Tag - Optical
There's a funny meme floating around where someone asks someone else if they can fax something for them, and the answer is "no, because of where I live." "Where do you live," the confused asker asks. "In the 21st century," is the reply. These days, that question (which, fair warning, will likely be the subject of a future Pointers) could just as easily be asked by people who want you to "burn" something for them, which in computer vernacular means to create or copy an optical disc of media.
Google today announced its latest addition to Gmail's email message composition tools, with the release of the Insert Photo button for its web version. Allowing users to access and insert photos that have been uploaded to their Auto Backup from their phone, including photos in emails through a web application is now simplified. Entire albums can also be shared, if images are uploaded and organized on Google Photos. Within the body of an email draft, users can resize images by dragging on any corner of the inserted photo.
Some internal configuration files that reveal a list of Macs that support flash drive or USB booting in Mountain Lion may have inadvertently tipped Apple's hand on future iMac and Mac Pro configurations. A report by AppleInsider also indicates that the as-yet-unannounced models could be the first desktops in nearly 20 years that don't include a built-in optical drive, a long-desired Apple engineering goal. The configuration files with the new model numbers are seen inside Boot Camp Assistant.
The European Commission is contacting thirteen manufacturers of optical drives over possible EU antitrust rules breaches. The EC suspects the unnamed companies of being involved in a bid-rigging cartel, artificially raising the price of optical drives during contract auctions with two major PC OEMs over the last five years. If parties are found to be breaking the rules, they face a fine of up to 10 percent of the company's worldwide turnover.
Other World Computing on Thursday unveiled low-cost Superdrives for almost any Mac released within the last decade, offering 48x CD burning and LightScribe labeling technology. OWC claims the drives are quiet, and do not require any extra software to be installed with the drive. Users can also write to dual-layer DVDs at up to 12x speeds, while single-layer discs can write at up to 20x. OWC is selling the Superdrives starting from $35.
Other World Computing (OWC) today unveiled new Superdrives and CD burners for all Mac computer models. The company's drive upgrade -- the 20X DL SuperDrive DVR-115D -- reads as well as writes DVDs, CDs, and dual-layer DVDs. Capacity for dual layer DVDs is 8.5GB at speeds of 10X; regular DVDs for 4.7GB capacity at 20X; and CDs for 700MB at 40X. "For most Macs, this is an incredibly easy upgrade and one of great return for anyone who's currently making or planning to make their own DVDs or CDs," OWC said. The new drives are priced from $30 and up.
NewTech Infosystems today released NTI Dragon Suite, a collection of three Mac applications to handle disc burning as well as data compression and backup. NTI Dragon Burn features patented multi-burning technology that supports internal as well as external drives for simultaneously creating multiple copies of a CD or DVD. The software includes support for burning the leading video, audio, photo, and data formats onto the latest optical discs -- such as 16x DVD-R drives and 8.5GB DVD+R Double Layer (DL) media. NTI Dragon Suite is priced at $80, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Fujitsu has promised to showcase its newest ScanSnap Scanner for Mac at the Macworld 2008 Conference and Expo from January 14-18 in San Francisco, CA. The company also said it will announce a forthcoming device to address the mobile document imaging needs of the Mac community. Fujitsu's new ScanSnap S510M is one of the only single-pass duplex automatic document feeder (ADF) scanners available today for the Apple community, according to the company, and comes bundled with ABBYY FineReader 3.0 optical character recognition (OCR) software. Live demonstrations of the S510M will take place at booth no. S308.
FastMac today unveiled a 4x Dual Layer Blu-Ray optical drive upgrade (site not updated) for Apple's Mac Pro and Power Mac G5 workstations. The 5.25-inch tray loading drive uses one of the fastest Mac-compatible Blu-ray mechanisms, according to the company, providing up to 50GB of storage on one dual or dual or double layer disc without sacrificing compatibility with standard DVD or CD media. Utilizing SATA connectivity, the drive's BD-R DL feature allows Mac users to burn a complete 50GB disc in under 50 minutes. The drive is already available for an introductory price of $600, and comes with a 1-year warranty.
Recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office is an application from Apple, relating to optical disc drives. Originally submitted on May 22nd, 2006, the application details an an improvement to slot-loading drives, which allows them to play smaller-sized three-inch discs, in addition to regular-sized five-inch ones. Normally, only tray-loading drives can play both. The application is attributed to iPod engineer Anthony Fadell, who has devised two possible adapters: one with two folding halves, and another in which four sections lock together.
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Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu