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Compatibility added for range of 3D formats
HDMI Licensing, the group behind the media interface specification, has announced plans to support 3D content with the upcoming HDMI spec v1.4. The consortium will meet in January to add the "Top/Bottom" 3D format. The group acknowledges the lack of a mandatory 3D broadcast format, leaving the standard open for further additions or modifications.
Content aware image scaling comes to the iPhone
Colida is currently offering a special Christmas promotion on several of their Mac games. If customers purchase two qualifying games before December 25th, they will automatically be entitled to a free third game. The deal applies to The Secrets of Da Vinci, Return to Mysterious Island, Cleopatra: a Queen's Destiny, Destination: Treasure Island, Secret of the Lost Cavern and Still Life 2. Each of the games are Universal applications and will run on Mac computers with either Intel or PowerPC G5 processors. The games all cost $30 and are available as downloads from Coladia's website.
9650 gets optical trackpad, faster CPU
BlackBerry's upcoming Tour2 handset, also known as the 9650 or Essex, has surfaced in the wild. BGR claims the physical size and overall appearance of the new model closely matches the original Tour. The most significant external change is the new optical trackpad, which reportedly works as it should and is expected to alleviate the problems users reported with the previous trackball design.
Exec holds over 5 million shares of AAPL
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has maintained his $1 salary again for 2009, following a tradition that began when the executive returned to the company over a decade ago, according to a preliminary proxy statement filed with the SEC. The iconic CEO also declined to participate in the company's bonus program, which provided large payouts for the rest of the executives.
Separate source hints to surprising interface
Although Apple head Steve Jobs had been rumored to scrap earlier tablet projects, an unnamed source within the company has told The New York Times that the CEO is now satisfied with the design. Despite the wide variety of rumors and speculation surrounding the device, another recently departed Apple worker suggests consumers will be "very surprised" with how they can interact with the new interface.
FCC doesn't believe Verizon
The FCC in a response (PDF) today rebuffed Verizon's claims that its ETF rate hikes are necessary. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn in a public letter described Verizon's justifications for doubling early termination fees as "unsatisfying" and sometimes "troubling." While the carrier primarily explained them as necessary for covering costs when buyers of the Droid and other phones leave their contract, Clyburn says Verizon has expanded the reasoning well beyond just the actual hardware.
Nook shortage sparked by supply, not demand
As many as half a million of Barnes & Noble's Nook readers will reach the US within four months, southeast Asian tips said today. The bookseller has long said it has been "overwhelmed" by demand, but those aware of its supply chain now tell TechCrunch that about 60,000 Nook devices will have shipped in 2009 and about 500,000 total by March. The number is believed well above internal forecasts and is helped by Foxconn being almost immediately ready to step up its manufacturing.
Apple may have Yerba Buena rented out
Apple's January event is slated for the 26th of that month, an alleged leak maintains today. The firm is believed to have rented out the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco to unveil a "major" product on January 26th. It would also have access to the small theater for "several days," most likely for Steve Jobs or other Apple executives to conduct final rehearsals in advance of the actual presentation.
Telefonica pays $209 million in cash for Jajah
European telecommunications and cable provider Telefónica on Wednesday announced is has purchased VoIP (Voice over IP) provider Jajah for cash equivalent to about $208 million. Jajah offers its services in nearly 200 countries and its customer base numbers in the millions. The service is integrated into many instant messaging programs and social media apps as well.
Snow Leopard support a final addition
Econ Technologies has made three of its existing programs freeware, citing a desire to concentrate on sync and backup software in the future. Free offerings begin with Portraits & Prints, which relies on a template dynamic to handle photo printing. Images are added to a catalog, where they can then be tweaked and attached to a template before print or export.
Gateways most likely to replace CableCARD tech
At least two major electronics manufacturers, TiVo and Sony, have submitted a similar idea for a standard that would replace the aging CableCARD standard. A deadline for such submissions to the FCC was earlier this week, and the majority of the ideas for the technical replacement for the failed standard share a common theme, which is that of a gateway. This would resemble a traditional cable modem with consumers seeing an IP interface with HTTP and SSL. On the provider side, the gateway would cater to a connection such as a coaxial cable, satellite signal or fiber optic line.
Droid hack allows Wi-Fi tethering
An online guide on the DroidForums has popped up that reveals how to enable Wi-Fi tethering functionality for the Motorola Droid smartphone. The feature is not otherwise available, and a user on the forums has built and shared a custom image of Android 2.0.1 to enable it. It was apparently created with the help of Google's own Android Wi-Fi Tether project.
iFixit to offer all repair manuals for free
In brief: MacTech is celebrating its 25th anniversary and extending a special discount to new and existing subscribers. The magazine is also looking for stories and memories from its community, to publish in an upcoming issue. iFixit has meanwhile announced that all of its repair manuals will now be offered for free. The text is being shared under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, meaning that anyone can modify and redistribute the content as they see fit.
Panasonic to release home batteries in 2011
Panasonic is planning on bringing the first lithium-ion battery for storing energy required to run a home, the company's president said in a recent interview with a Japanese daily newspaper. Fumio Otsubo said the product will be capable of storing enough energy for about a week's worth of typical energy used up by a home. As the second largest electronics maker in Japan after its acquisition of Sanyo earlier this month, is well equipped to release such a product.
Google phone considered real challenger
Five card sets included
baKno Games has launched baKno Solitaire for the Mac. The game features five handcrafted card sets in a 3D presentation. Rulesets include the likes of Klondike, Freecell, Spider, Cruel and Canfield. Relaxing music plays in the background, and each of the card sets is matched with a table using a particular aesthetic: classic, medieval, modern, Roman or Renaissance.
75 percent chance of January event?
Apple stock is likely undervalued at the moment, contends Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Current models of share performance are said to be ignoring the Apple tablet, which is increasingly rumored to be launching in early 2010, possibly as soon as January. Munster suggests that there is at least a 50 percent chance of the tablet being unveiled next month, and a 75 percent chance of some sort of Apple event.
LG Prada III to use Android, come to Sprint?
The Prada II handset from LG may soon be replaced by a third version that may use Android. According to LG, the new Prada will have new hardware to match its improved software, for better overall performance. Since the handset maker's second Android phone is already known to be sporting a QWERTY keyboard, it's believed the Prada III may become LG's first high-end device compared to the budget-ready Eve.
Viliv N5 clamshell UMPC and S10 netbook soon
Viliv on Wednesday teased its plans for next month's CES with word it will introduce two devices at the Las Vegas show. The N5 will be its most advanced notebook-style UMPC and should pack a very dense 4.8-inch, 1024x600 screen along with 3G and GPS. Like competitors from UMID and others, it should serve as a full computer and run Windows 7, though whether it uses a Pine Trail Atom or an older but lower-powered model, like the 1.2GHz Atom Z515.
Company says Sony PSP-4000 in ad was a mistake
Gaming peripherals maker Accessories 4 Technology has tried to calm talk after a print ad it ran in MCV magazine showed accessories allegedly compatible with a Sony PSP-4000 gaming system. The company's license manager, Angela Jones, says the ad was a mistake on their part, but had to look it up online first and wasn't sure how the mistake could have occurred. She added Sony wasn't planning on releasing a new console to the best of her knowledge.
Tablet shown early to ready developers
Rumors of an Apple tablet in January gained fuel again today with a rumor elaborating on the company's supposed plans. A "plugged-in" contact for SAI says Apple has been asking some developers to prepare apps that could be demonstrated on a larger handheld device next month. It's not clear whether these are ports, though coders are being told that iPhone apps will work properly as long as they're not coded for a fixed size, clearly indicating a screen resolution higher than 480x320.
Title handles booking, other functions
Best Western has released its first iPhone app, Best Western to Go. The software mainly lets users locate one of the company's 4,000-plus hotels, and then make reservations. Users can also create itineraries, inserting addresses for various points of interest such as restaurants. Current positioning is displayed via a built-in map.
Lenovo Pine Trail multi-touch netbook seen at FCC
An upcoming netbook from Lenovo, sporting multi-touch capability and Intel's new Pine Trail platform, has been spotted undergoing FCC testing. The IdeaPad S10-3t is expected to be shown off officially at CES early next month, and other preliminary specs point to a 10.1-inch multi-touch screen that can rotate for tablet use along with integrated Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS.
Samsung, Kodak begin negotiatons over camera tech
Kodak on Wednesday announced it has agreed to negotiate a settlement along with a cross license on digital camera technology with Samsung. The issue dates back to 2008, when Kodak sued both Samsung and LG over patent infringements as they relate to its digital camera technology. Now, Samsung has agreed to pay an unspecified amount to Kodak that will go towards future royalty obligations.
Enables Mac-based corporate telephony
FacetCorp has unveiled a new version of FacetPhone, designed for Snow Leopard Server. The technology is a PBX VoIP telephone system, meant to carry between 25 and 1,000 phones. Businesses can implement features such as auto attendants, visual voicemail, call recording and various call center-related options.
New Google phone would reach T-Mo later
Google's Nexus One may have only a very limited release scale at first, based on a document leak. A tip to Engadget supports talk of a January 5th release date but that initial sales may be limited only to invitation customers. These may include registered Android developers, but whether it's any developers or just those who already own a previous developer phone like the Dev Phone 1 or Ion is less certain.
Claimed reliable source says small tablet due
Apple's heavily rumored tablet could come in a smaller size if a rumor today proves true. Referring to a source who has been "amazingly accurate" with previous Apple rumors, BGR supports notions of a January Apple event but says that the launch is "100%" likely to include a 7-inch tablet. Whether this would be in place of or in addition to the more commonly rumored 10-inch tablet isn't known by the tipster.
GPS app also gains simulation mode, better music
Magellan has updated RoadMate for the iPhone to v1.10, adding several new features. The app handles turn-by-turn navigation, with extra help in the form of voice guidance, lane directions and 3D landmarks. New in the update is support for the iPod touch, though only the second-generation player, rather than the first- or third-gen models. Touches must also be paired with the Premium Car Kit, since they lack a built-in GPS receiver.
Oppo to introduce cheaper Blu-ray player at CES
Oppo Digital hs announced via a Twitter update that it will soon release a new, less costly Blu-ray player. Thus far, Oppo Digital only offers the $499 BDP-83 Blu-ray player and an $899 Special Edition of the same, with a more detailed and official announcement of the less expensive device to come out early in January. This can only mean the details will be made public at CES, and there are no known specifics about the new device at this time.
MS requires new Office fix to obey ruling
Microsoft has acted quickly on its promise to keep Office on shelves by pushing an Office update to computer builders. The supplement, intended for an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) version of Office 2007 from October, removes the support for reading custom-generated XML within DOCX, DOCM and pure XML files. It should continue to open files with the code inside but will no longer show the code to comply with patent infringement claims.
Over 30 different puzzles and mini-games
Playrix has announced that an earlier puzzle and adventure game, Elementals: The Magic Key, is now available for the Mac. The game follows a young magician named Albert, who is trying to restore the key of Eiron and save his sister, kidnapped by the sorcerer Sibelius. Gameplay consists of over 30 different puzzles and mini-games, spanning over 20 locations inhabited by friends, enemies and elementals.
Also supports German, Italian languages
Jendrik Bertram has announced iFlicks 1.2, a new version of the video management tool for Macs. The app converts files for iTunes, and/or devices like the iPhone and the Apple TV. Metadata allows tagging and describing videos. The v1.2 update offers improved conversion speed, and enhanced metadata support for TV shows in different languages.
RIM says mail failures lasted until early AM
RIM's second BlackBerry outage in a week ended early Wednesday morning after approximately eight hours and after an explanation. The company in an e-mail statement believed that the issue was triggered by a bug in two recent versions of BlackBerry Messenger that triggered problems in RIM's database, triggering issues not just with the IM app but also the BlackBerry Internet Service as a whole. Phone owners had reported a lack of e-mail and even problems browsing the web.
Portable sound provides mixed results
MacNN has reviewed the iLive IS108B, a portable speaker system with a built-in iPod dock. The unit folds up into the size of a paperback, and can be powered either through AA batteries or an AC adapter. A clock display is situated in the dock, which fits many different iPods.
Averatec HS-105 sticks with Atom N270 CPU
Japan's Averatec on Wednesday unveiled its newest netbook, the HS-105. Unlike the recently unveiled plethora of Pine Trail-powered netbooks, the HS-105 remains with a conventional 1.6GHz Atom N270. In exchange, though, it comes with 2GB of RAM and Windows 7 Starter. Intel's integrated 945GSE graphics chipset and a 10.1-inch LED-backlit screen are key to the design.
Amazon may hedge against Apple tablet
Rumors that Amazon might buy Netflix sparked brief but sharp spikes in shares of both companies yesterday. While the sources of the rumor aren't known, talk of an acquisition was allegedly sparked by Apple's supposed iTunes TV subscription plans and their potential impact on both companies. Amazon in particular would seek to bolster its Video On Demand service by acquiring one of its largest competitors, which thrives primarily on subscription-based movie and TV season rentals.
OmniVision gets doubled Apple orders too
The next iPhone will get an upgrade to a 5-megapixel camera, sources said on Wednesday. OmniVision, Apple's current supplier for the 3.2-megapixel camera in the iPhone 3GS, has reportedly been given orders for its second sensor upgrade in a year with expectation that an iPhone using the higher resolution will ship in the second half of 2010. Production of the 5-megapixel sensors could start as soon as winter 2010.
New DVD Disc and DVD Folder output options
iSkysoft Studio has upgraded its DVD burning software, DVD Creator. Version 2.0 adds support for additional output options including DVD Disc and DVD Folder, which can be used with most popular video formats. Other features include animated menu templates for creating DVD menus, along with the ability to save imported files to the Project File for later editing or re-burning.
Video shows revamped UI, updated browser
The Google Nexus One smartphone has surfaced in a video walkthrough showing the Android 2.1 operating system. The video, posted on HTCNexusOne.net, runs through the user interface and most of the menus. The OS offers slight changes to the Android Market, widgets, and home screens.
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