Verizon Wireless CFO John Killian has provided insight regarding the company's recent sales leading up to the holidays, claiming he is very pleased with sales across the carrier's entire range of devices, according to The Wall Street Journal. The executive also noted that there is still room for growth, primarily from new customers and the increasing usage of data services.
SpectorSoft has launched a major update to its remote-monitoring software, eBlaster Mac 2010. The software is designed to record and monitor all computer activity, such as usage by children or employees, while providing both warnings and reports that help keep parents or employers up-to-date on what apps and websites users go to. The latest version adds new blocking features for web sites and chat programs, as well as advanced keyword alerts that remotely warn parents of potentially dangerous activity.
Stardom has launched its latest storage device, theDeckRAID DR4. The new desktop system runs RAID 5 for a balance between speed and redundancy, while a quad-interface provides connections for eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. The eSATA port also supports port multiplication. The unit is hot-pluggable and recognized by both Mac and Windows without installing software. The deck can also be used as a boot drive via FireWire and USB 2.0 connections.
Digital Anarchy has introduced a retouching tool, Beauty Box 1.0, for After Effects and Final Cut Pro. The utility focuses on blemish removal and smoothing skin, with a filter that is claimed to reduce the need for masking. Facial recognition technology is allows the app to recognize skin areas. After setting the filter to auto-detect, users can simply adjust the level of smother and then render the filter.
FutureTap has released an update to its point-of-interest (POI) finder, Where to?, for the iPhone and iPod touch. The POI app locates and maps local restaurants, banks, shopping centers and other public locations. Content is organized into more than 600 categories and 2200 unique brands. The utility also reloads POI information as users move from one area to another.
Ironic Software has released an update to its document management software, Yep 2.0. The utility provides document organization tools geared for small businesses and individuals. Users can also create new documents by simply dragging text into the interface. Yep supports tagging and works independently of a database, using the Mac's Spotlight, Quick Look and Time Machine technologies to track documents regardless of their specific location.
A number of Windows users have reported problems when attempting to sync iPhones with select HP computers, according to several threads on Apple and HP forums. The issue appears to be limited to systems integrating Intel's Core i5 or i7 CPUs, along with Windows 7 64-bit. The combination is used on several HP machines such as the dv6t, dv7t, dv8t or Envy notebooks.
Nokia's first half of 2010 will be an uphill struggle without a viable device to beat its rivals, a research note by MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen warns today. Citing checks, he notes that N97 sales have continued decline since the smartphone's peak of 2 million this summer and that its reworked cousin, the N97 mini, has been "soft" from the outset. Without either acting as a sales leader, the Finnish company is likely to struggle as rivals like Android devices, the BlackBerry line and the iPhone steal share.
Apple on Tuesday released updates to address optical noise created by its line of MacBook computers, including EFI Firmware updates for its MacBook EFI Firmware Update 1.4 [3.14MB] and MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.8 [3.36MB] lines and a SuperDrive 3.0 Firmware Update [18.35MB] for iMacs and Mac minis. According to Apple's SuperDrive Documentation, if you see Revision: KA15 or 2AHG on an iMac, it needs to be update (and it will be either KA16 or 2AHH after the update) and Mac mini with the Revision 2AHF drives require this update (afterwards it will be 2AH1). It is unclear if the updates fix SuperDrive issues revealed by one developer that surfaced shortly after Snow Leopard was released.
Google has finally released a beta version of its Chrome browser for the Mac platform, following a year of availability for Windows users. The open source software is designed to compete with other popular browsers such as Safari and Firefox. The latest release offers many of the same features as the Windows version, although the early Mac beta still lacks several capabilities.
Time today provided a minor surprise by giving the Motorola Droid a first-place finish in its Gadget of the Year countdown (video below). The Android phone won for including free turn-by-turn GPS through Google Maps Navigation as well as having both a large (3.7-inch) touchscreen and a hardware QWERTY keyboard. In comparison, the iPhone 3GS only reached fourth place, earning the spot for popularizing augmented reality through apps like Layar and Yelp.
Google's just-unveiled Goggles feature won't be limited solely to Android devices, the company said today. Spokeswoman Katie Watson acknowledged that the company is developing the cameraphone-based photo searching for the "most popular" phones and operating systems, hinting at likely BlackBerry and iPhone releases.
Stairways Software has released a new version of Keyboard Maestro, v4.0. The software should now better support Snow Leopard, as a result of 64-bit technology and a redesigned interface. New hotkey features allow the use of Command-Tab, and triggering multiple macros by pressing, holding and/or releasing keys. Support has also been added for Growl notifications, and grouped or hierarchical items in the status menu.
Nokia has began shipping its 5800 Navigation Edition handset in the US, after introducing it earlier this summer. The touchscreen device includes lifetime voice-guided navigation information for all of North America and ships with a car mount kit. Ovi Maps provides the guidance and also offers navigation help for pedestrians.
TuneWear has announced the BoomTune Bomb II Stereo, a compact speaker set for use with MacBooks, iPhones, iPods and other portable devices. The system projects sound in a 360-degree radius with 36mm drivers, and offers an 86dB signal-to-noise ratio. Input comes through a 3.5mm stereo jack; improved sound is said to be possible by opening up the top of each speaker.
BlackBerry handset maker RIM on Tuesday announced it will begin producing special versions of its handsets for sale in China under provider China Mobile. This means RIM will have to make its handsets compatible with China's unique TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE networks while also breaking into a market that has not so far seen any of the Canadian company's products. At the same time, BlackBerry Internet Service and smartphones will be marketed towards small and medium sized businesses as well as pro individuals.
Motorola will officially begin selling its MT710 Zhiling smartphone in China later this month under the China Mobile Ophone brand. The device is similar to what North Americans know as the Android-powered Droid, and has been spotted earlier. The Chinese Motorola handset will not use stock Android, however, but instead a proprietary version of the open source OS created by China Mobile, along with supporting China's own 3G standard, TD-SCDMA.
Tycoon Games has introduced Heileen 2: The Hands of Fate, a sequel to its dating-sim adventure game. Players take control of the main character after she shipwrecks with her friends on a mysterious Caribbean island. She soon discovers a deck of tarot cards representing seven deadly sins and seven heavenly virtues, which forces her to discover hidden secrets from her past and decide if she is to become a sinner or a saint.
Sony Ericsson announced it has resolved the issues that plagued its Aino Satio smartphones, addressing the former's freezing touchscreen and the latter's software glitch. The issues led UK retailers to stop selling the devices, and at least one retailer will bring back sales after the issue is addressed. The firmware update will also improve the performance of the phones and stabilize their operation.
ZyXEL claimed a first today by offering the first 4G router for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. The ZLR-2070S (not yet shown) can take a connection at up to 50Mbps downstream and share it over a local network through either 802.11n Wi-Fi or its four-port Ethernet switch. It's already considered an ideal alternative to wired service for providers that can't or prefer not to run a traditional landline service.
Divine Flat and iWebTemplate have each announced new theme templates, with one set designed for the iPhone and the other for Apple's Keynote presentation software. With Divine Flatís new Contemporary Keynote theme, users receive a variety of customizable scrollwork and icon objects, along with six alternate picture frames and four color backgrounds including tan, orange and two tones of green. Lengths range between 800 and 1920 pixels. Keynote 5.0 and Mac OS X 10.4 are required.
The Infinite Kind has released Moneydance 2010, an upgrade to its personal finance application. The program handles tasks such as banking, bill payment and graph and report creation. The 2010 version adds capital gains reporting, as well as new tagging options for filtering reports and graphs. The home page now offers a quick-search function for finding transactions, and a more detailed budget bar that displays status.
A wide variety of items are currently being featured at DealNN. Most noteworthy is a deal on the Western Digital Elements 1TB external hard drive at Dell.com. It was priced at $94.99, but has been dropped to $79.99, which is around $20 less than the lowest price available anywhere else. Get 1TB of plug-and-play storage space for both Mac or PC with the Western Digital Elements hard drive.
The WHDI wireless HD video standard that uses 5GHz, Wi-Fi-based technology has been finalized recently. The technology was found by chip designer Amimon and is one of at least four technologies aimed to bring wireless HD video distribution in the home. The technology will allow sending 1080p HD video at 60Hz refresh rates and 12-bit color depth up to 100 feet away and through multiple walls. Maximum data rates are said to be fixed at 3Gbps using a 40MHz channel.
MySpace has quietly completed a buyout of music streaming service iMeem. Following a tentative deal two months ago, the large social network has reportedly bought up iMeem's assets for under $1 million. It's understood by TechCrunch that iMeem will be shut down and its users steered towards MySpace Music, which offers both free web streams and pay-per-download MP3s.
Sony on Tuesday gave a quick look at a PlayStation 3 firmware update that adds a pair of key features. The patch gives the console the option to play PSP minis itself. The simple, download-only games will work much like the PS1 conversions also playable on both platforms and should be added to the PlayStation Store on PS3s within a few weeks.
While it's slightly behind schedule, Acer's Liquid smartphone with Android is now shipping in the UK, with retailers Expansys and Clove stocking the Android smartphone. The handset, which runs on the 1.6 build, is only available in white so far.
CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets analyst Steven Fox today launched his first round of Apple coverage, giving the company's stock a Buy rating with a $260 price target. "Apple's ecosystem is in the process of meaningfully expanding its reach through an increasingly robust set of applications," says Fox. The impact of apps is only expected to increase when Apple releases an tablet device sometime in 2010.
BlueAnt today introduced its Interphone F4 motorcycle headset on Tuesday. The device lets riders communicate through most any Bluetooth phone by pairing it to the Interphone F4 as well as listen to streaming music from an A2DP compatible handset or device. The BlueAnt device can also be used as an intercom to talk to a passenger or other riders with the F4 that are within 1,640 feet.
HTC's Bravo flagship has been given both a much more detailed product shot as well as details of its apparent US launch schedule. The phone as promised is dominated by a 3.7-inch touchscreen and takes some styling cues from the Touch2. It appears to lack physical navigation control visible from prior images but may simply use an optical trackpad.
Apple has posted iTunes Rewind 2009, a section on the iTunes Store drawing attention to the year's bestsellers in apps, music and video, as well material considered genuinely superior by Apple staff. Top sellers at the App Store include titles like Flight Control, Oregon Trail, Textfree Unlimited and MLB.com at Bat. The best-rated apps, conversely, include ones like ReelDirector, SketchBook Mobile and Jamie Oliver's 20 Minute Meals.
True to a late leak, five major American publishers today cemented plans for a joint venture to promote a universal standard for digital magazines and similar content. Condť Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp and Time expect the unnamed company to develop digital magazines that will be readable on many platforms, including different operating systems and screen sizes, such as computers, smartphones and tablets. The technology will also be designed such that it should scale up to color reading devices with mixed media like animations and video.
Google has finally released the Mac beta of Chrome, which follows long after the original Windows beta, released in September 2008. As with Safari, Chrome runs on a WebKit engine claimed to quickly and accurately render pages. The Google software differs in design, pushing tabs to the top of the browser, while using an "Omnibox" that combines search and URL fields into a single bar.
M1 and StarHub will join SingTel in carrying the iPhone on December 9th, the first two companies have announced. M1 is offering four different plans, priced between $36 and $198 SGD ($25 to $142 US) per month. Paired with a two-year, $36 per month contract, a 16GB iPhone 3GS costs $518, while a 32GB model costs $658. Under the most expensive plan, any iPhone is free.
Sony has let its customers know via an e-mail and online announcement that it will make significant changes to its online bookstore. As of December 11th, the Sony Ebook Store will be renamed the Reader Store and have a new website, readerstore.sony.com. Newly offered will be e-books only in the open EPUB format, replacing the company's proprietary LRX files. At the same time, new Sony Library software v3.1 will be released, which will bring with it support for Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6.
Dell has followed up on its tease from last evening by formally launching the Vostro V13. As hinted, the 13-inch aluminum system is as thick as an Adamo (0.65in) but lighter (3.5 pounds) and should cost much less through its use of Intel's CULV platform: it runs on a 10W Celeron, Core 2 Solo or Core 2 Duo that should give it long battery life, although Dell hasn't given an estimate for its useful uptime.
The true price paid for Apple's purchase of Lala continues to be in dispute, a new report suggests. Sources reached by AllThingsDigital recently put the value at $80 million, conflicting with early indications that Lala was acquired at a "fire-sale" cost. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, however, cites "sources with indirect knowledge of the deal" as claiming a value of just $17 million, a far cry from the $180 million or more the company was thought to be worth in 2008.
Dell in its 10Q forms has revealed increasing problems with its home PC group. The company's average selling price for a home system has dropped 23 percent year-over-year as customers have continued to look for cheaper systems. At the same time, the company has paid a price for the cheaper systems as warranty obligations for repairs and replacements have increased by $42 million over the same period.
Sugar Labs on Tuesday released the downloadable Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry OS meant for children's education. The program was originally developed for the One Laptop per Child XO-1 netbook, but this version can be loaded onto any Windows or Mac PC, and is also available for computers running on Linux.
Samsung at an event today provided some early feature details of its bada mobile platform ahead of its actual SDK release. Every phone will have a relatively high specification with a multi-touch wide VGA (roughly 800x480) screen as a minimum for its interface. They will also have to have at least 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi as part of the feature set.
JVC chose to add one more camcorder to its range at the very end of the year with a unique entry, the Everio GZ-HD620. Billed as both the lightest and smallest camcorder with a hard drive, it weighs just under 0.6 pounds despite its 120GB hard drive and is both 4.5 inches long as well as 2.5 inches tall. It still promises a full feature set with 1920x1080 widescreen recording in AVCHD (H.264) and a new CMOS sensor that records in light levels as low as 4 lux.
After historically fighting flash storage, Seagate today confirmed its change in direction with the launch of its Pulsar solid-state drive. The 2.5-inch, SATA drive is useful for notebooks but chiefly targeted at servers and other computers where both speed and longevity are important. By using single-level cell flash memory, it has an 0.44 percent annualized failure rate and yet reaches peak read speeds of 240MB per second and peak writes of 200MB per second.
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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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl