Several major publishers have begun delaying e-book releases to combat the competitive price slashing of best sellers, according to The Wall Street Journal. Simon & Schuster is putting a four month hold on 35 titles scheduled for release next year, while Lagerdere SCA's Hachette Book Group is planning to take similar actions.
Apple's buyout of Lala is part of a potential strategy for granting access to iTunes directly through the web, sources said Wednesday night (subscription required). The deal, now said by the WSJ to be valued at $85 million, was originally thought to be a pure acquisition of talent but is now being used to reduce the dependency on the iTunes jukebox software for content and could permit listening to and managing purchases from a web browser. Apple could not only reach those who don't have access to their home collections but could put iTunes directly into search engine results, social networks and other areas.
ShadesCases and TuneWear have both announced new protective cases for their lines of iPhone and iPod accessories. The new Shades case, developed by ShadesCases, is designed for the iPod nano 5G. It covers the entire iPod nano, including the screen and click-wheel, with a hard plastic layer that guards against bumps and scratches, while leaving the camera lens open. Shades comes in 10 different colors including clear, black, blue, red and orange.
HIT Lab NZ has launched two new 'SlapDown' games for the iPhone, Drift and SplatterBugs. The games use the iPhone's camera to place the action in the user's environment, what the company is calling 'augmented reality gaming'. The games depend on a 'SlapDown' card, in a technique that mimics green screen use. The SlapDown card places the game in the space that is surrounded by the rest of the iPhone image.
PhatWare has launched a new iPhone app, PhatNotes. The utility features handwriting recognition for input, alongside keyboard entry, and allows users to enter shorthand. Editing options include a spell checker, configurable auto-corrector and a customizable dictionary. PhatNotes manages notes using folders and groups determined by specified attributes, while users can take advantage of note filtering and text search.
RadTech has begun shipping Anti-Glare Films for Apple's new iMac line. The ClearCal AG films reduce glare in brightly lit rooms or when working outdoors. The films are a combination of a matte finish, anti-reflection layer and a thicker flexible base. The ClearCal films use a siliconized adhesive that is optically correct and permanently bonded to the base layer, allowing for easy removal if needed. It also conceals existing blemishes and leaves no residue when removed.
E-on has announced several new software options in the Vue 8 family of 3D rendering and animation tools. The Vue 8 Personal Learning Edition (PLE) is essentially a fully functional version of the company's xStream/Infinite utilities. Users can create and complete projects, save the work, and render stills or animations without any size or length limits.
Meizu executive Hailiang Hua has
Nokia today confirmed that it would shutter its two US stores in addition to its previously disclosed plans to close its London shop. The Chicago and New York City locations will cease running in early 2010 and are closing as the company believes it can better invest its money into sales through carriers or online sales. It has also tried to positively spin the closures by arguing that they've helped achieve the goal of improving Nokia's brand awareness in the US market.
The Gumley House Convent School, located in West London, has launched a pilot program that provides free iPhones to students, according to the UK site FoneHome. Although the Catholic school for girls currently has approximately 1,100 students, the iPhone trial will be limited to a smaller group of 30 individuals.
Scientists at the Stanford University have found a way to create electricity using little else than regular paper coated in special ink that contains nanotubes and silver nanowires, the school's paper reported on Monday. Even when the paper is crumpled, it retains its newfound properties and acts as a battery or supercapacitor.
Computer maker MSI has began shipping its Wind Top AE2020 all-in-one PC to the UK. The PC has a 20-inch, multi-input touchscreen and is the first from MSI to combine this feature with Windows 7 Home Premium. A 2.1GHz Pentium dual-core forms the heart of its performance, but it also uses NVIDIA's Ion graphics to smoothly play back HD videos on the 1600x900 display.
Citi Investment Research sparked a reaction in the market today by predicting that Sprint and T-Mobile will merge before the end of 2010. Company analyst Michael Rollins in a note increased the odds of a deal to 55 percent as Sprint may not consider its job cuts and cellphone business improvements enough to offset widening losses. It could change its mind in the first half of the year if any service changes in the winter don't bear fruit, Rollins explained.
Targus has announced a new product in its line of notebook gear, the USB 2.0 Docking Station with Video. The dock supports a range of devices, from mobile phones to peripherals including mice, keyboards and printers. Features include two USB ports capable of powering devices, and a DVI output that supports a maximum resolution of 2048x1152.
Samsung on Wednesday introduced its new line of rugged memory cards for the UK market. The CF plus and SD plus cards are waterproof, capable of withstanding 24 hours of submersion in sea water. The cards are also shock-proof and are impervious to magnets 13 times more powerful than a magnet found in a typical home theater speaker.
Several users on the Verizon forums are reporting an issue with their Motorola Droid phones that sees their e-mail accounts and all contained messages being deleted. This happens again when users set up their accounts again, and they can't seem to find a fix for it. Corporate e-mail accounts are mainly affected, though calendars and contacts remain on the phone.
Sales of consumer electronics during Black Friday were lower than in 2008, according to point-of-sale numbers compiled by market research company, the NPD Group. The total revenue for the day of just over $2.7 billion represents a 1.2 percent drop compared to the revenue from 2008, but the drop compares favorably to the 3.4 percent decline suffered from 2007 to 2008.
There are several reasons why the iPhone will come to Verizon in 2010, argues Piper Jaffray analyst Chris Larsen. AT&T's exclusive hold on the US iPhone is set to expire in the near future, probably before the release of a new model next summer. While AT&T may be able to extend its contract with Apple by offering higher subsidies, it is believed that Apple has stronger incentive to add a second American carrier.
iBuyPower this afternoon claimed to be the first to use Thermaltake's BMW-designed case in a production PC. Simply called the Level 10 based on the case's own name, the PC takes advantage of the modular, sectioned-off design to make upgrades easier and simply to provide a very unique look. It's still considered a performance PC and has uncommon touches in stock trim, such as a GeForce GTX 285 with 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD as its boot drive alongside a 1TB content drive.
The European Commission today negotiated a deal with Rambus to avert a possible legal penalty for the American memory designer. Terms in the new agreement will require it to drop its royalty rates for its more recent RAM from 3.5 percent to 1.5 percent and to let those using some of its older memory technologies obtain it for free. In return, the company won't face charges filed against it in 2007 that accused it of abusing its position within the JEDEC memory standards group to develop a standard while hiding the truth that it held patents those standards would use.
Video hosting site Qik says it has submitted a new iPhone application to the App Store, one capable of live streaming. The present app has so far been limited to recording video, then uploading it and sharing it through various websites. The Qik website, by contrast, has for sometime let users run live feeds alongside regular clips.
The University of South Florida on Wednesday announced a new educational program that will provide a 13-inch MacBook Pro to all of its student athletes. The school claims the notebook provisions will allow the athletes to work on course assignments and access academic materials at any time, even while traveling away from the campus.
Ultra-thin notebooks are the future but are being hampered by Dell, HP and even Intel itself, Acer chairman JT Wang said on Wednesday. He fully expects these systems, combined with longer battery life, to become a major trend but believes Dell and HP have 'spoiled' the segment by dropping the prices of regular notebooks to $399, discouraging shoppers from picking up the more portable systems. They also do little to promote the slimmer notebooks themselves.
MacUpdate has launched its latest software package, the Holiday Bundle for 2009, which features 11 applications for $50. The third-annual promotion offers a 90 percent savings compared to the retail cost of purchasing each title alone. The first 10,000 purchasers will receive three additional programs including PowerTunes ($20), which organizes and shares multiple iTunes libraries; Holliday DVD Templates ($105), which allows users to design DVD menu themes; and FlagIt ($15), which adds multicolored flags to Apple's Mail.
Japan's Buffalo on Wednesday introduced its Express Card USB 3.0 adapter, the IFC-EC2U3/UC, that will bring the 5Gbps transfer speeds of the new standard to notebook users. The 34mm card has two external USB 3.0 ports that will also be backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.
Graphics card maker NVIDIA has recently demonstrated a 3D movie using its 3D shutter glasses and an Acer G245 monitor that can be synchronized with them. While the name of the blockbuster cannot be revealed, the movie playback is said to be on par with other 3D movies shown by the company. It's even being compared to theater 3D movies, but is delivered on Blu-ray discs that are backwards compatible with regular Blu-ray players.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a new Apple trademark application, covering the company's "Think Different" marketing slogan. Originally introduced in 1997, the slogan formed the heart of a campaign tying Apple to current and historical celebrities, such as Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Mahatma Gandhi and Pablo Picasso. It fell into disuse starting in 2002, as the company began pushing a "Switch" campaign and later its "Get a Mac" ads.
Relative e-book newcomer Interead today said its next-generation COOL-ER reader would come with AT&T-supplied 3G in the US. The company hasn't provided full features but says that models will also come equipped with Wi-Fi; whether or not both will be found in the same model isn't evident. At least the 3G models should be available sometime in mid-2010.
Investors should not panic as a result of recent Apple stock slides, says Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall. The stock has fallen from a record October high to below $200, and as of this writing sits at approximately $193. During the past 10 days, it is said to have shown an 8 percent underperformance relative to the S&P 500.
A leaked document from HP has confirmed some roadmap details for both Intel and AMD. As part of a plan to update its all-in-one PCs with a new Pavilion model in April, the company says it expects to use dual-core Core i3 and i5 desktop processors and reiterates their key features. The Core i5 will have Turbo Boost to shut down some cores and overclock others and will also have hardware acceleration of AES encryption; Core i3 goes without but is based on the same architecture.
Canto has released Cumulus 8.1, a new version of its digital asset management (DAM) platform. The update offers a web client included with Cumulus Workgroup, Enterprise and Complete, enabling users to connect to Cumulus through web browsers, where they can then upload new assets or download metadata. Improvements have been made to statistics and usage tracking features through new reporting options and types, as well as PDF output options.
Apple has launched new RSS feeds for participants in the iPhone developer program. Coders should primarily receive major news and announcements, but Apple is also promising various forms of assistance, such as advice on testing and development techniques. More significantly the company is promising updates on approval turnaround times, and tips on submitting apps.
Acer on Wednesday announced it is now shipping its 11.6-inch Ferrari One notebook to US customers. Considered a crossover between netbooks and full-size notebooks, its rocessing power comes from a relatively strong 1.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor, along with up to 4GB of RAM. The 250GB, 5,400rpm hard drive is preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium.
Without fanfare, Olympus today began quietly shipping the E-P2. The Micro Four Thirds camera is considered a premium improvement on the E-P1 and brings continuous autofocus, aperture and shutter control in 720p movie recording, new software filters and improved attachments such as a more detailed electronic viewfinder for the hotshoe (the VF-2) and a stereo microphone adapter (the EMA-1).
AT&T will be careful if and when it changes its mobile data services to curb heavy use, the company's wireless chief Ralph de la Vega said today at a UBS conference. The executive reiterated his company's hesitation to commit to a plan but stressed that the carrier would respect net neutrality if it scales back from its current 'unlimited' strategy.
Apple's first public beta of Mac OS X 10.6.3 will released to developers by the end of Thursday, sources claim. The build should use the prefix 10Dxx, and initially be limited to a select group of developers, presumably as a means of controlling the amount of feedback. It is not known when a wider developer release will happen, nor when the finished user seed might be expected.
Video site Ustream has launched Live Broadcaster, a third free application for the iPhone. Whereas earlier titles have only been capable of viewing or recording video, the new app generates live streams, said to be a first for the iPhone. Feeds operate over both 3G and Wi-Fi; alternately, users can record video and upload it later.
Nokia on Wednesday introduced a special edition of one of its best-selling handsets, the 6700 classic. The new Gold Edition candybar has stainless steel covers that feature 18-carat gold plating, while other unique touches include a full metal keymat and animated wallpapers.
Apple's often-rumored tablet device has been narrowed down to a specific production timeframe and could land a deadly blow against Amazon's Kindle reader through a revenue deal, according to an unusually detailed research note from Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner. Investigations into Apple's supply network claim the widely reported 10-inch, multi-touch device will be put into mass production in February with a likely launch target of March or April. As many as 1 million will be made every month, according to the sources.
YouTube late Tuesday unveiled a long-in-development project meant to drive music videos. VEVO provides a larger, streamlined approach to artists' videos than YouTube and organizes their content by more logical categories, such as by the genre or by channels. It still supports common features like embedding but stresses music-friendly features like synchronized text lyrics and direct links to songs when they're available in iTunes.
Nuance Communications has introduced Dragon Dictation for the iPhone, its latest program that enables users to speak both e-mails and text messages without the need for typing. The program uses the Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition technology that is said to support users talking at speeds up to five times faster than regular typing, and allows them to speak anything from single-lined text messages to status updates for Facebook, or even something as long as multi-paragraph e-mails.