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PDF Reflow leaves its beta stage
Good.iWare on Thursday released a new version of its PDF viewer app for the iPhone and iPod touch, GoodReader 2.4. Optimized for large PDF or TXT file viewing, the program provides file searching features and enables users to download content from the web simply by entering URLs. Version 2.4 finalizes the PDF Reflow function, which was previously available as a beta, and allows users to extract text from a PDF page for displaying as a TXT file.
Supports document imaging apps
Plustek Technology has introduced a new product for its line of MobileOffice scanners, the D428. The compact 4 x 12 scanner handles everything from document imaging to working with content management apps, and is designed for small or large home offices, banks and pharmacies. It delivers a maximum 600dpi resolution and supports scanning speeds of up to 2.2 seconds-per-page or 28 pages-per-minute. It also supports a wide range of page and media sizes, enabling users to scan an item as thick as a credit card.
New drives offer faster speeds, lower power draw
Enhance Technology expanded its line of storage systems to include optional Hitachi Ultrastar 2TB 7200RPM hard disks. Storage capacities are now increased to 16TB for the Enhance 8-disk desktop & rackmount storage arrays and 32TB on the flagship 16-disk UltraStor Professional Storage Systems, allowing total storage of 160TB through SAS storage expansion.
Software encrypts every part of a disk
Check Point Software has launched Check Point Full Disk Encryption for Mac OS X 10.6. The software offers encryption and pre-boot authentication utilities. The entire range of drive data is encrypted, including the operating system, temporary files and even erased files. The software offers compliance with security certifications such as FIPS 140-2, Common Criteria EAL4 and BITS.
Both companies pursued La La, AdMob
Several Silicon Valley start-ups have been eyed by both Google and Apple, according to a Wall Street Journal report (subscription required). Although Apple recently sealed the deal to acquire La La Media, Google also had been negotiating to purchase the online music store. The competition also extended to AdMob, an advertising company that Google agreed to buy for $750 million.
Orders first taken over a year ago
Many customers that placed pre-orders for the Fitbit Tracker may be forced to continue waiting for the devices until early next year, according to The New York Times. The fledgling company initially introduced the Tracker in September of 2008, while advance orders were taken shortly thereafter. Fitbit reportedly expected the devices to be ready to ship within a few months after previewing the prototype.
Chip maker satisfies settlement terms
AMD on Thursday announced that it has received the $1.25 billion settlement payment from Intel. The payment satisfies the monetary terms of the agreement over various antitrust and patent disputes. Both companies have also decided to exchange patent rights as part of a five-year cross-license agreement.
Khronos details in-browser OpenGL tech
The Khronos Group today published the draft specification for WebGL, its universal standard for accelerated 3D graphics inside web browsers. The initial format takes advantage of HTML5's canvas support to draw OpenGL ES 2.0-level graphics without having to use a plugin. Besides simplifying the use of modern 3D hardware, it lets 3D interact more closely with web pages themselves and supports tasks like scripting to automate events or even test graphics before they're put into finished code.
T-Mobile G1, myTouch go straight to phone bills
T-Mobile's US branch told its Android phone users late Wednesday that it has started updating Android Market to support carrier billing. The change lets users skip the usual Google Checkout process and instead pay for any purchased apps through their regular phone bill. It will also have a more elegant means of handling refunds as any apps deleted within 24 hours won't count against the bill.
Faster search results for flights, hotels, rentals
The travel search company Kayak has released an update to its self-titled iPhone app. Version 2.0 features a revamped desktop-style navigation system, along with a trip management utility that can be used to consolidate flights, hotels, car rentals, maps, and other events into a common itinerary.
New Squeezebox delayed for unknown cause
Logitech at mid-day said it has delayed its launch of the Squeezebox Touch until February. The company didn't provide an explanation for the delay, which comes after it had already pushed back the launch of the media streaming hub to December in its original September unveiling.
Consortium building 17Tbps data line in Asia
Google and a consortium of several other companies including Japanese telecoms giant KDDI Corp have announced on Thursday they will build an international undersea communications cable system. The project, which will cost about $400 million, will be the highest capacity communications system, at 17 Terabits per second, and be upgradeable to 23Tbps. Called Southeast Asia Japan Cable, it's due to come online in the spring of 2012.
Samsung shows LED-backlit frame with BT
In its home market of Korea, Samsung on Wednesday released an 8-inch digital picture frame, the SPF-800P. The display is LED-backlit and sports a resolution of 800x480. The frame has 2GB of integrated storage space, as well as a microSD memory card reader. The frame has built-in speakers and will play back MP3 audio files and video files in addition to displaying photos.
Tracks body data including water and bone
Danholt4mac has launched Calories 2, an upgrade to its calorie tracking and nutrition program. The second edition has been improved with a variety of features including weight tracking, body analysis data such as fat, water, muscle and bone, and up to eight custom meals with individual timeframe assignments. The software can also retrieve data from the WiThings Wi-Fi body scale, which automatically stores information on a WiThings account.
GAO says not enough FCC wireless oversight
The US' Government Accountability Office (GAO) today told the FCC in a report that it needed to more actively monitor complaints from cellphone users. It complimented the FCC for promoting competition but chastised the same regulatory body for doing so at the expense of addressing actual customer complaints. Even as 84 percent of customers in a sample group were very or somewhat satisfied with their service, many have longstanding disagreements that either stem from service problems or more systemic flaws. Among the 1,100 respondents, it was common to encounter disagreements with billing practices like hidden fees or the issues associated with ending a contract.
More information of Motorola Motus revealed
New information reveals some of the expected features of the Motorola Motus that is rumored to be coming to AT&T as the provider's first Android-powered handset. Some of the features and functions were covered before but have reportedly bee nconfirmed by an unnamed source with access to the device. The unique keyboard flips backwards to face the outside when the phone is closed. In the open position, the trackpad located on the underside of the keyboard lets users scroll on the screen.
Accesses Windows or Linux desktops from a Mac
Virtual Bridges has released Verde 3.0, the latest version of its virtual desktop infrastructure utility. The program lets users access the same desktop environment from anywhere a network connection is available. Version 3.0 adds support for Mac clients, enabling access to either Windows or Linux guest sessions.
Website supports iPhone, Android browsers
Twitter has introduced a mobile interface optimized for Android, iPhone, webOS and Nokia S60 browsers. mobile.twitter.comhas been built from scratch using only the Twitter API, and still contains many of the features found on the regular website. The new interface includes Reply, Retweet and Favourite buttons, as well as the ability to see Mentions and Direct Messages. It displays updates, followers and popular trending topics, with supplemental functions such as a search box and an option to remove images.
PS3 3.15 update live, brings mini games, LAN link
The latest firmware update for Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming console, version 3.15 previewed earlier this week, is now live. The upgrade brings the ability to play mini games like the PSP can currently play, which are downloadable from the PlayStation Network. There is also a LAN data transfer utility that lets users transfer content between two PS3s with a standard Ethernet cable.
Anti-tampering mechanisms would deter user repair
Two new Apple patent applications have emerged at the US Patent and Trademark Office, directed at the company's handhelds. The first covers an anti-tampering label, inserted inside of a device. On pulling a product apart the label would tear, without being easily replaceable. Technicians would thus be able to tell if someone had opened up electronics on their own, normally invalidating any warranty.
UK Vodafone may favor Apple over HTC
Vodafone UK today revealed that it already plans to phase out the HTC HD2. Despite only just recently launching the Windows Mobile 6.5 phone, a spokesman told Electricpig that it won't look to restock the phone after its current supplies run out. The British carrier had "massive" demand and has had to catch up on orders but, unusually, has decided to cut sales short.
Retailer continues its mobile-focused rebranding
Radio Shack has confirmed plans to expand iPhone distribution across the US in 2010. Although the retailer has already begun selling Apple's handset, availability is currently limited to approximately 250 stores in select areas. The move is expected to help reinforce the company's recent marketing which has focused on mobile phones.
Reduced prices on refurbished iMacs and MacBooks
This week the current-generation 21.5-inch iMac hit the refurb. shelf at Apple's online store. It is configured with the 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor upgrade with 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, and is priced at $1449, that's $250 less than the regular price for this configuration. This iMac model also features a LED-backlight glossy widescreen display, ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card with 256MB of GDDR3 memory, SD card slot, Bluetooth and includes an Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse.
LG IQ now Telus' new Win Mobile flagship
Telus today countered Bell's releases by adding its own new smartphone. LG's IQ is the carrier's first Windows Mobile 6.5 device but should also be the fastest carrier-linked phone in North America: it runs on a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and should get a boost both in overall responsiveness as well as in demanding tasks like web browsing.
OPTi tries to eke more cash from GPU maker
Patent holder OPTi this afternoon launched arbitration against NVIDIA in an attempt to garner more royalty payments. It claims that the GeForce creator is breaching a licensing deal struck in 2006 for "pre-snoop" memory technology by declining to pay five quarterly payments worth $3.75 million. It's also allegedly continuing to use the predictive technique and could owe as many 12 total payments.
Onkyo outs higher-spec dual-screen netbook
Japanese PC maker Onkyo has released the second dual-screen netbook PC on the market, the DX1007. It appears to be a near identical copy of the first dual-screen netbook, the Kohjinsha DZ6HKE16E, but improves on the formula. The differentiators include 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB, as well as 1366x768 resolution 10.1-inch screens for Onkyo's DX1007 as opposed to 1024x600 in the Kohjinsha version. There is also twice as much hard drive space, at 320GB instead of 160GB.
Panasonic buys majority stake in Sanyo for $4.6B
Panasonic on Thursday said it will take majority stake of Sanyo, in a deal first announced back at the start of November. The deal is worth $4.6 billion and will see Panasonic own 50.2 percent of all Sanyo shares. Once complete, the company will be one of the largest electronics manufacturers worldwide.
No beta extensions yet, says Google
An early implementation of extensions for the Mac version of Chrome should return by the end of the week, says Google. While extensions were fully enabled on Tuesday for Windows users, the technology has remained in a primitive form on Macs. The first Mac support is being provided exclusively through the dev channel versions of the browser, not the public beta.
exFAT to be used on many more devices
Microsoft today said it would license its exFAT file system to third parties to spread its use in computers and portable devices. The technology is already found in the SDXC card format but will now be available in a flexible system that depends on the device. Simple devices like cameras and photo frames will involve a pay-once $300,000 fee, while more advanced devices like computers and smartphones will pay a royalty for every unit sold.
Links open from within app
Google has released an updated version of its Google Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The software attempts to simplify search, for instance allowing handhelds with microphones to run voice-based queries. New in the app is the ability to see more search results at once, and launch webpages without quitting to Safari.
PeekFon offers free European roaming for e-mail
UK-based Wi-Fi provider Fon has recently teamed up with US-based e-mail and text messaging device maker Peek to create the PeekFon brand in Europe. Under the partnership, PeekFon will offer users no roaming charges in any European country, letting users send and receive e-mails and texts over GPRS data networks. Fon works on the principle of sharing Wi-Fi access, with subscribers to a home service that open it to other Fon users receiving access in return wherever they are in their travels across Europe. The PeekFon will get rid of the need to find one of the claimed 800,000 hotspots throughout Europe.
EA exec may have slipped final name
Sony's PS3 motion controller may have already received a final name if a slip by EA chief John Riccitiello is a clue. Speaking at UBS' annual conference about the future influence of motion controllers like Microsoft's Project Natal, he was heard by IGN referring to the Sony controller as the Gem as a matter-of-fact statement. While the CEO is likely to have inside knowledge of plans, it's not known if the name reflects his knowledge or simply reflects the colored ball that defines the Sony controller.
Company may need extended run-up
A long-time Apple manufacturing partner, Foxconn, has already received an order to begin building the next-generation iPhone, says Mobile Review editor Eldar Murtazin. While it is not known if Foxconn has begun the production process, the company could require a lengthy headstart to meet demand. The iPhone 3GS is already available in dozens of countries, meaning that any future phone would require millions of units to be ready for launch.
MSI intros AIO with high-end audio tech, X600 Pro
PC maker MSI on Wednesday introduced its new Wind Top AE2220 along with the Windows 7-equipped X-Slim X600 Pro 15.6-inch notebook. The desktop PC is purportedly the first all-in-one to bring premium audio with it, including MSI's own Premium Sound Technology and a pair of full-range, 5W speakers with magnesium-aluminum alloy cones. SRS virtual surround is also a factor in the design.
New Dell Optiplex USFF uses full Core 2 Duo
Dell on Thursday touted a rare approach to pro desktops with one of the smallest ever. The Optiplex 780 USFF (Ultra Small Form Factor) at 9.4 by 9.4 inches is championed as the smallest system to use primarily desktop components and only uses a 2.5-inch hard drive as its concession to size: it uses desktop processors up to a 3.33GHz Core 2 Duo and even builds in the power brick where many other systems this size would move it to the outside.
Bell gets 1st Android, Symbian HSPA phones
As expected, Bell this morning added two major smartphones to its fledgling line of HSPA-capable devices. The Samsung Galaxy is not just Bell's first Android phone but also the first North America-ready version of the handset, with 850MHz and 1,900MHz 3G both onboard. It remains a Google-branded device with a stock Android 1.5 and the full suite of apps, including Android Market.
Adobe has published a new version of Flash Player, updating the software to v10.0.42.34. The software fixes several security vulnerabilities, including ones related to data injection and integer overflow. Others are connected to crashes, memory corruption and JPEG image parsing.
WiGig uses 60GHz for 1-7Gbps
The WiGig Alliance on Thursday said it had completed the first specifcation for its 60GHz wireless technology. The self-titled WiGig format will use the ultra-dense format to transmit data at speeds well above Wi-Fi and beyond even the initial proposal, ranging between 1Gbps and 7Gbps. Consequently, it's 10-70 times faster than Wi-Fi and should permit features that aren't practical with current technology, such as providing DisplayPort, HDMI or even PCI Express data over the wireless link.
Chinese iPhone doing better than anticipated
China Unicom has sold over 100,000 iPhones since it first launched the device on October 30th, the carrier now says. While sales have been slower than in some neighbouring countries, namely South Korea, the new figure suggests that sales have not been as poor as has generally been assumed. Just 5,000 iPhones were sold on launch weekend, and an official auction site sold less than a handful in a space of two weeks.
Amazon launches Disc+ On Demand service
Amazon recently started a new service it calls Disc+ On Demand that will let users access digital copies of the movies they bought on DVD or Blu-ray instantly. A standard-definition copy of the purchased title will be automatically added to a user's Amazon Video On Demand library, where they can watch it on their PC, Mac or TiVo box before their DVD or Blu-ray disc ships. The digital copies can also be streamed through Amazon's website. Thus far, Amazon only offers just over 300 movie titles under the new scheme.
Dell Android tablet may debut
Dell's Streak tablet could appear as early as CES, a leak maintains today. While it was already expected early in the year, the 5-inch Android device could find its public debut at the early January trade show and should have an international release that includes the UK in addition to the US.
Nikon 300mm VR II and TC-20E III
Nikon this morning upgraded one of its more important super telephoto offerings and added a new teleconverter. The AF-S 300mm f2.8G ED VR II upgrades to Nikon's second-generation image stabilization and can provide a blur-free image four shutter stops lower than would be possible without any compensation. The camera maker considers it ideal for sports and wildlife photographers who may need a fast, bright lens but still have to stay well away from their subjects.
ASUS hoping to preempt a rumored device
ASUS is in the early stages of developing a tablet device partly in response to Apple's rumored tablet, a supposed leak claimed Thursday. To be called the Eee Pad, it would actually be significantly smaller than the as yet unconfirmed Apple device and would have a screen between just 4 inches and 7 inches and fit into the MID category. However, it would have some full tablet computing functions and would be "inspired" by its Apple counterpart, DigiTimes claims.
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