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EA Mobile has introduced its first Simpsons-themed game for the iPhone and iPod touch, The Simpson Arcade. Players take control of Homer Simpson as he chases a donut, but, as a result, ends up saving the town of Springfield. During this arcade-style adventure, users can punch, grab, kick, butt slam, throw items, and belly-flop onto enemies. Earned power-ups can be used by Homer to call in family reinforcements such as Bart or Marge
Lexcycle has released Stanza 2, a new version of its e-book reader for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app provides access to over 50,000 titles, including content from authors such as Stephen King, C.S. Lewis and Dean Koontz. Version 2 adds tabbed navigation and improved back-up speeds for large libraries. Notes and position can now be shared through e-mail or blog posting sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Handset maker HTC has released four Widgets it has developed in-house for the Android operating system. The apps are only compatible with HTC's own Hero and Eris smartphone twins, however. The four low-key apps include a tip calculator, a dice throwing app, a today-in-history app and a battery utility.
Samsung said on Thursday it has partnered with cable provider Videotron to bring the tru2way interactive digital-cable standard to Canada for the first time. While Videotron will provide the content, Samsung will bring it into subscribers' homes with its high-definition DVR hardware. Videotron's illico Digital TV service offers more than 350 digital channels and interactive services, and the cable provider will sell Samsung set-top boxes in all of its retail locations.
The FCC has granted Verizon additional time to finalize an explanation of the new fee structure for early contract terminations. The Commission raised questions regarding why the carrier doubled the ETF amount for "advanced devices" such as smartphones.
Palm on Thursday launched a public beta of its Project Ares SDK utility. Unlike the company's current Mojo SDK, the Ares offering is entirely web-based. The development environment features a drag-and-drop interface builder, code editor, visual debugger, log viewer, and more. Users can also take advantage of one-click previews and app launching in the webOS emulator.
Fusion Garage on Thursday responded to the lawsuit filed by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.The company claims it has already received $3 million in funding, while a second round will be announced sometime in the next few weeks. Fusion has maintained that its Joojoo tablet design is separate from the CrunchPad, while the manufacturing will also be handled by a different supplier.
Apple has claimed nearly half of the Japanese smartphone market in just over a year, Impress says. iPhone sales represent46.1 percent of the entire market in 2009 and also claim the top two spots on the Japanese charts by a wide margin, with the older iPhone 3G still leading at 24.6 percent and the iPhone 3GS close behind at 21.5 percent.
Several screenshots show Saumsung's upcoming bada OS for mobile phones. The interface is essentially an adaption of the company's current TouchWiz UI. Following in line with Android and LiMo, bada is an open platform that will allow developers to tweak and modify attributes of the software design.
Palm on Thursday night reported a struggling fall quarter. The smartphone maker shipped 780,000 phones, a 41 percent increase over what it shipped in the fall of last year, but only sold 573,000 of these, a 4 percent drop versus the year before. While it dramatically stemmed its losses, it still saw a net loss of $85.3 million and its revenue was also more than halved from $191.6 million to $78.1 million.
Research In Motion tonight reported one of the best quarters in its history from sheer expansion. The company shipped an all time high of 10.1 million BlackBerries from September through November, smashing its previous record of 8.3 million. Of those, 4.4 million were new to BlackBerry, and the tally pushed RIM's active accounts to about 36 million.
Intel this afternoon revealed that it has already started shipping the processors it plans to unveil at CES. Highlighted in the pack are its mobile Core i3 and i5 processors: the first notebook chips based on its year-old Nehalem architecture, the dual-core parts are not only faster than the outgoing Core 2 Duo at a given clock speed but are also the first Intel chips of any kind to integrate the graphics into the main processor. The single change improves both performance, by speeding up communication with the CPU, as well as battery life.
Booq and Twelve South have each launched new MacBook accessories: the Mamba Shift bag, and the SurfacePad keyboard cover. The Mamba Shift uses a ballistic nylon exterior with water-repellent coating, and interior ripstop lining. The notebook compartment holds 13- or 15-inch systems, with two removable padded inserts for extra protection. Primary and side compartments are meant to store books and accessories. On the exterior are side pockets, as well as elastic pop-out iPhone pockets integrated into the shoulder pads.
Just over a week after its promised release date, the LG eXpo has shown up on AT&T's website. The phone runs on Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional and uses a 3.2-inch touchscreen with a 480x800 resolution, with users also getting a full QWERTY keyboard for data input. Its centerpiece is a fast 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, but it also gets a Smart Sensor fingerprint sensor for security.
NewerTech has launched the USB 2.0 Display Adapter, which lets people add an extra HDMI, DVI, or VGA display to a Mac. Each adapter permits one additional screen, up to a maximum resolution of 2048x1152. Macs can host up to four adapters, while Windows machines support up to six.
LaCie today collaborated with Symwave to showcase a version of the former company's 2Big RAID 0/1 drive that uses the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard to deliver burst read speeds as fast as 275MBps. The dual hard disk RAID storage uses both a SATA and RAID bridge controller to deliver this record-setting transfer speed.
Apple and Google are in a near-even race for smartphone demand, according to a new comScore study. Among those Americans looking to buy a smartphone between November and February, 20 percent are planning to get an iPhone 3G or 3GS while 17 percent plan to get some form of Android phone. Both audiences are more likely to buy a high-end device: about 14 percent of the entire group intend to buy an iPhone 3GS, while 8 percent expect to buy a Motorola Droid.
Aquafadas has released iDive 2, bringing the last of its pre-Snow Leopard applications into the fold. iDive creates and organizes video collections. When searching, criteria such as people, dates, places and events can be used. Material can be taken from hard drives, DVDs, flash cards and videotape.
LogMeIn has officially launched the Mac beta of LogMeIn Pro2. The service lets people remotely connect to a Mac from any Mac or Windows machine. Users can remotely control a system, print out documents, and share and transfer files.
The sequel to the BlackBerry Tour handset, codenamed the Essex, is soon due out at Verizon Wireless, as indicated by a photo showing the carrier's branding on the handset. The recently leaked photo gives little other indication of the features of the device, other than that it should be available in about a month's time or so. It is known that the handset will improve upon the Tour it replaces with an optical trackpad and a Wi-Fi connection.
Research in Motion encountered major setbacks today after it confirmed an ongoing, widespread failure in its e-mail system. A BlackBerry Information Service (BIS) outage is leading to stalled e-mail at most North American carriers for individual users. Company representatives say the problem is being addressed but don't yet have a timeframe for when the issue should be fixed.
Sony on Thursday announced it will bring content from the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch to its Reader Daily Edition e-book reader, which includes Dow Jones data. At the same time, Sony said it has made a deal with the New York Post to make its Reader the only digital device to offer content from the newspaper. Both newspapers will also market Sony's e-book hardware in its print publications.
BeLight has launched an update to its home and interior design software, Live Interior 3D 2.3. The app offers 2D drawing tools for creating floor plans, and 3D objects which can be used in office, house and apartment walkthroughs. Version 2.3 adds a new roof creation feature with over 200 materials, and an assistant which inserts roofs automatically. Also present are new foundation thickness and elevation parameters.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group this afternoon formally adopted the Bluetooth low energy standard. The technology is designed to let devices consume as little power as possible by using very short bursts of data and, when in the mode, running at a peak 1Mbps. While slow, the standard is efficient enough that a device with watch batteries could run its wireless signal for "years" before it needs a replacement.
Apple has introduced a special Movie Bundles section to the iTunes Store. Here the company is grouping together two or more movies at a discount, with prices ranging between $10 and $35. Most bundles are concentrated around particular themes, such as the first two Godfather films, or actor Harvey Keitel.
NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest cellular provider, announced on Thursday that it has began upgrading its local network to support high-speed, 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) data services. The 4G services should be available before the end of 2010, and the provider is already building new WCDMA (3G) base stations that contain newly developed remote radios that will support both the current WCDMA network and upcoming LTE service. These stations represent about half of all of the initially planned LTE base stations.
Elgato has introduced EyeTV Live3G, a new web app designed to stream live TV from a Mac to an iPhone over a 3G connection. The app is a part of EyeTV's 3.3 update, and utilizes HTTP Live Streaming technology, combined with H.264 video and AAC audio. The latter allows hardware acceleration, for better video and battery performance.
AT&T tried to allay fears of mobile data price changes late Wednesday in a brief discussion of the company's plans (subscription required). Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega is adamant that the carrier has "not made any decision" about introducing tiered pricing that would charge customers for more bandwidth. Critics had raised concern that the company would use monthly transfer caps to either delay or help pay for network upgrades.
This week the 27-inch iMac hit the refurb. shelf at Apple's online store. The 3.06Ghz model with 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive has been reduced from $1699 to $1449, a price drop of $250. The previous-generation 24-inch iMac with the same configuration is also available for $100 less, $1349, after a massive $850 price cut. A 21.4-inch iMac is also featured with the same configuration as well for $1299.
Apple has begun airing a new TV spot, "12 Apps of Xmas." The seasonally-themed ad exploits "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as a means of promoting the convenience of iPhone content. Some featured apps include ones for baking, travel, weather and controlling in-home lighting. A disclaimer warns that the last app requires extra hardware.
Popular Science publisher Bonnier and the design group Berg today showed Mag+, a new magazine concept designed for an expected wave of tablets from Apple and others (video below). The approach would take advantage of both a touchscreen and an Internet connection to provide a more modern experience: articles would be continuous scrolls rather than pages and would need only a swipe to one side to change articles entirely.
Three recent Apple patent applications have been made public, in each case covering substantially different technologies. The first proposes a head-tracking system, which would adjust the perspective of on-screen images relative to a person's own view, judged via camera. When examining a 3D chart, for instance, shifting one's head left or right would present a slightly different angle.
NVIDIA on Wednesday confirmed the development of a sequel to its Ion chipset but set expectations for its release. Calling it only the "next-generation Ion," representatives explained during a conference call that the hardware is in progress but won't be formally unveiled at CES next month. While some partners will likely show systems based on the new chipset at the Las Vegas expo, a formal unveiling isn't slated until sometime later in the first quarter of the year.
PC maker ASUS has plans to develop and build an educational robot for kids, the EeeBot, that would run on the open-source Android operating system from Google. According to a Wednesday report, the project will be sponsored by the Taiwanese government to promote Android. A government website describes the project as an affordable robot, with all hardware and software tweaking performed by ASUS.
Apple is distributing two new minor software updates, beginning with a Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update, v2.7. The patch extends RAW format support within iPhoto '08 and '09, as well as Aperture 2. New is support for four professional-level DSLRs: Canon's EOS-7D and EOS-1D Mk. IV, and Nikon's D3S and D300S. Also supported are the Nikon D3000, and the Canon PowerShot G11.
Google today revealed that the Audi A8 will be the first regular production car whose GPS system will use Google Earth for data. The implementation will give the luxury sedan Google's 3D terrain data and satellite imagery to provide a more realistic view of driving directions when requested. Importantly, it will also bring some of Google's search features: among the extras will be the ability to push a destination or a business entry to the A8's GPS unit and have directions ready.
The Blu-ray Disc Association today published details of the final specification for 3D-enhanced Blu-ray video. Simply titled Blu-ray 3D, the format will send a stereoscopic 1080p image but, despite the extra data, will only use about 50 percent more data than a traditional, 2D-only image. The relatively efficient storage is helped by an efficient variant of the H.264 video code known as Multiview Video Coding (MVC) that is also backwards-compatible with 2D devices.
Google may extend its plans for self-designed hardware to include a netbook running Chrome OS, a rumor claims today. Just as the Nexus One is poised to serve as a showcase for Android, the company is believed by more than one source to be talking to a PC builder to complete a Chrome OS netbook based on its specifications. The system would be Google-branded and ship in the same late 2010 window that Google has said Chrome OS netbooks from Acer, ASUS and others will reach the market.
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Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL