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Computer connectivity specialist StarTech has announced the release of a portable USB Flash Duplicator, which enables users to simultaneously clone a single flash drive onto two individual flash drives, or erase two flash drives to US Department of Defense specification without having to connect the duplicator or the drives to a computer. In addition to just USB flash drives, the unit supports hard drives, SD, SDHC, Micro SD, MMC, Mini SD, and CF media through USB 2.0 enclosures or multimedia card readers.
Honeywell today announced the Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, a networked thermostat that allows design-focused homeowners to customize the display to match or accent existing home decor. In addition, the Honeywell thermostat offers Wi-Fi connectivity that allows consumers to regulate energy usage and home comfort through a smartphone app.
Audio hardware maker Korg has announced the new Kross keyboard -- a mobile, affordable, keyboard workstation with audio/MIDI recording capabilities, AC or battery operation, and a vast selection of sounds drawn from Korg's flagship instruments. Available with 61 or 88 fully-weighted keys, the Kross is said by the company to be the first battery-powered, full-featured Korg keyboard workstation.
Pioneer Electronics today introduced two new Elite home theater AV receivers, the Elite VSX-43 7.1-channel receiver and VSX-70 7.2-channel receiver, designed for expanded entertainment options controllable throughout the home. The new receivers incorporate high-resolution file format playback, expanded multi-zone and multi-source management and functionality, custom installation features, AirPlay and 4K Ultra HD compatibility. Both receivers are controllable by way of Pioneer’s smartphone apps for iOS and Android.
Traditional desktop and notebook computer shipments have suffered the worst year-over-year drop in almost 20 years as consumers shift to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, numbers from both IDC and Gartner revealed on Wednesday. The two companies' numbers disagree somewhat on exact amounts, but both believe PC (referring to both Windows and Mac desktop and notebook) shipments have fallen by between 11 and 14 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year.
A slightly modified version of last year's failed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has been voted through the House Intelligence Committee, with an 18-2 victory. The new revision of the bill, left mostly unaltered by the committee, will likely reach the House for a general vote by April 19 along with a number of other cybersecurity bills.
Scosche has revealed availability of the BoomBottle, a new mobile speaker for streaming music while biking, hiking, camping, and other activities needing a durable speaker set. The IP4X-rated weatherproof construction on the device protects the BoomBottle from unexpected weather, sweat and other moisture.
According to a Chinese web site, Apple Senior VP for Operations Jeff Williams is currently in China as part of an effort to carry out warranty and training reforms promised by Tim Cook. Reacting to a badly-coordinated propaganda campaign against the company and other foreign presences in China, the Apple CEO issued an open letter reassuring customers that Apple treats Chinese warranty issues largely the same way it does in other countries, but promised more consistency and quality of service.
A job listing from Apple was posted on April 1 and removed today, revealing Apple's demand for a "Senior Optical Engineer." The listing, before its removal, was seeking "a Display Specialist to lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible displays," possibly to work with the pair of patents it was recently awarded on flexible devices that could change operating modes as a user manipulates the display.
Check-in service Foursquare has released v6.0 of its iPhone app, making some significant changes. The Explore section has been moved out from a separate tab at the bottom of the screen, and is now a core function of the app, highlighting nearby points of interest based on check-ins by other users. Search has been made easier, thanks to an immediately accessible search bar, and a faster auto-complete feature.
Ferrari by Logic3, the creators of the Ferrari audio collection, launched the FS1 Air speaker dock enabled with AirPlay technology to stream music wirelessly from iTunes or Apple devices on Wednesday. The design has been inspired by the Scuderia Ferrari racing team and the GT Car's general design ethos.
(Updated with response from comic creator) Following the author reporting that Apple had banned an issue of an adult-oriented comic, the Cupertino manufacturer came under some fire for inconsistent application of its own standards. A new statement by ComiXology has denied that Apple had anything to do with the ban, and the comics storefront self-censored it out of respect for what it erroneously interpreted to be Apple's policies.
Promised iOS and Android versions of Office won\'t launch until the fall of 2014, according to a leaked roadmap obtained by CNet. The document describes a project called \"Gemini,\" said to be Microsoft\'s plan to incorporate the Metro user interface into Office. The first \"wave\" in Gemini is expected to be an October 2013 update of the core apps -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote -- that will run on mobile versions of Windows 8 and Windows RT. The software will allegedly supplement the desktop Windows suite, instead of replacing it.
A new notebook from Samsung has leaked online, after it appeared on the company's website for a brief period of time. Before being pulled from view, the site revealed that the ATIV Book 6 notebook has a Full HD 15.6-inch touchscreen running on Windows 8, and will be launched in the United States in the near future.
MAPi Cases has released two new leather cases, Orion and Milano, designed for the iPad Mini. The Orion for iPad mini is a flip-style case that features an integrated pivoting cover which can act as a stand for the device. When used as a stand, the case can freely rotate between portrait and landscape orientations. Meanwhile, the Milano is designed for travellers and offers a zip closure that can be used to store business cards, a passport, or other documents. The Orion and Milano retail for $150 and $200 respectively, and can be ordered online.
Apple is giving A7 chip production over to TSMC, instead of long-time A-series chip manufacturer Samsung, an executive with one of Samsung\'s Korean partners has indicated to The Korea Times. \"Apple is sharing confidential data for its next A7 system-on-chip (SoC) with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC),\" the person is quoted as saying. \"TSMC has begun ordering its contractors to supply equipment to produce Apple’s next processors using a finer 20-nanometer level processing technology.\"
CBS is considering a possible move to cable if Aereo continues to operate, following comments from another broadcaster. Chief executive Les Moonves voiced approval of Fox Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey's earlier threat to cease over-the-air broadcasts, though it such an action is unlikely to occur in the first place.
The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is reportedly easy to fix, after a recent teardown. The score of 9 out of 10 from iFixit, though preliminary due to being a beta product designed for developers and not an item designed for end-users, with the speedy 10-minute teardown and relatively simple construction marred by cables kept together by tape and two "annoying" foam adhesive pads holding the LCD screen in place.
Architectural firm Foster + Partners has been picked to design at least some future Apple Stores, say sources close to the project in contact with Marketing. Unmentioned is which outlets the firm might be working on, or when they might be completed. "Any project for Apple is confidential and therefore we are unable to comment," an F+P spokeswoman states.
Photos obtained by French site Nowhereelse.fr show what may be the cover glass for a fifth-generation iPad. The part appears to follow in the steps of the iPad mini, with substantial trimming of the side bezels, along with some other, more minor proportion changes. The layout is consistent with recent rumors about the fifth-gen redesign.
Shortly after stating it will build a Gigabit fiber network to compete against Google in Austin, AT&T has expanded its 4G LTE network into six new markets. While this means the carrier is currently covering 182 different markets, AT&T also plans to add another 77 markets to the list by this summer, as the carrier tries to catch up to Verizon Wireless and its 4G LTE network.
Taiwan-based manufacturer Hon Hai -- better known under its lead brand Foxconn -- posted a 19 percent fall in sales year-over-year during the first quarter, Reuters reports. Revenue reached T$808.97 billion, a decline from T$1 trillion in Q1 2012, as well as the T$988.34 billion the company posted in Q4. The drop is being blamed on lower demand for the iPhone.
Facebook is introducing the option to add emotions to status updates. The new addition adds a drop-down box with a list of emotions to choose from, such as "Happy," "Sad," or "Tired," which can be added to the post, writes TechCrunch. Options to add content being consumed in various ways are also available, with items being added to the user's About page automatically. The system is currently being rolled out to Facebook users based in the US.
Apple has agreed to pay 1 billion yen, roughly $10 million US, to license patents originally devised by Palm and Palm OS creator PalmSource, among other companies, according to Macotakara. The patents are now owned by a Japanese company called Access. Beyond the Palm properties, Apple has also licensed concepts belonging to Geoworks and Bell Communications Research.
ZTE has debuted its first Android smartphone using the Intel 32nm Atom processor platform at the Spring Intel Developer Forum in Beijing. The unfortunately-named ZTE Geek houses the Clover Trail+ processor running at 2GHz, housed inside a device that appears to be inspired by the company's Grand S LTE offering.
T-Mobile is offering discounts and credits for customers trading up from an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5 through retail stores. The offer, an attempt to encourage upgrades between the iPhone 5's launch on the network on Friday 12th, removes the $99 upfront cost for the iOS device, as well as providing a credit of up to $120 towards monthly bills.
The headquarters of Samsung Display has been searched by police, as part of an investigation into possible OLED technology theft. Officers from the South Metropolitan Police Agency searched the offices in Asan, South Korea, for documents relating to the leak of secrets to LG, specifically anything that can show if Samsung itself is involved.
[Updated with discovery of code for 802.11ac support] Apple is now seeding a second beta of OS X 10.8.4 to developers, reports say. The build is labelled 12E30, and as before comes with no known issues. Developers are also once again being asked to focus on Wi-Fi, Safari, and graphics drivers.
A new poll by stock analysts Piper Jaffray shows very little change since last fall in the status of the iPhone as the coolest electronic device among teens. Nearly half of all of the 5,200 teenagers polled said they already owned an iPhone, a rise of eight percent from the previous survey. Some 62 percent said that they plan on buying an iPhone as their next device (about the same number as said that last time). Only 23 percent of teens indicated they were planning to buy an Android phone, but this did represent a one percent gain from the fall.
Memory and storage purveyor Crucial today announced the availability of the Crucial M500 series of solid state drives (SSD). Featuring terabyte-class capacity, increased response times over previous models, and an advanced feature set, the Crucial M500 2.5-inch SSD is available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacities.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt