After what has seemed like forever for Skype loving Mac owners, the Skype 5.0 beta has now been made available to all of you OS X lovers out there. The biggest improvement made? Group video calling! Here's Skype's Mac product manager with the details:
The new Skype beta also has a completely redesigned interface with a single window paired with a control bar and floating dial pad for Mac address book integration. The window is large and early reports are showing high CPU usage and a lot of unused white space. Hopefully future releases handle some of these issues; it is a beta release after all.
Did you hear that? It's the sound of new apps pitter pattering little feet running around the room.
Windows Phone 7 app submissions are now open for all developers. Full details, info and instructions can be found at the official App Hub. Get to it! Let's see how great the apps for WP7 can be!
Let me know when someone has Angry Birds up on it!
It looks like the Enterprise sector, RIM's bread and butter, may be slowly edging away from the BlackBerry platform. Several major companies are making the switch, with more possibly on the horizon.
Dell released today that their 25,000 employees are being offered the Venue Pro, a Windows Phone 7 powered device, to replace their BlackBerries. Bank of America and Citigroup, two major players in the banking industry, are seriously considering leaving BlackBerry for the iPhone. A couple of major factors in RIM losing what used to be a fairly solid grasp on the enterprise market is their lack of apps when compared to other platforms as well as the increased focus on enterprise accessibility by the competition.
"We have seen that the giants are all awakening in the mobile space and other players like Microsoft have incredible software presence in the enterprise, and no doubt they will leverage that to win," said Al Hilwa, director of applications-development software at IDC.
Could you imagine a Kinect-enabled iMac? It really could have happened. Inon Beracha, CEO of the company that developed the PrimeSense sensor that is the brains behind Microsoft's upcoming Kinect technology, originally approached Apple with the technology when trying to get it off the ground in 2008.
So why didn't Apple end up with the tech? It sounds like the same reasons anyone gets grumpy about dealing with Apple: contractual demands, NDAs, and piles of paperwork that made it a pain to do business. Apple's insistence on secrecy forced Beracha to go elsewhere; therefore giving Microsoft the ability put together the Kinect package that so many of you are waiting for.
Although the rumor mill is warning us to take this bit of news with the usual amount of skepticism, a source at IntoMobile is stating that a trusted source is circling November 11th as the date for the Android 2.3 SDK to be released. The fact that this is only three days after Samsung's secret launch party, where some believe a Gingerbread based device will be unveiled, make it a semi-likely target date.
The SDK release doesn't mean that regular users will start seeing it on their phones; it merely means that the Gingerbread code will be available to developers and those who decide when you get your updates. Then again, those in the hacking community will likely bring Gingerbread to devices within days, if not hours, of the SDK hitting developer hands.
Our Mobile App of the Day today is Skyfire Web Browser.
After having to shut the app down due to an overwhelming demand crushing their servers and causing slow and jerky playback, Skyfire is available again for iOS devices. This web browser converts Flash content to HTML 5, allowing things like Flash video to be played on devices that aren't currently Flash-friendly.
Skyfire became the number one paid app in only five hours of uptime before they listed it as "sold out" de to server issues. Skyfire is releasing the app again in batches and is currently US-only as they continue to upgrade their hardware to keep it running. Skyfire is also an excellent solution for pre-Froyo Android owners that also don't have native Flash on their devices. Search the Android Market for Skyfire if you're on Android; it's a free app for you. iOS device owners will have to pony up $2.99 on iTunes.
Geeks like computers and many of us really like small form factor and barebones rigs from Shuttle. Shuttle makes some great little machines for those looking to put a tiny HTPC in the living room or get a desktop that takes up little space in the office. Shuttle has announced a very special deal for Newegg fans that ends today that can save you up to $75.
The special deal comes by way of a coupon code that can be entered during checkout at Newegg for any Shuttle barebones machine. The discount code gives the buyer 10% off and is EMCZZYR22. All you have to do to get the special deal is enter that code during checkout.
For years we could get our hands on lots of factory, overclocked video cards from NVIDIA, but ATI would not allow the card partners to overclock its cards. This was ok for many enthusiasts because they like to overclock their cards themselves. The catch is that overclocking the card could void the warranty so some enthusiasts preferred the factory overclocked cards.
Today we can get overclocked ATI cards directly from card partners to offer better performance right out of the box and keep the warranty intact. The latest factory overclocked ATI card comes from Club 3D and is called the Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 Overclocked Edition. The card is the same as the other HD 6850 cards on the market save the higher clock speeds on the GPU and memory. The card has a GPU clock of 820MHz and a memory clock of 4400MHz.
Home theater fans often need a bunch of different adapters and accessories to get their system working exactly how they want it to work. If you want a home theater with the same image on multiple screens for a video wall, you need some sort of splitter. Gefen has announced a new splitter called the 1:4 Splitter for HDMI with FST and 3D.
The splitter comes in white or black colors and can be wall mounted. It has a single HDMI input and four HDMI outputs. It works with HDCP for protected Blu-ray content and splits the source to four different screens with no loss in resolution or video quality. The splitter supports pass-through of 3D video and lossless audio formats.
It seems like it was just last week that Blu-ray burners were a thousand bucks and almost no one had them. Once HD DVD died off the price for Blu-ray players and drives for computers started to come down and today you can pick up a BDR for your PC pretty cheaply. Sony Optiarc has a bunch of Blu-ray drives that it offers for computer users and it has added a couple new offerings to its line.
Both of the new drives share the same features and the only difference is that one of them is packaged for retail sale and the other is an OEM drive. The drives are both half-height 5.25-inch internal optical drives that use the SATA port for connectivity. The drives can burn to single layer 6x media at 12x speed.