Matrox Graphics on Wednesday announced the Matrox Avio F125, a fiber-optic KVM extender which separates dual HD video, keyboard, mouse, stereo analog audio and USB 2.0 devices from a workstation. The Avio F125 transmitter/receiver pair extends two single-link DVI (2x1920x1200) or one dual-link DVI (2560x1600 or 4096x2160) video, and multiple high-speed USB 2.0-compliant devices from the host computer by up to 400 meters (1312 feet) over multimode cable, and up to four kilometers (2.5 miles) over single-mode cable.
Manufacturers of home and car audio equipment Pyle has unveiled its latest in-vehicle sound system innovation, the 10.1-inch In-Dash Touchscreen Bluetooth DVD Receiver (PLD10BT). The new device features a motorized and fully-detachable front touchscreen panel. Built-in Bluetooth technology streams audio directly from the iPhone, Android-based devices or any other hand-held Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet. The receiver is also compatible with a wide range of video codecs, and allows a direct connection through an alternate audio-video line input jack.
In a rare interview, Apple Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller revealed research from Apple that showed that customers switch to the iPhone from Android at about four times the rate they go the other way. He also pointed out the problem that platform fragmentation in Android -- where the vast majority of users are running very outdated and insecure versions of the OS, and cannot upgrade without buying a new device -- and the overall poorer user experience, on the eve of Samsung's introduction of the Galaxy S4 smartphone.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has once again delayed a full-panel ruling on Samsung's complaint that Apple violated patents related to the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. The preliminary ruling in September by a single judge held Apple blameless of any violation, with the full ITC judgement being the final word on the subject. The ruling is now expected on May 31, barring any further delays.
Google, in its annual "spring cleaning" effort, has revealed the impending closure of eight services. Programs and offerings affected over the next few months are the GUI builder for Apps Script, depreciation of the CalDAV API, discontinuation of the Google Building Maker, cessation of Google Cloud Connect, support termination for the Google Voice app for BlackBerry, cancellation of the Search API for Shopping, and no more updates provided for the Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh. Most notably, the widely-used RSS app Google Reader is being retired on July 1 as well.
OCR developer IRIS has announced the availability of the IRIScan Mouse, an all-in-one mouse scanner with OCR technology. The USB 2.0 device, when coupled with the software, seamlessly stitches the image together in real time. The stitched image is then evaluated, and any discovered text is converted into editable documents for use with standard word-processing applications.
An Israeli security firm has published a proof-of-concept pointing a weak link in Apple\'s otherwise very tight security for its mobile platform iOS -- mobileconfig files. The profiles, which are often installed by carriers or enterprise device management solutions, can be downloaded from unencrypted websites, reports Skycure Security. If users were tricked (through social engineering or redirected websites) into installing a malicious profile, it would configure system-level settings to allow attackers access to several key iOS services.
According to the company, Blackberry has received an order for one million of its new phones, marking its largest order ever received in the company's history. The company hasn't announced who placed the order, but did say that it came from one of its existing partners. On the news, the company's shares have risen $0.74, about five percent, in after-hours trading.
Leveraging its rumored acquisition of music discovery service We Are Hunted in the last six months, Twitter is said to be launching a standalone music app, which could be released on iOS by the end of March. According to CNet sources familiar with the matter, the service generates a popularity-based chart, similar to Billboard, for online music that constantly monitors blogs, social media, BitTorrent, and other Internet sources for ranking.
The US branch of Staples is planning to sell more than just Apple accessories at its retail stores, sources tell MacRumors. Currently the retailer has only announced sales of accessories and peripherals, which are already available online, and coming soon to physical outlets. The sources suggest, though, that at least some shops will be carrying Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
On the heels of an announcement expanding the availability of the Kindle Fire, Amazon has said that it is cutting the price on the 8.9-inch version of the tablet. The Wi-Fi only version now costs $269, a $30 reduction. The 4G wireless model now begins at $399, a $100 cut from the previous $499 retail.
CEO Tim Cook has been ordered to testify in the Department of Justice\'s antitrust case against Apple, Reuters reports. US District Judge Denise Cote has asked Cook to provide four hours of testimony, fulfilling requests by prosecutors, who have argued that the executive likely has relevant knowledge of Apple\'s 2010 entry into e-books with the iBookstore. Apple opposed involving Cook, claiming that the deposition of 11 other executives made the CEO\'s participation \"cumulative and duplicative.\" Cote, though, has taken the position that the passing of Steve Jobs -- in charge of Apple at the time the iBookstore was introduced -- means the DoJ is \"entitled to take testimony from high-level executives.\"
The iPhone is now the second-most popular smartphone in India, having achieved a 15.6 percent share in Q4, according to IDC data reported by CNN. The shift is attributed to Apple finally accommodating the \"mom-and-pop\" stores that dominate the Indian electronics market, instead of depending solely on carriers and major resellers. Samsung remained on top of the local smartphone market in Q4 at 38.8 percent, while Sony was in third at 9.4 percent. CNN notes that in the previous quarter, the iPhone wasn\'t even in the top five.
Andy Rubin, the head of Android at Google, has stepped down from his position to start "a new chapter at Google." Though Rubin's future role within Google has yet to be revealed, he will be replaced by Sundar Pichai, someone that will be adding Android to the current list of areas he manages, which currently includes Chrome OS and Apps.
Netflix has announced it is adding Facebook integration to its streaming service in the US. The feature, having spent a considerable amount time in development, will allow users to share films and TV shows they have watched with Facebook friends on both the social network and within Netflix itself, but only if they choose to share their activity too.
Propellerhead has announced Reason 7, a major upgrade of its digital audio workstation software. Several significant features have been added, such as MIDI out support, allowing users to connect external MIDI devices. In terms of editing the software now supports automatic slicing into single notes or hits, and exporting those slices to Reason\'s samplers, the Kong Drum Designer, or the Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player.
Useful Fruit Software has announced the launch of updates for both iOS and Mac versions of its Pear Note app. The note taking app expands past text-based notes by adding support for integrating audio, videos, and slides into notes, and sorting all of the information into a single timeline. The v2.1 iOS update has added the ability to insert images into the text of their notes directly from the device's camera, or by selecting a picture from the photo library. Meanwhile, Pear Note for Mac has gained full Retina support, as well as support for the new file format used in the iOS version that allows for the inclusion of images.
Adobe has confirmed plans to halt boxed sales of its Creative Suite software, as well as Acrobat. "As Adobe continues to focus on delivering world-class innovation through Creative Cloud and digital fulfillment, we will be phasing out shrink-wrapped, boxed versions of Creative Suite and Acrobat products," an official statement reads. "Electronic downloads for Creative Suite and Acrobat products will continue to be available — as they are today — from both Adobe.com, as well as reseller and retail partners. We are in the process of notifying our channel partners and customers, as plans solidify in each region."
Google started accepting registrations for Google I/O 2013, and sold out 49 minutes later. Tickets for the developer event are usually in such demand, they sell out shortly after they go on sale, with registration last year lasting less than one hour before all places were booked. Prospective developers wishing to attend must pay $900, $300 for educational users, through Google Wallet and have their ticket tied to their Google+ account.
Samsung spent $401 million in US TV, Internet, print, and billboard advertising for phones during 2012, surpassing HTC and even Apple, according to Kantar Media data obtained by the Wall Street Journal. The figure represents a quintupling of its budget for 2011, which amounted to just $78 million. By contrast, Apple\'s budget went from $253 million to $333 million, and HTC\'s budget actually shrank from $124 million to $46 million.
A teardown of the Pebble smartwatch found it to be a fairly unrepairable device, though its expected longevity is a saving grace. The team at iFixit declined to give the Pebble a repairability score due to its uniqueness, but did praise the combination of its low-power e-paper display and weekly charging cycle, which gives the non-replaceable battery a lifespan of between six and ten years.
Apple France must pay labor unions €10,000 ($13,000) in fines for regularly forcing retail employees to work after 9PM, a Parisian court has ruled. Agence France-Presse adds that for every subsequent violation, Apple will have to pay 50,000 euros ($65,000). Under French law, demanding work between 9PM and 6AM is reserved for exceptional cases, and requires special justification.
Valve Software has publicly disassociated itself with the Xi3 Piston, a device shown at CES as an example of the Steam Box game console concept. Comments by the game producer removing its involvement in the project were followed by a statement from Xi3 explaining how the Piston was initially made by the request of Valve itself.
An unannounced Motorola handset has surfaced via Vietnamese website Tinhte.vn. Carrying new logo-only branding, the device may be one of the first devices developed in conjunction with its new masters, Google. The device is also clearly marked ‘Motorola Confidential Property’ making its appearance that much more mysterious.
Dell has introduced its most interesting and innovative Windows 8 device to date. The new XPS 18 all-in-one is both a desktop PC as well as a large Windows 8 tablet that includes a built-in 69Whr battery good for up to 5 hours use. It is also a relatively manageable 4.87 pounds, which Dell says helps to ‘redefine the desktop.’
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 has made an appearance at the FCC for certification. The filing shows that the phablet will support a 3G carrier connection over 800MHz and 1900MHz bands, and suggests that it may go on sale at the same time as its previously-examined Wi-Fi counterpart, though not necessarily in the United States
HTC has revealed that its 2013 flagship smartphone the One has been delayed by at least two weeks, leading to an April launch, reports CNET. It was originally scheduled to hit the market on March 15, but only pre-orders will now be shipping before the end of the month. It is thought that parts shortages, as well as the complex 200-minute process required to cut and machine the sleek aluminum case on the One has led to production yield issues.
Just as happened with the original release of the iPad, more conservative tech buyers (who don't fit the "early adopter" profile) had only moderate interest in an iPad mini -- but unlike most electronics, interest in the scaled-down version of the iPad has increased significantly since its introduction, according to a report from deal site TechBargains. When it did a survey just prior to the iPad Mini's release, only 18 percent planned to buy it -- now, interest has nearly doubled to 33 percent. Customers also reported on what they'd like to see in future iPad models.
Whole-house audio systems maker CasaTunes has announced a line of multi-room music servers that offer built-in compatibility with multi-zone AV receivers from a variety of major-brand manufacturers such as Denon, Harmon Kardon, Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer, Marantz and Integra/Onkyo. The servers are configured using apps available for iOS and Android, and extend the capabilities of third-party controllers by adding AirPlay wireless speaker and multi-zone AV receiver support to these systems.
Now AAPL Stock: 97.92 ( + 1.49 )
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