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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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
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