Former Google China president and now Innovation Works head Kai-fu Lee has stirred attention over Apple's rumored tablet this week with an update to his 163 mini blog claiming knowledge of the device. The executive, who claims an "informed friend," says the tablet has the predicted 10-inch screen and resembles a "large iPhone." While multi-touch and 3D support are expected, he adds that the tablet has a front camera for video chats, making it a first of the sort for any Apple handheld.
Scosche has announced its CES 2010 product line-up of new iPhone and iPod accessories, consisting of the reviveLITE II, a new tapSTICK model, flipSYNC, and IDR655m earphones. reviveLITE II is an improved version of the company’s previously released reviveLITE iPhone and iPod charger, complete with an additional USB charging port that can be used to simultaneously charge any USB-powered device. Similar to the original, it features a cordless charging design and includes an integrated LED nightlight.
Owen has introduced a new e-book reader, the E1, featuring rounded lines and a form factor that appears to be slightly smaller than the Kindle. The device integrates a 5-inch e-ink display which supports 20 lines of text and 30 characters per line. Along with e-books, users can also view pictures or play audio tracks in MP3, MWA, and OGG file formats.
Google's Nexus One smartphone has already been rooted, despite its limited availability ahead of an official launch. MoDaCo member Paul claims to have created Superboot, a boot.img file that automatically roots the Android 2.1 operating system the first time it is booted.
TiVo may have inadvertently spoiled its plans for an upgrade to its video recorders by shipping a manual for the TiVo Premiere (PDF) and its Premiere XL cousin. Packaged in with a TiVo HD, the paperwork shows a device unlike any existing TiVo DVR and would be the first to include a multi-stream CableCARD slot that would let it record more than one TV show without a second card. As a result of the upgrade, TiVo appears to have scrapped the second slot found on devices like the Series 3.
Verizon has stepped up its tie-in with Microsoft by installing a Bing icon on subscribers' BlackBerries without their consent. While just a shortcut to install an app, the carrier prevents customers from removing the link and so far has only provided help moving the icon as well as a guide to installing alternative apps from Google or bookmarking search pages.
Rogue Amoeba on Wednesday introduced Radioshift 1.5, an update to its Internet radio player and recorder. The latest version adds support for hundreds of new streams in Windows Media Pro and QuickTime formats. Streaming reliability is said to be improved, with automatic restart or switching to back-up streams if the feed encounters an error.
Mophie today broadcast its intent to get into mobile payment by unveiling early details of a credit card reader for the iPhone. The peripheral when attached will let owners "complete financial transactions on the go" and will come with its own companion iPhone app to handle the payments themselves. Unlike some add-ons, the Mophie entry is designed to remain attached for long periods and rests flush with the iPhone case; it doesn't appear to support the iPod touch.
Sprint's WiMAX-based 4G service will get its first pocket router early next year as a leak of training material today has revealed the carrier's plans. A mobile hotspot from Sierra Wireless, the Overdrive, should supply up to five users with the up to 6Mbps Internet access with 3G as a fallback. In a unique twist, it will have an SD card slot for storage and will treat this as a network-attached drive for everyone using the same hotspot.
A-DATA this week introduced the first flash drive in the industry to use both a USB 3.0 and SATA II interface. The drive, N002, uses 8-channel architecture and is said to be capable of 200MBps sequential read and 170MBps write speeds. Until the USB 3.0 standard becomes more commonly adopted, the drive is backwards compatible with the USB 2.0 interface.
An inside source at Apple has confirmed a "big" press event for sometime in January, according to Fox News. The source has provided little other detail, other than to suggest the event will focus on mobile products, possibly related to the realm of the iPhone and iPod touch. The event may indeed be used to announce the long-rumored Apple tablet, Fox proposes.
The famed Polaroid name has been purchased by a new company, PLR IP Holdings, after the brand's previous new owners declared bankruptcy in late 2008. PLR has drawn up new licensing agreements that will give its licensees rights to the Polaroid name, and promises to bring new products from the Polaroid brand in 2010, with some reaching shelves as early as January. The new owners will expand Polaroid's traditional offerings that included photo printers and digital cameras to include PC products and game consoles, as well as cellphones and AV peripherals. Cleaning products for electronics will also be part of the revised lineup.
USBfever and Koyono have both expanded their collections of iPhone and iPod accessories with the addition of several new protective cases. USBfever’s JOGJACKET is designed for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, as well as all three versions of the iPod touch. It is built from neoprene that wraps around the mobile device, while a transparent LCD protector enables full control over the touchscreen. The case also supports the Nike iPod Sports Kit and features a detachable armband which can be adjusted to fit up to 10 different sizes.
DataJack has promised heated competition in wide-area wireless with the launch of its own 3G service. The provider promises to be the first in years to drop the 5GB bandwidth cap imposed at rivals like AT&T and Verizon and will offer true unlimited access, making it useful as a regular and not just part-time Internet connection. Contracts also aren't required and should let customers jump to another provider at any time without a penalty.
An upcoming Pantech handset has been spotted on the FCC website, revealing it will support GSM 850 and 1,900MHz bands and the same bands of the WCDMA network. Documents in the filing reveal the device, the P9020, will support AT&T services like Music and Navigator and thus that it's bound for the US carrier.
Prism Technologies has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) recently, accusing BlackBerry phone maker Research In Motion of violating its patents. The ITC on Tuesday announced it has agreed to investigate the complaint, which is the second time Prism officially complained against RIM. Prism, which says it specializes in Internet Security Technology Management and Licensing, maintains RIM violated its patent as it relates to authentication systems.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a 2008 district court ruling, taking the side of Apple in a class action lawsuit over iPod volume, says Reuters. Plaintiffs Joseph Birdsong and Bruce Waggoner earlier argued that iPods present an unreasonable risk of hearing loss, as they can raise their volume up to 115dB, while lacking any volume meters or noise isolation properties. Designing the stock earbuds to be placed deep in the ear canal has only exacerbated the problem, the plaintiffs alleged.
HP has filed for a pair of US trademarks that hint at a major return to handheld devices. One, for the term "Airlife," would apply to handheld computers, PDAs and phones as well as computers. The other, "Zeen," would apply to a handheld that can play images, sound and text as well as the software needed to do the same. Both trademarks were requested within five weeks of each other and, given differences, that the two are complementary rather than alternate names for each other or for existing products.
Unless an update is delivered by the end of Thursday, Apple will miss a deadline for adding official Windows 7 support to Snow Leopard's Boot Camp, reports note. For some time Apple has hosted a page on its website, promising that the support would be coming "before the end of the year." Windows 7 has been commercially available since October 22nd, and still earlier in the form of public betas and release candidates.
The second EeePC from ASUS after the 1005p to use Intel's new-generation Pine Trail platform will soon be available, as indicated by a German Amazon listing. The 10.1-inch netbook uses the 1.66GHz Atom N450 processor, but other specs are similar to earlier Eee PCs. This means a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM and Windows XP in a package that weighs 2.4lbs. In contrast, the Eee PC 1005P ships with Windows 7 Starter Edition.
Korea's Fair Trade Commission on Wednesday cleared four major memory producers of charges of price fixing. The regulators said their investigations, begun in January of 2007, found no evidence that the unnamed companies were colluding to keep flash and RAM prices high. Agency officials added that the closure of a US investigation in August also supported their decision to end the case.
Amazon today revealed bestsellers across all its categories for 2009. The Internet retailer said that its own Kindle reader was not only the top-selling electronic device for the whole year but that it was also the top product wished for as well as given as a gift in the same category. In computers, the ASUS Eee PC 1005HA netbook achieved a similar effect as it led its respective bestseller, most wished for and most gifted charts.
UK wireless provider Orange may become the first carrier to contract the manufacture of its own Android phone, if a Wednesday report from Digitimes proves true. Unnamed industry sources indicate that Foxconn International Holdings (FIH) has received orders from Orange to build an Android-powered handset that would also contain a Qualcomm 3G chipset. While no other technical details were revealed, the handset is expected to ship to Orange this spring.
Moyea has announced a new conversion utility for camcorder users, the Moyea MOD Converter. The software converts MOD files generated by JVC, Canon or Panasonic digital camcorders to QuickTime, as well as other popular video formats including AVI, DV or MPEG. The results can be played on most Apple hardware, and edited in iMovie, Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.
National Geographic has released its entire magazine collection, or 120 years' worth, all on a 160GB hard drive. The Complete National Geographic on the hard drive includes the maps, stories and high-resolution photos found in the print magazine. All of this content only takes up 60GB of the space on the hard drive, leaving room for other documents or content.
iWork '09 has managed to outperform its predecessor this year, according to data collected by the NPD Group. Sales during the first 11 months of the suite's existence, between January and November, are said to have been 50 percent higher that those for iWork '08. By contrast, iLife '09 sales are said to be roughly on par with those for iLife '08.
HTC in a briefly available Twitter update (currently inactive) has said that only the HD2 will support an update to Windows Mobile 7. The Russian division of the company doesn't explain the reasoning, though the HD2 is the only Windows Mobile smartphone from HTC to support capacitive touch and also its fastest, with a 1GHz processor. Both qualities are likely necessary as Microsoft's rumored Windows Mobile 7 specs would require a fast, multi-touch capable device just to run.
Ambrosia Software has released Soundboard 1.0.5, a new version of its audio playback app. The title lets users create libraries of their favorite clips, which can then be triggered using designated hotkeys. A range of non-destructive editing and filtering tools are included, such as ones for fading and cropping. The v1.0.5 update increases performance, for instance decreasing the latency of the playback engine.
Young startup Touchco revealed today that it has developed a new touchscreen technology that could add pressure sensitivity to multi-touch even as it drives the cost down. Known as Interpolating Force-Sensitive Resistance (IFSR), it uses embedded resistors that alter the level of capacitance, or stored electric charge, depending on the amount of pressure applied at a given point. The technique would still allow for the light, quick touches of a capacitive touchscreen like the iPhone's but could add extra functions for more deliberate presses.
Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu has raised his price target for Apple stock from $235 to $253, citing new Q1 sales forecasts derived from industry and supply chain checks. Apple is expected to record as many as 9.5 million iPhones shipping in the December quarter, well above the consensus estimate of 8.8 million. The figure would set a quarterly record for Apple, and be based largely around the addition of China and South Korea to Asia-Pacific sales, as well as "stronger-than-expected" European performance thanks to multiple carriers and attractive pre-paid options.
Dulin's Books announced this week that it will soon ship its Boox 60, an e-book reader that has an integrated Wi-Fi connection and a WebKit-based browser. The browser will let users view news, blogs and wiki sites and download content for the reader. The 6-inch Vizplex display has touch capability using Wacom technology, and an included stylus helps users take notes.
AT&T in an FCC commentary submission has asked the government agency to drop its requirements that it and other phone carriers must offer analog landline service. The carrier points to the sharp drop in landline use, including revenue, and that a full 80 percent of American homes use cellphones or Internet calling either alongside analog landlines or even exclusively. Only the remaining 20 percent uses just a conventional phone line and is likely to see its share shrink in the future, AT&T says.
Apple is blocking several iPhone apps related to the Dalai Lama at the Chinese App Store, a company spokeswoman admits. "We continue to comply with local laws," Trudy Muller tells IDG News. "Not all apps are available in every country." The titles are notably available in most other regions. The Chinese government considers the Dalai Lama an enemy, as a result of his advocating freedom for his former homeland of Tibet. The country was invaded by China in 1950 and remains under foreign control.
OnLive at a recent Columbia University demo (viewable below) showed off a functioning example of its streaming gaming technology that included a demo of its iPhone app. The Apple device demo, from about 17 minutes onwards, shows the smartphone being used both for the service's spectator and networking features but also for controlling the multiplayer shooter Crysis Wars. Company chief Steve Perlman describes the control as "funky" due to the use of a touchscreen for a keyboard-heavy game but notes that it's playable with little lag and a fast frame rate, since the computing isn't done on the iPhone itself.
Verizon's lineup of Palm phones will include just two upgraded versions of existing Palm models with familiar names, a source says today. The tip suggests that the Wi-Fi enabled Pixi will reach Verizon as the Pixi Plus and that the Palm Pre Plus is real, though what changes the latter would get aren't evident. Both phones would be physically identical on the outside, but the BGR tip doesn't say if the processor or storage would improve.
Microsoft has committed itself to developing Windows Mobile as a more substantial gaming platform, according to a pair of freshly discovered job listings. A post for a Principal Program Manager is the most significant and would task the recruit with bringing "Xbox Live enabled games" to Windows Mobile phones. The move wouldn't result in Xbox-quality games but instead linking them to the social aspects of the service, including avatars, social elements and "multi-screen experiences."
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Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ