Office for Mac 2011 gets first major patch

November 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, News

The patch is 110.5MB, and deals mainly with stability problems that could lead to programs freezing, or simply quitting entirely. Only Outlook has not received any stability tweaks.

The suite has a whole has been upgraded with forms-based authentication for connecting to SharePoint servers, and a bugfix that allows documents to be edited when copied back to ChemDraw. Other corrections ensure proper results in Excel, and allow accurate display of numbered lists in PowerPoint. Although not prone to locking up, Outlook has had several glitches eliminated, including ones with Sync Services, deleted keychain passwords and lost mailing list rules.

Apple preps Mac App Store

November 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, News

Asking developer to submit their applications for inclusion in the service.

The Mac App Store is due to debut for consumers with Mac OS X Lion, the next generation release of Apple’s operating system, and offers simple access to both free and paid-for applications across Apple’s entire Mac OS X range of laptops and desktops.

The launch of the Mac App Store follows the stellar success that Apple has experienced with the App Store on its iOS-based devices, originally launching with the iPhone and iPod Touch range and now encompassing the iPad. With an easy route for developers to offer their software, free or paid, to consumers, and a simple purchase mechanism for those looking to download something new for their computer, it’s proven undeniably popular with both crowds.

The App Store isn’t without its problems, however: often vague requirements and restrictions placed on developers can mean that applications submitted for inclusion in the Store are rejected, or removed without warning by Apple.


Vettel drives Red Bull X1 on Gran Turismo 5

November 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Car Tech, News, Videos

Mercedes-Benz confirms production of CLS Shooting Brake

November 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Car Tech, News

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed plans to put the CLS Shooting Brake into production in 2012, with the swoopy wagon set to be built along side a handful of other Benz models at its plant in Sindelfingen.

Originally shown in concept form at the Beijing Motor Show earlier this year, the CLS Shooting Brake will likely debut in production guise early next year. The standard CLS sedan powertrains will carry over to the wagon, including the CLS63 AMG version debuting at the LA Auto Show next week.

The CLS Shooting Brake will go into serial production: As of 2012, the sporty four-door Coupé with sloping tail end based on the CLS will roll-off the assembly line in the Mercedes-Benz Plant Sindelfingen.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board Daimler AG and H ead of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “In 2004, Mercedes-Benz established a new vehicle segment with the four-door Coupé CLS and created a design icon. 170,000 customers around the globe show how enthusiastic this car has been received by the market. The decision to build the CLS Shooting Brake underscores the leading role of Mercedes-Benz in regards of innovative passenger car concepts and design – and that is exactly what the customers expect from us.”

Sindelfingen, as largest production location of Mercedes-Benz globally, will add another model to its manufacturing portfolio. Currently, the plant is building the C-Class Sedan, the E-Class Sedan and Estate, the S-Class and the coupés CLS and CL as well as the Maybach models and Mercedes-Benz Guard vehicles. Recently, the plant started to produce the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and a small series of the B-Class powered by a fuel cell. As of 2014, the Mercedes-Benz SL will also be manufactured in Sindelfingen. The decision for the CLS Shooting Brake also reflects the flexibility of the plant: The new model will be build on the same production line as the CLS and the E-Class Sedan.

Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Production and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans: “This new model with its high emotional appeal is another highlight for the Sindelfingen plant. The location decision is an evidence for the significance of the plant as competence centre for the luxury class. The CLS Shooting Brake will contribute to a sustainable capacity utilization in this core location of our production network.”

The fresh and exciting interpretation of the emotionally-appealing Coupé-based design had its premiere as a show car at Auto China in April 2010. Now, this insight by Mercedes designers into the possible future development of the Coupé concept will become reality. In 2012, the CLS Shooting Brake will be launched to the market.

Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars: “The CLS still makes waves with its fascinating design and wows customers for our brand. With the new generation of the CLS we expand our pioneering role in this segment. We aim to extend this success story with the CLS Shooting Brake and complement our product portfolio with another appealing model. This car is based on the great tradition of a stylish, cultivated sportiness which has always characterised the great Mercedes Coupés, and it takes this unique legacy an exciting step further. At the same time it points the way towards the future design idiom of Mercedes-Benz.”

The proportions are clearly those of a coupé: the long bonnet, narrow-look windows with frameless side windows, and dynamic roof sloping back towards the rear. It is only when taking a second look that it becomes clear that the Shooting Brake actually has four doors and a large rear lid. The model features some astonishing proportions which at the same time are clearly reminiscent of another design icon – the CLS.

It’s all in a name: the origins of the name “Shooting Brake”
Break, or the homonym Brake, was the name once given to carriages used to “break” in wild horses and also to restrict (or “brake”) their urge to move, so that they could be put to use as work horses. Since the carts could easily be broken as part of this process, people tended not to use ones which they may have urgently needed for other purposes. Where necessary, “Brakes” were often fitted out with variable bodies, which were only really used to carry along anything that may have been necessary for the hunt, for example. Any such vehicle which was used when going out shooting was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. In the 1960s and 1970s motorised Shooting Breaks were popular in Great Britain – exclusive cross-over vehicles, which combined the luxuriousness of a coupé with extended space on offer and additional variability.


AMD Radeon HD 6970 gets early hard details

November 9, 2010 by  
Filed under News, Video Equipment

AMD’s expected graphics range-topper, the Radeon HD 6970, surfaced over the weekend with some of the earliest specs and photos. The card should be a single-chip design and should pack 1,536 stream (visual effects) processors, or slightly less than the 1,600 of the 5870; performance should get faster with 96 texture units versus the older hardware’s 80. It may be the first reference design, single-chip mainstream video hardware to have 2GB of RAM onboard, according to Fudzilla‘s anonymous sources.

The photos from a Zol forum don’t confirm more than the block-like cooling on the board, but the official AMD card is designed to carry two DVI ports, two Mini DisplayPort connectors and HDMI. Its thermal design may be an issue, as it may have thermal peak power less than NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 580 but has the potential to use more.

Release timing for the 6970 isn’t certain and may be in flux. One leak has claimed that chip yield problems at AMD’s manufacturing partner, TSMC, have prevented the new Radeon from shipping for an intended end of November release. With less than 10 percent of 6970 chips at an acceptable quality, AMD can’t make enough stock, TechEye said. The slip may push the faster 6000-series card into early 2011 and leave just theRadeon HD 6870 as the most recent graphics component.


Windows 8 to include automated cloud backup, Live services integration

November 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry, News

little bits of information about what to expect from the new OS will start to leak out. Microsoft has posted two new job listings on its site that gives a good clue as to what we can expect when Windows 8 launches.

According to, Microsoft posted a new job listing that states:

“We are currently working on a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup. Many of the features we develop have ended up in the Windows Client and Windows Server OSes.”

The job posting does leave a lot to speculate but its safe to say that Microsoft is working on a way to integrate cloud based backup solutions as an option in Windows 8. Another job listing states that Microsoft is looking to further embed its Live services into Windows 8 too:

“Want to work on products that your friends and family use every day? Windows Live designs and runs some of the largest web applications in the world. We are Cloud Directory Platform, and our services are used by Windows Live, Office, Windows Mobile, Xbox, Bing, and MSN-branded properties. We are the backend of Windows Live providing identity (LiveID), contacts (ABCH), and social graph (SUP) for individuals and Microsoft services and applications. For the most part, you would know these as Messenger and Hotmail, as well as the entire Windows Live suite. We are seeking a highly motivated individual to come join our team and pour passion and talent into building some of the most used services on the planet. We are a growing team with a strategic and highly visible charter helping to build and operate some of Microsoft’s most strategic Internet assets. Our service supports hundreds of millions of users, who exchange billions of instant messages, photos and email each day, and store billions of contact relationships in our service. We live the life of “software and a service” every day, at high scale and you will play a pivotal role as we integrate our online services with Windows 8.”

These little bits of information dont provide much detail about Windows 8 but do provide a general sense of direction. It’s safe to say that we will probably see deep integration for cloud based backup solutions as well as Live integration into the Windows 8 platform. As the technology world moves forward, the line between Internet and desktop OS becomes a little bit more obscure.


Galaxy tab sales expected to go BOOM this year and next year

November 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry, News, Smartphones

We’ve already heard Samsung boast that it expects to ship 10 million Galaxy Tabs by next year, and the company’s now back at the prediction game yet again, with mobile biz president J.K. Shin saying he expects the company to sell a million of them this year alone — given that the end of the year is fast approaching, that translates to a million sold in just under 60 days. As if that wasn’t enough, Shin also told Nikkei that Samsung expects to sell 40 million smartphones in 2011, which is more than double its projection for this year — of those, it obviously expects the majority to be Galaxy S phones, but it has quite a way to go from ten million it expects to sell this year. Incidentally, Shin also dropped another hint that Samsung would “soon” be releasing a 10-inch Galaxy Tab, but he doesn’t seem to have provided any more details than we’ve heard before.


Apple could have had Microsoft’s Kinect controller?

November 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, News

The company whose technology is behind Microsoft’s new Xbox Kinect, originally tried to sell it to Apple. What went wrong and why didn’t Apple get it? Yup, secrecy and control!

Apple has a history of interface innovation, of course, and had recently introduced the iPhone with its paradigm-shifting multitouch UI. PrimeSense’s system went one step further: It was multitouch that you didn’t even have to touch. Apple seemed like a natural fit.

Yet the initial meetings hadn’t gone so well. Obsessed with secrecy, Apple had already asked [PrimeSense CEO Inon Beracha] to sign a stack of crippling legal agreements and NDAs.

He shook his head. Why didn’t he want to do a deal with Apple? No need. The technology was hot. He could sell it to anyone.

I just got an Xbox Kinect and have been testing it out. The setup was a bit long and the only game I’ve tried so far is Kinect Adventure. (Farbod says Kinect Sports is better). We’re standing about 7-feet away and it works well enough for a single player but has issues with 2 players. We lose the second player a lot. I’m going to try lowering the lights and seeing if we can increase the distance.

Contrast this with using the original iPhone’s multitouch, which in my experience and in published tests is still not matched by other phones, and it’s easy to see Apple did a great job and really polished the experience before they released it.


Clamshell-keyboard case for iPad by Crux.

November 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, News, Products

Crux has unveiled its Crux360 clamshell-keyboard Bluetooth case for the iPad. The case works in four modes. Laptop Mode turns the iPad into a netbook, while Movie Mode allows users to twist the screen to face the opposite way to the keyboard to watch movies. Tablet Mode flips the screen to lie flat against the back of the keyboard for e-reading and Carry Mode allows the screen to be closed facing inwards to protect it from damage.

The case is designed in a way that allows all ports and buttons to be accessed while protected. It is currently up for pre-order on the Crux website for $149.


Dell rejects 25,000 BlackBerrys for Windows Phone 7

November 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry, News, Smartphones

Dell Inc. said it plans to move 25,000 BlackBerry employees over to Windows Phone 7 starting next week. The move is a direct shot at Research In Motion in order to help promote its own Dell Venue Pro, running Windows Phone 7, in a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Now that both Dell and RIM are competing head-to-head, the decision to move their 25,000 employees over to Windows Phone 7 is the obvious choice. This move is not only to help promote Dell’s own brand of Windows Phone 7, but to help cut costs, by up to 25% in mobile communication servers needed to run expensive BlackBerry service.

Dell also plans to begin marketing their Windows Phone 7 handset to business clients within the next two weeks, attempting to get them to ditch their BlackBerry’s, iPhone’s and Android handsets to make a similar switch.

Research In Motion passes this off as nothing more than a publicity stunt, “we find it highly unlikely that they will actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity,” said Mark Guibert, vice president for corporate marketing.

This move by Dell may trigger other Microsoft affiliated companies to make a similar switch, which could help promote Windows Phone 7 as a business phone, rather than a personal device.


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