Thursday, July 21, 2011
There has been some speculation that Apple is getting close to a release or Golden Master build, but judging by 9to5 Mac's initial findings there's definitely some way to go. The Golden Master will probably appear at, or just before, the Apple WWDC in June.
So far, it's looking like the only changes in Preview 2 are the leather bound iCal skin that you can see above, and the main iChat window now combines your AIM, Bonjour and Jabber contacts, like Adium. We're sure that more details will emerge throughout the day, though, and there's bound to be lots of invisible changes, too. We'll update this post when we find out more.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Balance takes that ingrained bit of knowledge and cancels it out. Suddenly your cursor (a blue dot) is solid - and if it touches the blue block, it pushes it around.
Your job is to use your cursor to nudge the blue block over to the orange block. You will have to push it, lift it and even flip it on its side, and then balance it. It's a very tricky game - one I wouldn't recommend tackling with a laptop trackpad.
Still, if you have a mouse and a hankering for a little physics gameplay, this is a cute little game. I like how the blue block never stops smiling, it makes me feel better about the world.
Logitech's LifeSize division is embracing the cloud in a bid to extend videoconferencing's reach, announcing new services and the acquisition of a small mobile video company called Mirial.
Mirial, based in Milan, provides videoconferencing clients for PCs, Macs and a wide range of mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones and Android tablets. Logitech did not disclose the price it paid for the privately held company. It plans to integrate Mirial's clients into LifeSize Connections, a newly announced cloud-based service that lets organizations set up high-quality videoconferencing without investing in their own back-end infrastructure.
Also on Wednesday, Logitech was set to introduce LifeSize Passport Connect, a high-definition endpoint system designed to be used with the cloud-based service. Passport Connect is built around a Logitech webcam and is priced at US$1,499, well below other LifeSize end systems.
These latest moves fulfill goals that LifeSize CEO Craig Malloy laid out earlier this year, to bring two-way videoconferencing to mobile devices and introduce Android clients. The company had announced one-way video streaming to Apple iOS devices in February. A tie-in between the LifeSize Passport video system and Skype, announced in April, presents another method of bringing mobile users into meetings. However, Microsoft's announcement later that it plans to acquire Skype has raised questions about that arrangement.
New, high-powered mobile devices, which put sharp screens and fast processing in the hands of employees nearly everywhere, represent the biggest growth opportunity for videoconferencing, according to Malloy and others in the industry. Analysts expect the market for room-sized meeting systems to grow slowly over the next few years because of high costs and space requirements. Mobile devices are quickly proliferating and offer a way for more workers on the road to participate in video meetings.
Cloud-based services are also a growing trend in videoconferencing. Smaller businesses are demanding these services now so they can save the cost of infrastructure, but large enterprises will also embrace the cloud, according to Frost & Sullivan analyst Roopam Jain.
On Tuesday, 8x8 introduced the 8x8 Virtual Room service for small and medium-sized enterprises, powered by the Polycom UC Intelligent Core software platform. Users will be able to join Virtual Room meetings via a Web browser or on Polycom HDX video systems or VVX business phones videoconferencing endpoints. 8x8 Virtual Room starts at $199 per month, with limited-time introductory pricing of $99 per month for the first year. Broadsoft also announced it will use Polycom's platform to build cloud-based UC services for service providers to resell.
Mirial offers free mobile clients in the Apple and Android application stores. It makes money by selling client software for PCs and Macs and a complete client/server architecture that enterprises can set up in their own facilities. Its client software works with other platforms that are based on industry standards, including ones from Polycom, Cisco Systems and LifeSize, said Michael Helmbrecht, vice president of product marketing at LifeSize.
Following the acquisition, which was expected to close before Wednesday, LifeSize will immediately begin selling Mirial's products through its own channels and will continue to sell and support them for the time being, Helmbrecht said. Mirial and its workforce of about 25 people will remain in Milan. Over time, its clients will be ported over to LifeSize's cloud-based services so mobile users can join in, he said.
LifeSize Connections, the cloud service announced on Wednesday, is designed for enterprises that don't want to invest in videoconferencing infrastructure themselves but want something more than a simple Internet-based video system. With it, LifeSize will provide all the key components of a dedicated video meeting system, including firewall traversal and bridging, delivered from a cloud infrastructure.
Initially, LifeSize Connections will only be available on dedicated LifeSize endpoints, PCs and Macs. But soon the mobile clients from Mirial will be included, and LifeSize will also add support for third-party videoconferencing systems, Helmbrecht said.
The LifeSize Passport Connect system is the first LifeSize product to incorporate a Logitech device since the companies came together in 2009. When Logitech acquired LifeSize for $405 million in cash, some observers questioned the wisdom of the purchase because of Logitech's strong consumer orientation. LifeSize is mainly focused on enterprise products. The integration of low-cost equipment from Logitech could help to expand the market for videoconferencing, Frost & Sullivan's Jain said.
The Logitech camera it uses is a 720p HD device. Passport Connect includes name-based dialing, so participants can be added with the click of a button, and a presence display to show whether those users are available. In addition to the LifeSize Connections service, it works with Microsoft OCS (Office Communications Server) and Lync, as well as communications platforms from Alcatel-Lucent and Avaya. With a one-year subscription to LifeSize Connections, buyers can get the system for $999, the company said.
The most notable addition to the new interface is is smooth page transitions -- the fade in and out -- and navigation tabs (maps, images, videos, etc.) now persistently float at the top of the page. WinRumors is also reporting that a feature reminiscent of Google Instant search is being added to Bing, with page elements smoothly transitioning in and out as you type in your search query.
If you want to try out the new Bing UI, your best bet is to set your locale to United States - English and pray that you're part of the initial roll out. Alternatively, just wait a few days until MIX 2011, Microsoft's Web developer conference, which is when the new Bing UI should be officially launched.
- Share from Photo page: There's a new sharing option on each and every photo page. When logged off, the button shows only Facebook and Twitter options. But once you log on, you get Tumblr and Blogger too, and can configure other sharing venues as well.
- Share non-public content on Facebook: This doesn't sound like a great idea, but you now can share private photos on Facebook if you're so inclined (and if you trust your privacy settings).
Francisco on Jan. 27, according to an official invite
sent to media and analysts, who widely expect the device in question to be a
In typical Apple fashion, the invitation itself is short on details and
big on style, featurin...