BlueTraks BT-211 Offers Slew of Devices in Single Car System

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Date: Friday, February 23rd, 2007, 08:33
Category: News

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In the midst of juggling every accessory possible for your car to handle your ever-increasing collection of electronic devices, a firm called BlueTraks may have a catch-all solution en route.
The recently released BT-211 features both a hands-free BlueTooth panel, an iPod control system, 4.2″ touch screen display and is hard-wired to the vehicle’s bus and stereo systems. Touch the display and the system will kick into its BlueTooth mode, monitoring for the drive to announce the name and number of the person they’d like to call.
In the case of an incoming call, the unit will mute the car’s audio system and announce the caller’s name while simultaneously displaying caller ID information.
Albeit no word as to pricing has been announced yet and BlueTraks appears to be looking for dealers, the company plans to roll out similar models in the second half of this year complete with GPS navigation and satellite radio features.

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PGP Desktop Home 9.6 Beta Released

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Date: Friday, February 23rd, 2007, 08:37
Category: News

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PGP Corporation has released version 9.6 of its PGP Desktop Home encryption suite. The software, which retails for US$99, helps provide greater systemwide privacy via encryption, decryption, digital signatures, verification and recipient key lookups. These technologies plug into your Mac’s e-mail and instant messaging programs as well as selected files, which can be secured and encrypted on the fly.
The new beta, a 23.3 megabyte download, now supports Mac OS X PGP key reconstruction and provides better support for the recently released Windows Vista operating system as well as numerous bug fixes.
PGP Desktop is available for a 30 day free trial period.

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Bandwagon Offers Online iTunes Library Backups

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Date: Friday, February 23rd, 2007, 08:06
Category: News

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On Thursday, Xackup announced the launch of Bandwagon, an online iTunes library backup server and backup client for US$69 a year.
Within this price frame, users can use a queue manager program to select which items are backed up to the server while a clever implementation of Spotlight searches through what’s been uploaded and sends along missing items to complete the picture.
Bandwagon is currently priced at US$69 for a year’s subscription with unlimited storage, albeit users can pay US$1 for a 30 day trial (the unlimited storage still applies). The price increases to US$100 per year at the beginning of March.
If you’ve had any experiences with Xackup, good or bad, let us know.

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iPods to Become Flight Data Recorders

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Date: Thursday, February 22nd, 2007, 09:08
Category: News

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Flight is reporting that U.S. light aircraft manufacturer LoPresti Speed Merchants plants to include the iPod into its “Fury” model’s avionics system.
The iPod, which will be outfitted with specialized softwre, will act as a hard disk (or “black box”) and be able to record more than 500 hours of flight time data. Collected data samples can assist with training, system analysis, crash investigation and other purposes. Should the iPod work in the Fury, it could be deployed as a flight data recorder in other models of light aircraft.
In addition to acting as a replacement black box, complete with iPod dock connector, the iPod can function as an audio recorder and capture two-way cockpit and cockpit tower conversations for later analysis.
“This is the perfect marriage of a consumer product to the aviation market” commented R.J. Siegel, vice president of operations for LoPresti. “The iPod has an ideal product spec for aviation. It’s light and small, with very low power requirements and a simple interface. There are thousands of developers passionate about writing applications for the iPod. With such a large body of programmers we literally have no idea what the next great aviation application may be.”

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Apple and Cisco Reach Settlement Regarding iPhone Trademark

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Date: Thursday, February 22nd, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

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On Wednesday, Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems announced that they have reached a settlement over the much-contended “iPhone” trademark.
While details of the settlement are sparse, the announcement cited that both companies acknowledge that trademark rights to the name have been granted and each side will dismiss legal actions regarding the trademarks.
Cisco had filed suit against Apple in January for infringing on its iPhone name trademark, a property Cisco claimed it purchased the rights to via its 2000 acquisition of Infogear. In late 2006, the company began selling a dual-mode VoIP-based cordless handset based on the iPhone name.
Additionally, “Cisco and Apple will explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.”
All other details of the agreement remain confidential and no major feature changes or deviations from Apple’s anticipated June release date have been announced regarding the iPhone.

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Verizon and Vonage to Face Off in Patent Infringement Suit

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Date: Wednesday, February 21st, 2007, 12:41
Category: News

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Voice over Internet Protocol carrier Vonage and long-standing telephone carrier Verizon will lock legal horns in court this June. The suit, filed by Verizon under the claim that Vonage had violated several of its patents, specifically the technology Vonage uses to connect calls from Internet Protocol-based phones to traditionally networked phones.
Vonage has denied any form of patent violation and cites that most of its technologies are standards-based as well as widely available throughout its industry. In a sample cited over on ZDNet’s coverage, Vonage has stated that it used voice gateways available from Cisco to route voice traffic over the Internet and connect its phone calls to regular phone networks.
Click the jump for the full story…

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PowerBookResQ Now iResQ

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Date: Wednesday, February 21st, 2007, 08:17
Category: News

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According to an article on MacMinute, long-standing Mac community staple PowerBookResQ, which made its mark by offering US$99 service on damaged Macintosh laptops with three way overnight shipping included, has changed its name and is now known as iResQ.
The change reflects the company’s pursuit of a wider market, a revamped web site now offering additional services for iPod, the upcoming iPhone as well as ink and toner sales. The company will continue to operate with included three-way overnight shipping included but will add two additional service levels, one for US$49 and another for US$29.

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Quantum Research Threatens Suit Over Included iPhone Technologies

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Date: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007, 08:35
Category: News

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Apple’s iPhone may have yet another legal impediment to its birth and release to the market as UK-based sensor manufacturer Quantum Research has threatened to sue Apple over a rear-surface touch screen technology included within the iPhone.
“The description of the iPhone suggests it uses a rear-surface touch screen, and has proximity sensing which can tell if it is held to the ear. That’s a Quantum Research capability,” said Duncan Byran, licensing director for the company in a phone interview with Electronics Weekly.
Quantum Research is already involved with another lawsuit against Apple since December of 2005 regarding technologies found within the iPod’s click wheel device – specifically capacitive sensing technology it claims are found within its patents.

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Intel Developing Light Sensors to Integrate Into Notebook Power Systems

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Date: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007, 08:43
Category: News

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An article over on Engadget (by way of NewScientistTech) examines a patent Intel has submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office describing a new sensor system they’re developing to help keep laptops cool.
In the patent, Intel describes how their system will use “light to sense when a computer casing is getting too hot, and automatically throttles back the power” to help keep the system cooler. Since these hot spots occur in various locations along a laptop’s casing, a light sensor system could detect changes on an internal thermochromatic coating and send a signal back to cool the laptop down appropriately.
The full patent application can be found here and should this work, the days of the leg-toasting PowerBook G4s and other too-warm laptops may be a thing of the past.

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Breaking News: Sirius and XM Satellite Radio Merge

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Date: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007, 00:54
Category: News

I’m a Sirius subscriber and just got this email in my inbox:

February 19, 2007
To: SIRIUS Subscribers
Today is a very exciting day for SIRIUS customers. As you may have heard, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio are merging to form the nation’s premier audio entertainment provider.
This combination of our two offerings will benefit you – our loyal listeners. As a single company, we’ll provide superior programming to you every day with the best of both SIRIUS and XM. Currently, XM and SIRIUS broadcast a wide range of commercial-free music channels, exclusive sports coverage, news, talk, and entertainment programming. Howard Stern. Oprah and Friends. The NFL. MLB. NBA. ESPN. CNBC. Fox News. Additionally, the combined company will be able to improve existing services such as real-time traffic information and rear-seat video as well as introduce new ones.
After shareholder and regulatory approvals, we anticipate that the combination will be finalized by the end of 2007. Until then, both companies will continue to operate independently. We will continue to provide you with the uninterrupted service – as well as the outstanding customer support – that you have come to expect and enjoy from SIRIUS. We do not anticipate any changes in your service during the merger process, however, please call our customer care team on 1- 888-539-7474 should you have any questions.
We look forward to the many benefits this combination will offer and continuing to make your listening experience an enjoyable one – offering more of the Very Best Radio on Radio.
Stay tuned,
Mel Karmazin, CEO

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