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News Archive for 09/12/03

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Mark/Space intros The Missing Sync for Android

12/03, 11:05pm

Syncs everything from files to ringtones

Mark/Space on Thursday launched both the Mac and PC version of The Missing Sync for Android. The app utilizes Wi-Fi to sync contacts between a computer and Android-based handsets such as the myTouch 3G, HTC Hero or Motorola Cliq. It works with popular applications such as Microsoft Outlook or Address Book, and can automatically sync whenever the computer comes within range of the handset.

Droid ad calls iPhone a "pageant queen"

12/03, 10:45pm

New Droid ad airs, BOGO deal tomorrow

Verizon tonight cut deep by launching a new ad (seen below) for the Motorola Droid. The new spot directly attacks the iPhone and calls Apple's handset a "digitally clueless pageant queen," making fun of its focus on style and even mocking the glass case Apple used to display the phone at its launch in 2007. It meanwhile thrives on the Droid's powerful, masculine image and, among other things, suggests that the smartphone is "racehorse duct-taped to a Scud missile fast."

Uxsight releases portable speaker system for mobile phones

12/03, 10:35pm

Supports devices with 3.5mm or 2.5mm audio jacks

Uxsight has released a new mobile speaker system, complete with an SD card slot and support for USB drives. The device works with any audio player that has a 3.5mm audio jack, such as MP3 players or a PC, as well as any mobile phone with a 2.5mm connector. The player features standard controls for volume and track playback. Power is provided by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can take anywhere from three to five hours to charge.

Google confirms Android 2.0.1 update

12/03, 10:25pm

Release could be the rumored 2.1 update

Google has confirmed plans to release an Android update, v2.0.1, sometime later this month. The new version could be the rumored v2.1 update claimed to be ready for launch after December 11th. The company claims v2.0.1 will contain a number of bug fixes and behavior changes. Developers will be able to take advantage of a 'Sync Tester' for testing third-party sync adapters.

eBook Reader utility finds and reads free eBooks

12/03, 8:30pm

Reader stores eBooks in bookshelf

Custom Solutions has introduced a new e-book utility, eBook Reader. The software can download free e-books and save them to a bookshelf folder kept in a user's Documents folder. While eBook Reader allows users to read the books directly from the software interface, it also provides an option to automatically convert text to speech. The reader can be expanded to fill the screen and supports fonts between 10-24 point sizes. It also bookmarks each location where the reader stops between sessions.

Booq ships Taipan shadow notebook bag with luggage features

12/03, 7:45pm

New bag has unique Terralinq number

Booq has launched a new notebook bag, the Taipan shadow. It is a messenger-style carrying case geared toward maintaining a professional look. It can handle magazines, business cards, keys and notebook accessories, with a densely padded laptop compartment with a soft interior. The design also accommodates luggage trolley pass-through for easier transportation at airports.

SecureDoc 4.9 disk encryptor adds Snow Leopard support

12/03, 7:10pm

Software now supports USB external drives

WinMagic has released an update to its disk encryption software, SecureDoc v4.9 for Mac OS X. The software features always-on 256-bit AES full-disk encryption that integrates with Windows Active Directory, allowing it to be deployed across a mixed-OS enterprise network.

Nokia's E72 smartphone lands in US market

12/03, 6:55pm

Business phone available for $470

Nokia's E72 smartphone has finally landed in the US market, following initial availability in Europe for the past few weeks. The device serves as a replacement for the E71, the company's popular business handset. Upgrades include an optical trackpad and redesigned interface, while the e-mail client has been taken from the E75.

Sony to record World Cup games in 3D

12/03, 6:25pm

Sony to cover FIFA finals in 3D for first time

Sony on Thursday said it would be the first to capture FIFA's World Cup finals using 3D cameras. Depending on the tournament results, as many as 25 of the matches will be recorded in the format using Sony's pro-level cameras. The electronics giant hasn't said how soon the 3D footage will be made public or in what formats, though it has already promised 3D Blu-ray players, TVs and the PS3 for 2010.

Acer, Lenovo outpace US PC rivals in market share

12/03, 5:55pm

iSuppli confirms Acer overtook Dell

Acer has officially leapfrogged Dell to become the world's second-largest PC builder, iSuppli confirmed in a new study. The Taiwan firm's computer shipments jumped 16.6 percent year-over-year in the summer to nearly 10.74 million PCs, or a 13.4 percent share of the entire market. Meanwhile, Dell actually dropped 5.9 percent to ship 10.34 million PCs, or 12.9 percent of the whole group.

STOIK PanoramaMaker photography utility enters beta for Mac

12/03, 5:35pm

Software handles moving objects without blur

STOIK Imaging has launched a Mac beta of its PanoramaMaker software. The software claims the unique ability to handle moving objects without allowing blur to ruin the stitched images. It also features lens and geometrical compensation, while allowing users to manually match images. Tools are provided for correcting uneven brightness, double-edge defects and curves in the final output.

PDF tool supports Excel conversion, Office files, OS X 10.6

12/03, 5:30pm

PDF2Office Professional v5.0 released

Recosoft has announced PDF2Office Professional v5.0 for the Mac. The PDF converter tool can recreate PDF documents in Microsoft's Word as well as PowerPoint and RTF, retaining the construction and layout of the original. It retains paragraphs, applies styles and regroups graphic elements. It also extracts images and creates tables. All the formatting conversion is done automatically, requiring nothing of the user.

Rokland intros BearExtender n3 Wi-Fi range extender

12/03, 5:05pm

Extends 802.11n wireless signals

Rokland Technologies has introduced BearExtender n3, a wireless adapter designed for Apple computers. The device pairs a 700 mW Wi-Fi radio with an external antenna claimed to increase wireless range by up to four times the typical distance experienced with a 32mW AirPort card. It features plug-and-play compatibility, connecting via USB, and supports 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n networks.

HTC Touch.B running BREW, not Android

12/03, 5:00pm

HTC Touch.B a featurephone thanks to BREW MP OS

The very recently spotted HTC Touch.B handset will not run on the open-source Android operating system after all. Previously known by the Rome codename, the latest MobiFrance report reveals it will instead rely on the conventionally-oriented Brew MP operating system rather than HTC's usual smartphone platforms. The Qualcomm OS is still in its Alpha build, though it resembles HTC's own TouchFLO interface.

BlackBerry undercuts iPhone with AT&T 50% off deal

12/03, 4:50pm

ATT cuts BBerry prices in half for promo

RIM hoped to fuel its BlackBerry holiday sales with a major sales promo at AT&T. The deal cuts the price of virtually all BlackBerry handsets in half, even including newer models like the Bold 9700 and Curve 8520. As a result, the smartphones will cost as little as $100 and $50 respectively after both a rebate and a two-year contract.

ROM reveals codenames of upcoming HTC Android phones

12/03, 4:45pm

ROM reveals HTC planning many Android handsets

Handset maker HTC to update or release 19 handsets with Android 2.1 in the near future, according to a leaked ROM for the OS. While some of these phones are versions of the same handset with different network support or are already out, the news still paints a picture of HTC's upcoming Android releases. The already existing handsets include the Hero, Halo and near-twin Droid Eris (codenamed as the DesireC in the ROM).

Apple posts first Snow Leopard Java update [u]

12/03, 4:40pm

Matching Leopard update also available

(Updated with Leopard patch info) Apple has released a first official Java update for Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Little information is available, but the patch does push Java SE 6 to v1.60_17, and include various "reliability, security and compatibility" fixes. Downloaders must be running Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later.

Sega launches Super Monkey Ball 2 for iPhone, iPod touch

12/03, 4:25pm

Includes 115 different levels

Sega has released Super Monkey Ball 2, a sequel to its earlier game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Players rely on touch and accelerometer controls to roll a monkey through an obstacle course, collecting bananas along the way. The game offers four monkeys to choose from, and 115 different levels.

Yamaha outs latest Digital Sound Projector

12/03, 4:20pm

Yamaha intros YSP-5100 with more speakers

Yamaha on Thursday introduced the latest addition to its Digital Sound Projector range with the YSP-5100. Compared to the YSP-4100 on which it's based, the YSP-5100 is 6.7 inches wider and packs two more tweeters into this extra outside space for better sound dispersion for a better virtual surround sound experience. It otherwise has the same HD decoding abilities that include Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, the same 55W power output and the same audio connections.

RIM, Energizer join Wireless Power Consortium

12/03, 4:05pm

Wireless Power Consortium gets RIM, Energizer

The Wireless Power Consortium on Thursday announced it has added BlackBerry maker RIM and battery maker Energizer, furthering the organization's mission of developing a wireless charging standard it is calling Qi. There are now 21 members in the Consortium, and the opportunity was also taken to announce the second round of prototype testing has been successfully completed.

Canon patenting touchscreen DSLR

12/03, 4:00pm

Patent would simplify Canon pro cameras

Future Canon DSLRs could be some of the first to switch to touchscreens for much of their input, a newly unearthed patent filing shows. The application shows an interchangeable lens camera that would use both a touchscreen and an optical viewfinder but which would implement a unique system to avoid accidental input on the touch display immediately below. By setting a determining which eye would use the viewfinder, the system could partly disable the touchscreen to prevent accidental input while still maintaining some level of control.

Hard Candy Cases, Timbuk2 intro new notebook gear

12/03, 3:50pm

Bubble Shell, (PRODUCT) RED bag

Hard Candy Cases and Timbuk2 have each added to their lines of notebook accessories. The Bubble Shell, by Hard Candy, is a polycarbonate cover for 13-inch unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros. It uses a molded-in bubble design, and is available in six different color schemes including black, blue, red, pink, white and clear. The case snaps into place, maintaining access to batteries and ports.

My Living Desktop 4.5 offers over 40 built-in videos

12/03, 3:25pm

Also imports user videos

Amuse has released an update to its video desktop and screensaver utility, My Living Desktop 4.5. The app replaces standard desktop content with moving images. The latest version provides over 40 built-in videos for users to choose from, with nature-themed sound effects, and an option to import personal movies.

Google, Microsoft help judge phone camera quality

12/03, 3:20pm

Google and MS join image quality initiative

Google and Microsoft have simultaneously joined the Camera Phone Image Quality Initiative in a bid to drive up the quality of handsets. Along with existing partners, the two are helping to create a rating system that will judge cameras on phones through factors beyond just resolution, such as the actual sharpness of the picture, the amount of visible noise, color reproduction and lens artifacts like distortion or chromatic effects ("purple fringing").

Apple refurbs: iPod shuffle, Nano, Touch, more

12/03, 3:05pm

Refurbished iPods from Apple's online store

Apple's online store today has a wide selection of refurbished iPods at reduced prices. The previous-generation 1GB iPod shuffle, in pink is available for $39, the 2GB model is available for $20 more. Previous-generation 8GB iPod nanos are also available in orange, green, purple, pink, silver, yellow, and black for only $99. The 16GB Nano is also featured for $129 in all of the same colors. The second generation iPod touch is available in three configurations; 8GB for $149, 16GB for $199, or 32GB for $249. Last on the list is the 120GB iPod classic which is available in both black or silver for $189.

Second Motorola Android sighting may be new Droid

12/03, 2:35pm

Another Motorola Android phone image leak

The second unofficial Motorola handset has been spotted in photos in as many days, this one also running on the Android operating system. The photos were posted from a reader of the story on the originally leaked handset, a touch-only Sholes. All that is known about the new device is that it has a 3.8-inch touchscreen along with an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and an LED flash.

Acer preps Aspire with Core i7, mobile Radeon HD 5850

12/03, 2:25pm

Acer Aspire 8942 to pack quad-core and new GPU

Acer is reportedly planning to replace the Aspire 8935 with a new flagship that would be one of the first to use AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 5850. The 18.4-inch Aspire 8942 would effectively become the first notebook with DirectX 11-capable graphics and has other specs that reveal it as a gaming notebook: it should hold a four-core 1.6GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, and two 640GB hard drives.

Nokia plans to cut smartphone line in half

12/03, 1:55pm

Nokia wants simpler smartphone range

Nokia told those in an Internet broadcast that it plans to produce half as many smartphones in 2010 as it did this year. The company is scaling back the number of models to avoid "unnecessary differentiation" and ship multiple phones with only small changes between them. Those models that are left should get more attention as a result.

Chinese auction site sells five iPhones in two weeks

12/03, 1:50pm

Hints at persistently low iPhone sales

An official China Unicom online auction has so far yielded extremely poor iPhone sales, according to IDG News. The carrier recently opened an iPhone storefront at Taobao.com, a site described as a Chinese equivalent of eBay. Within its first two weeks the storefront is noted to have sold just five iPhones, including two 8GB 3G models and three 16GB 3GS editions.

Samsung sues Sharp over LCD patents

12/03, 1:15pm

Samsung files lawsuit against Sharp over LCD tech

Samsung on Thursday sued Sharp for allegedly infringing on its rights related to LCD devices. The filing was made with the US International Trade Commission, but little other details are known. Sharp hasn't made any comments on the matter, as it maintains it hasn't yet received any bill of complaints from the ITC.

LG intros first commercially available 3D LCD with 1080p

12/03, 12:55pm

LG shows first consumer 3D LCD with 1080p support

LG Display on Thursday introduced the first LCD panel that combines both 3D capabilities and 1080p resolution. The 23-inch LM230WF4 monitor will ship with shutter glasses and promises to bring with it ultra-sharp images. Other specs include a 400cd/m2 brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and a 3ms response time.

iGO My way for iPhone updates with via points, new maps

12/03, 12:30pm

European, North American editions improved

NNG has released a major update of iGO My way, its turn-by-turn navigation app for the iPhone. The software is mainly distinguished by 3D junctions and landmarks, as well as an emphasis on simple icons and large buttons. The v1.1 update includes new maps for Europe or North America, depending on the edition of the software. People with the full European app gain access to maps for Albania and Macedonia.

Comcast vows to keep Hulu intact

12/03, 12:15pm

Hulu to stay the same, but cable channels out

Hulu won't undergo a shakeup following the Comcast buyout of NBC, the cable provider said during a conference call to discuss the merger. Comcast chief operating officer Stephen Burke called Hulu's existing business model "smart and appropriate" and said there weren't any plans to change the way the streaming video site works. He points out that the split already works in Comcast's favor, as much of Hulu's content comes from basic cable and leaves out the premium channels that Comcast would want to reserve for On Demand Online.

Motorola invests in "multi-touch anywhere" creator

12/03, 11:35am

Motorola gets stake in Sensitive Object

Motorola signaled the seriousness of its commitment to touchscreen phones this morning by investing in Sensitive Object, a developer for handheld touch devices. The deal gives Motorola access to Anywhere MultiTouch, which uses sound rather than finger electricity, pressure or optics to detect input. By detecting the waves emanating from a touch, the technique can recognize touch beyond just the screen or a dedicated trackpad.

eWallet 7.0 adds image sync, Mac client preview

12/03, 11:25am

One license for all devices

Ilium has launched eWallet 7.0, an update to its password management software. The program stores passwords, PIN numbers, bank accounts and credit card info for quick retrieval, with 256-bit AES encryption. The update works on iPhones, iPod touches, BlackBerries and several Windows platforms; a preview is included for an upcoming Mac OS X release.

Micron intros SATA 6GBps solid state drive range

12/03, 11:05am

Micron intros fastest SSD with 355MBps read speed

Micron recently introduced one of the fastest solid state drives on the market with its RealSSD C300. It sports a native SATA 6GBps interface, which Micron claims is a first for the industry. Based on 34nm MLC (multi-level cell) flash memory, the range supports the high-speed ONFI 2.1 standard and is rated at 355MBps read speeds and 215MBps write speeds when at its peak.

Fujitsu reveals UMPC with multi-touch, Windows 7

12/03, 10:55am

Fujitsu UH900 the smallest multi-touch PC yet

Fujitsu on Thursday unveiled what could be the most technically advanced UMPC to date. The LifeBook UH900 has just a 5.6-inch screen but uses a capacitive multi-touch display that takes finger input; appropriately, it comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and gets touch support out of the box. A small thumb trackpad and dedicated buttons for common tasks help simplify tasks that don't always work well with pure touch.

Macs forecast to reach 4 percent marketshare in 2010

12/03, 10:55am

'Considerable headroom' left, sasys analyst

Mac sales will likely grow 26 percent in 2010, says Caris & Company analyst Robert Cihra. The figure contrasts with the computer market as a whole, which is expected to grow only 16 percent. Macs would thus be moving roughly 1.6 times faster, though during the past three years, Macs have shown an average growth rate 1.8 times higher.

Dell fixes Latitude throttling with updates

12/03, 10:20am

Dell issues software fix for Latitude PCs, more

Computer maker Dell has addressed the recently publicized issue with its Latitude E6400- and E6500-series notebook computers through a pair of updates (E6400, E6500). These PCs inexplicably throttled their CPU clock speeds to 1,000MHz, or less than half of their rated 2.2GHz speeds whenever their temperatures raised slightly or the CPU was asked to perform intensive tasks. The fix comes in the form of a BIOS update.

IDC: 300K iPhone apps, fast netbooks in 2010

12/03, 10:15am

IDC predicts for Apple, PC field in 2010

Analysts at IDC today made a sweeping set of predictions for the tech industry in 2010 that highlighted Apple. Researchers expect a major push into mobile apps as the future of computing and expect iPhone apps to lead the pack, with the app count almost tripling to 300,000 by the end of next year. Android will also swell rapidly and reach between 50,000 and 70,000 apps.

Third-party retailers push for access to Apple EasyPay

12/03, 9:40am

iPod-based retail tech to go on sale?

Apple is considering making its new iPod touch-based EasyPay checkout system commercially available, a report claims. The company recently switched to the Touch from older Windows CE technology, pairing it with custom software and a case that doubles as a card reader and barcode scanner. Sources say that Apple has since been approached by a number of parties looking to license the technology, ranging from small businesses up to major retail chains and system integrators.

Epson PictureMate Show merges photo printer, frame

12/03, 9:30am

Epson PictureMate Show has photo frame, printer

Epson on Thursday launched a compact photo printer market that doubles as a digital photo printer. The PictureMate Show PM 300 can print out full-color 4x6-inch prints and has a seven-inch display with 800x480 pixel resolution. There are 12 different slideshow formats, and users get a remote control for full control of the photos displayed on the screen. The printer, meanwhile, has the highest resolution in its class, at 5760x1440, and can produce a print in as little as 37 seconds.

Nokia teases multi-touch Symbian interface

12/03, 9:05am

Nokia shows Symbian3 for first half 2010

Nokia as part of its Capital Markets Day earlier this week showed a presentation that provided a brief glimpse of the future of Symbian on its phones. The Finnish phone maker expects the next release of the OS, Symbian^3, to ship in the first half of 2010 and to bring features overdue for the platform, including multi-touch input with flick scrolling, pinch-to-zoom and other gestures. The company also expects the interface to become about three times faster and to greatly simplify steps that have normally been overly complex on Symbian: it hopes for users to setup an e-mail account or get to a favorite song in two steps versus the several in Symbian today.

Comcast officially buys control of NBC

12/03, 7:55am

Comcast has controlling stake, GE minority

Comcast today confirmed late rumors and bought a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal that gives it control of the studio. The deal sees GE maintain a 49 percent stake and receive about $6.5 billion from Comcast; NBC Universal in turn is borrowing $9.1 billion to pay GE. While the new combined company doesn't yet have a name, but Comcast has created a second division known as the Comcast Entertainment Group that will handle the content aspects of the venture.

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