an LED backlight.
Major programs from Adobe, Intuit and Parallels have also become a part of special Black Friday software deals. Amazon is selling Adobe's CS4 Design Standard Student Edition for $296, the CS4 Web Premium Student Edition for $350, and the CS4 Design Premium Student Edition for $404. The discounts are extremely high, between 78 and 79 percent lower than list price.
Samsung's bada has received a definitive public debut date through an invitation sent to the press. The phone platform and its development kit should be given their first public airing at an event in London on December 8th. Besides showing the software, the gathering will also have Samsung discuss its future mobile strategy.
Tomorrow's Korean iPhone launch may greatly affect the region's cellphone market, the Associated Press reports. Carrier KT says it has received some 53,000 advance orders, a number described as "phenomenal" by Prudential analyst Hwang Sung-jin. "The iPhone's release will definitely stiffen competition for local companies such as Samsung and LG," Sung-jin adds.
Microsoft's interim Windows Mobile update could have significant updates designed explicitly for touch, a pair of leaks show. A Microsoft representative seeking anonymity has claimed that previous shots of "6.5.1" are accurate but that it's not necessarily a straight patch. Instead, the larger, bottom-only buttons are meant to provide an alternative interface for capacitive touchscreens; the existing top-and-bottom split makes those items too small to hit with a finger, the employee told mopocket.
Intel's plans to overhaul its desktop processors early next year have been detailed almost entirely in a roadmap published today. The lineup is now believed to be headlined by low-powered S versions of the Core i5-750 and i7-860 that will run all four cores at 2.4GHz and 2.53GHz respectively; they should use just 82W of power versus 95W or more and fit into tighter spaces. Each will have 8MB of Level 2 cache, though the Core i7 chips will scale up to 3.46GHz where the Core i5 will stop at 3.2GHz.
A host of companies have begun Apple-related Black Friday sales, such as Yazsoft, which is offering 40 percent off of Playback, ShareTool and Speed Download 5 for the Mac. iSkin is selling Mac, iPod and iPhone accessories for 50 percent off or more, with a particular emphasis on gear for older Apple platforms. DEVONtechnologies has posted a 25 percent discount on all of its software, including Infoworker bundles.
Chinese wireless provider China Unicom said on Friday it will bring out the Uphone, which will closely resemble competitor China Mobile's Ophone Android phone. The Uphone will get its own version of the Android OS, called UniPlus, as well as its own Uphone app store. The app store will likely open before the first handsets ship in order to give developers a head start on populating the virtual shelves with their wares. The announcement was made by China Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing.
Acer's mobile head Aymar de Lencquesaing said in an interview late Thursday that the company plans to shift its attention more towards Android and reduce its Windows Mobile effort. Although all of the company's 10 smartphones this year save for the Liquid A1 were running Windows Mobile, the executive promised Reuters that 2010 will be "much more balanced" and see significantly more Android phones among the 8 to 10 planned for the year.
Lenovo today said it would buy back Lenovo Mobile, its previously separate cellphone business. The deal, worth $200 million in cash and shares, brings back a division that the company had sold off just last year in a bid to save money. In justifying the reversal, the computer maker said that PCs are converging with smartphones and that there would be a "significant growth opportunity" to have a stake in handheld devices.
Apple as promised has launched its Black Friday sale, currently ongoing in the US, Canada and Europe. The Friday-only discounts are highlighted by a $101 price cut for all iMac and MacBook Pro models regardless of size. The iPod touch also sees heavy discounts, bringing the 64GB model down to $358, the 32GB version to $268 and the 8GB model down to $178.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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