Saitek Releases Obsidian Scroll-Touch Wireless Mouse

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Date: Wednesday, April 18th, 2007, 09:51
Category: News

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On Tuesday, Saitek‘s US division released the Obsidian, a new wireless mouse that replaces the standard scroll wheel with a touch-sensitive scroll pad and seam-free top buttons.
According to Electronista, the Obsidian also features hidden navigation buttons in the concentric patterns on the mouse’s sides and operates on two lithium-ion batteries as well as an included recharge cradle and spare battery pack. The mouse is managed by a 1,000 DPI sensor and functions on the Mac OS X, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.
The Obsidian will be available via Saitek and retailers for US$50.

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Blue Raven Begins Selling Replacement iPod Batteries

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Date: Wednesday, April 18th, 2007, 08:08
Category: News

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On Tuesday, Blue Raven Technology announced that it had released a complete line of iPod batteries for first through fifth generations iPods as well as the iPod Mini. The batteries will be available at birck and mortar and online locations such as CompUSA, Micro Center and Amazon.com according to iLounge and claim to offer an additional 30% more capacity than Apple’s standard iPod battery.
The company claims replacing the iPod’s battery to be easy and inexpensive, the kit including tools and instructions as to how to perform the procedure.
Prices start at US$29.95 before shipping and handling.

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Arkansas to Implement iPods and Wired School Bus in Technology Program

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Date: Wednesday, April 18th, 2007, 07:16
Category: News

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Arkansas’ Sheridan school district will be trying something different in order to get the most out of the three hour daily commute some of its students have to endure in order to get to classes. The Aspirnaut Initiative, a three-year trial, will bring laptops, wireless Internet access and iPods aboard Sheridan’s Bus 46, wherein the students will use iPods to listen to educational podcasts and “high ability” students will be provided laptops to go online and use web-based learning tools according to ars technica.
During this time, students may be able to receive course credits for time spent learning on the bus and at the end of the trial period, students who complete the program would be allowed to keep the iPods and laptops.
The program, which is funded by donations from Vanderbilt University (the idea is the brainchild of biochemist Bill Hudson) and fund-raising, will limit its efforts to Bus 46 and may have greater success than efforts to raise funds entirely through taxes and public funding, wherein a recent Michigan effort came under fire for its attempts to allocate US$38 million for a technology program wherein the highlights included providing an iPod for every student in the state. The effort was defeated during legislative debate and three lawmakers who had received a compensated research trip to Apple’s headquarters came under fire to pay back the air fare.
Still, if it works, this could be something cool and at least that much more productive than the buses we rode to school on so many years ago.

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Adobe Unveils Its Own Media Player

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Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2007, 12:25
Category: News

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Amidst the product introductions of the National Association of Broadcasters Show being held in Las Vegas, Adobe announced yesterday that it will be releasing a media player for both the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems.
Designed as a standalone desktop version of the company’s Flash Player web browser plug-in, Adobe Media Player is based on the recently released Apollo platform and is expected to go into beta later this year with the final product arriving towards the end of the 2007 calendar year according to Wired.
Adobe’s Flash Player, which holds a strong market share, is expected to grow, the company gambling on this as major sites such as YouTube rely heavily on the Flash Player format. The desktop version will be compete against Windows Media Player and contain similar digital rights management protections as the ones found in Microsoft’s Media Player in order to appease what the company terms “content publishers”.
Adobe Media Player will incorporate featres such as RSS subscriptions, online and offline video playback, on-demand streaming, live streaming, progressive download and protected download-and-play.
Two features that may prove controversial with the upcoming software are a mechanism that will embed advertising in downloaded clips in a manner that can’t be separated from the content. The second, termed a “security” model, will tie downloaded content to specific machines or users. The company has also announced that it will boost video fidelity on its Flash video format, albeit specific details are sparse for the time being.

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Apple Introduces Final Cut Studio 2 at NAB

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Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2007, 08:45
Category: News

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On Sunday, Apple introduced Final Cut Pro, the newest edition of its video production suite as well as new version of its component programs; Final Cut Pro 6, Soundtrack 2, Compressor 3, Motion 3 and a new program called Color.
The suite, which is priced at US$1,299 for the full version and US$499 for the upgrade version from Final Cut Studio to Final Cut Studio 2. Upgrades from Final Cut Pro to Final Cut Studio 2 will run US$699 according to The Mac Observer.
The new version, which hits the shelves in May, offers the following new features and fixes:
-Final Cut Pro 6 has gained the ability to mix and match most video formats as well as their frame rates in a single timeline without transcording. The program now supports ProRes 422, 10-bit 4:2:2 post production format that can create HD quality files at SD file sizes, a SmoothCam feature that removes camera movement and the ability to edit Motion templates.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Microsoft Introduces Silverlight Plug-In at NAB

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Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2007, 07:28
Category: News

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On Monday, Microsoft introduced video professionals attending the NAB conference Silverlight, a Mac and PC-compatible web browser plug-in similar to Adobe’s Flash paired with what the company considered video streaming superior to Apple’s QuickTime. The program, which is currently available as a public beta (or “technology preview”), is available for download with a general release planned later this month according to Macworld News.
Previously known as WPF/E, Silverlight is designed around vector-based graphics, text, animation, media and overlays while using existing back-end web and infrastructure tools such as Apache, PHP, JavaScript and XHTML. On the Mac end, Microsoft has stated that the plug-in works with both Firefox and Safari while on the Windows end the plug-in is designed around Internet Explorer 7.
Looking to charge out of the gate upon release, Microsoft has already contracted with several marquee names to distribute content such as Akamai Technologies, Brightcove, Eyeblaster, Major League Baseball and Netflix. The company has also created a Windows-only content development suite called Expression, which is being offered as an alternative to the recently-released Adobe Creative Suite 3.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Intel Lays Out Penryn and Quad-Core Mobile Chip Details

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Date: Monday, April 16th, 2007, 12:33
Category: News

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On Monday, Intel offered a preview of chips models expected to appear for its mobile markets and also described a quad-core mobile chip expected to appear next year.
The company stated that it would be expanding on its current mobile offerings with a chip based upon the Penryn processor, which functions as a 45 nanometer shrunken design of its current chip designs. The first Penryn chips are slated to go into production later this year and be introduced into devices in the second half of 2008 according to AppleInsider.
An Intel representative stated that the Penryn design could be plugged directly into the same architecture that will ship next May, thus enabling a fast ramp-up process.
The company also unveiled details about a quad-core Penryn mobile processor due for release during the 2008 calendar year. The processor will be targeted towards high-level gaming and mobile workstations, albeit won’t be seen in most notebook devices. Repersentatives commented that the chip’s architecture will differ considerably from the company’s current quad-core server and desktop processors, which are designed around two dual-cor units paired together. The company is considering placing all four cores on a single piece of silicon, thereby increasing speeds and using less energy.

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Adobe Ships CS3, Releases Premiere Pro and After Effects Public Betas

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Date: Monday, April 16th, 2007, 10:28
Category: News

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It may be Monday and gloomy here on the east coast, but Adobe is chock-full of good news, even with a nor’easter making things difficult out here.
The long-awaited Creative Suite 3 is now shipping, Adobe announcing that its Design Premium and Standard as well as the Web Premium and Standard Editions are out the door.
For stand-alone applications, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe InDesign CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Fireworks CS3 and Adobe Contribute CS3 also shipped today.
The company has stated that its Creative Suite 3 Production Premium and Creative Suite 3 Master Collection editions are expected to ship in the third quarter of this year according to Macworld News.
The currently shipping editions run at the following prices:
-Creative Suite 3 Design Premium Edition: US$1799
-Creative Suite 3 Design Standard Edition: US$1199
-Creative Suite 3 Web Premium Edition: US$1599
-Creative Suite 3 Web Standard Edition: US$999
Click the jump for the full story…

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Apple Rethinks Mice and Keyboards in Patent Filings

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Date: Friday, April 13th, 2007, 12:59
Category: News

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In more patent filing fun, Apple has filed for two new patents with respect to its chief input devices; the keyboard and the mouse.
The new mouse, as described in the patent filing by Apple iPhone interface designer Brian Huppy, focuses on a new design that replaces traditional buttons and scroll wheels with a touch/grip sensitive interface while the new keyboard would feature standard keys but a click wheel device in place of a numeric keypad.
Full details can be found over at the Apple Blog.
Definitely cool ideas and if you have any ideas or feedback, let us know.

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Michigan “iPod for Student” Program Dismissed

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Date: Friday, April 13th, 2007, 11:32
Category: News

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Amid controversy regarding expense and allegations that Apple flew three legislator’s at the company’s expense to its campus as part of research to see whether a “one iPod per child” program would have been effective back in March, Michigan lawmakers rejected the proposed legislation according to Macworld UK.
The program, which would have allocated US$38 million towards the purchase of an MP3 player for each student in the state of Michigan, came under fire due to expense, the state’s current and projected deficits and Apple’s having paid for air fare to its headquarters. An article in the Detroit Free Press has revealed that a result of the controversy, the legislators have created plans to pay the U$1,700 air fare back to Apple.
Representative Tim Melton, D-Auburn Hills, was quoted as saying that he hoped the refunded air fare would end the controversy. Melton also commented that the issue has “spun completely out of control”, the disputed US$38 million budget proposal to incorporate more technology in the classroom having been intrepreted as a plan to exclusively buy iPods.
Melton mentioned that Representative Matt Gillard, D-Alpena, ignited interest in the iPod by citing it as a “wonderful learning tool” and saying that House Democrats wanted to put one in the hands of every schoolchild in the state of Michigan.

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