Apple promises ‘to turn this around’ and gives away two more months of free MobileMe service

Apple today said it will give away two additional months of free MobileMe service to both paid and free trial account users, on top of previously announced free service extensions. Users who had to deal with MobileMe’s rocky launch and its service outages are compensated with a total of 90 days of free service worth $24.75.

Nvidia demonstrates interactive real-time ray-tracer

Ray-tracing is one of the big topics gamers and graphics enthusiasts should pay special attention to these days. AMD already demonstrated Transformers and Ruby Ray-traced demos using pre-rendered and real-time rendered voxels, Intel is busy working on its own ray-tracer, and now we are seeing much more obvious ray-tracing material from Nvidia as well.

Microsoft to unveil Windows 7 features next month

There is no denying that the initial news about Windows 7, Vista’s successor, weren’t especially great for Microsoft. Vista is by far not as successful as Microsoft would have hoped and Windows 7 will have to carry the company until a completely new operating system, speculated to be code-named Midori, will be available. So, will Windows 7 be another Vista? Will it lag behind OS X Snow Leopard? Is multi-touch UI really as great as Microsoft claims it will be?

Microsoft: Digital software distribution to surpass retail sales

David Gosen, vice president of strategic marketing for the Xbox and Xbox Live in Europe, threw a big one over the crowd that was listening to his speech at Microsoft UK Gamefest developer event: "There is no question digital will overtake physical. It happened in music and it will happen to our industry."

Yahoo unleashes Fire Eagle – and a potential privacy nightmare

Yahoo introduced a new open location-based services (LBS) platform called Fire Eagle that helps users publish their current location to the Web, while giving them the ability to control how and where their location data is shared. Geodata are shared with authorized applications on the Internet, mobile and desktop applications. It is easily the best LBS approach we have seen so, and easily the front door to a privacy nightmare scenario for people who do not fully understand the concept of online privacy and its implications.

Google turns the iPhone into a universal translation device

Google's online translation service is one of the most valuable free translation tools available today. However, it did not work very well on mobile platforms until recently, forcing travelers to bring their pocket translators along. That scenario, however, could change with a Google Translate version that is optimized for the iPhone.

I am Rich: Apple’s AppStore has no room for software that just looks pretty

This one does not come unexpected. An application that poked fun at the fact how much money people are shelling out for their iPhone and the wealth that the AppStore has created for some developers was yanked by Apple early Thursday: The $1000 “I am Rich” application that got famous through thousands of media articles published around the web is no longer available.

AMD ditches Close-To-Metal, focuses on DX11 and OpenCL

Considering the big news coming out of Intel this week (Larrabee) and the expected big News from Nvidia within the next two weeks (x86 CUDA), AMD is under pressure to match its rivals: AMD is making substantial changes to its GPGPU software strategy and announced at its GPG CTO Technology Day that it will ditch its Close-To-Metal platform and switch to OpenCL.  

IBM leaves Redmond, pitches Microsoft-free desktops

IBM prepares a big rollout of its Lotus Symphony office suite and what better marketing to support the launch than an anti-Microsoft pitch? IBM said it has “joined forces” with big Linux distribution providers, such as Canonical and Novell, to deliver “Microsoft-free personal computing choices“ by 2009. There are always reasons why you should love to hate Microsoft, apparently.

Apple preps fifth Leopard update with more than 80 patches

Apple has begun to more aggressively update its Mac OS X operating system and is now patching the operating system with regular minor security updates and incremental updates pretty much one a month. The fifth update for Leopard was handed to developers last week and will be making its way as Mac OS X 10.5.5 to end-users soon.

Adobe adds new features to Photoshop Express

Adobe has updated its free online image editing and sharing service Photoshop Express (PE) with new features such as drag-and-drop image uploading, tagging, one-click resizing presets, improved printing options, music tracks, refreshed web galleries and an integration with an online photo printing service.

Sun previews JavaFX

Sun Microsystems released today a preview version of JavaFX, a set of tools to create Java-based Internet applications. The first full version of JavaFX for Desktop is set for delivery this fall. JavaFX for Mobile is expected to debut next spring.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0: 64-bit power under Windows and OS X

Adobe today announced Lightroom 2.0, Adobe’s first native 64-bit application using OS X Cocoa APIs. The new version of the workflow and photo management software, is first out of the gate in this discipline, ahead of Aperture, Apple's own photography post-production application that remains at 32-bit for now.

Leaked memo offers a peek inside Steve Ballmer's head

The Microsoft CEO has Apple, Yahoo and Google in his sights and will deliver a $300 million ad campaign to address any lingering doubts about Vista. He will try to copy-cat Apple's vertically integrated approach; turn Microsoft into the leading enterprise software company in the world, and squash Linux. He will push into subscription software services and will make sure that the cloud remains an extension of desktop applications, not a replacement. He stressed that Microsoft is still after search, against Google, with or without Yahoo. To show that he means business, he let one of his key generals leave, split his division into two and reshuffled executives. This is the summary of Steve Ballmer's leaked memo aimed at boosting his troops' morale. It also offers unique insight into Steve Ballmer's new head. Still as shiny as the old one, but perhaps a little wiser, and maybe more determined. Or, have we heard it all before?

Gmail going both ways in six weeks

Gears is one of the lesser known technologies from Google but people who live in the cloud have found it invaluable to bridge the divide between offline and online applications. The technology enables offline functionality in Gears-enabled web applications, meaning you can continue to use both web application and your online content while you are not connected to the Internet. The search giant currently offers offline functionality in Reader and Google Docs but Gmail and Google Calendar are next.

Survey predicts upgrade disaster for Windows Vista

Microsoft painted a rosy picture of increasing Windows Vista demand during its most recent quarter conference call, but the reality may look different, if the results of a survey of systems management appliance is somewhat correct: Apparently, six out of ten IT Managers have no plans to replace an older Windows operating system with Vista and almost all say that the recently released Service Pack 1 did not change their opinion and almost half of respondents said that they may be considering other operating systems as alternatives to Windows Vista. Is Microsoft gambling the huge enterprise client market away?

Apple says sorry again and gives away another free month of MobileMe

Last week, Apple offered customers that were hit with performance issues of the fancy new service one month of free service. This week, the company follows up and offers another free month to those affected by outrageous preauthorization charges for free trial accounts. It appears that MobileMe is finally back on track.

The iPhone finally pwned, but still locked

It took just ten days of iPhone 3G availability until the iPhone Dev Team announced the release of its PwnageTool 2.0, which enables iPhone owners to jailbreak the device’s 2.0 firmware. However, don't get too excited as the group has not yet found a way to unlock the iPhone 3G from AT&T’s network.

MobileMe update: What is still missing and incomplete

If you have been using the MobileMe free trial or paid membership since day one, then you know that the service did not have an exactly stellar launch. Now that the most annoying service issues have been resolved, we were able to take a closer look at what is missing, what is not working and which features we can hope to see with future service updates.

Apple says sorry and gives away a month of MobileMe for free

Apple's new MobileMe cloud service has been hit with a series of unexpected performance and reliability issues that spoiled the Friday launch. While the company struggles to iron out various issues it is finally stepping forward to acknowledge problems. In an email letter sent out to all MobileMe users, Apple says that the .Mac to MobileMe transition was "a lot rockier than we had hoped."