On Gear Live: Top 10 Gear Live tech stories of 2015

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Microsoft drops prices on Windows Vista line

Windows Vista price dropSo, has been around now for a good thirteen months, and in that time, it has seen much criticism. If you’ve been on the fence about switching or upgrading to Vista, we are sure that is hoping that their upcoming price drop will be enough to get you to make the move. The new pricing details will be as follows:

  • Windows Vista Ultimate: $320, down from $400
  • WIndows Vista Ultimate Upgrade: $220, down from $260
  • Windows Vista Home Premium: $130, down from $160

The price drops are expected to coincide with the shipment of the first major update to Vista, Service Pack 1.

Read More | Reuters

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Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope is introduced

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Microsoft, Software, Videos

We knew that Research had something pretty amazing up its sleeve after talking to a few people at the company, in addition to having dinner with Robert Scoble, who told us that what he saw brought him to tears. As it turns out, it is the WorldWide Telescope that had people in awe. After watching Roy Gould introduce the software in the above video during TED, we have to say, we agree. Think of the WorldWide Telescope as the equivalent to the full-featured version of Google Earth - except that the WorldWide Telescope software is free, and instead of looking at the earth in extreme detail, you get to peruse the cosmos instead. I mean, watch the video to see how truly mind-blowing this technology really is. Look for it to be available for download this Spring for the Windows platform. No word on how beefy a machine you will need to run it as smoothly as it worked in the demo - but here’s hoping that everyone who downloads the WorldWide Telescope will be able to enjoy the same experience seen here.


iPhone 1.1.4 Firmware Update now available, already jailbroken

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iPhone 1.1.4 firmware

Looks like we have new firmware as well this morning! In addition to refreshing their MacBook and MacBook Pro lines to Penryn processors, has also released the new iPhone 1.1.4 firmware. Go ahead and check for a new update after connecting your iPhone to iTunes. Of course, if you are

jailbroken or

unlocked, you may want to wait for a bit while everything gets figured out. Apple is saying this release is all about bug fixes - but we are hoping there is also some iPhone SDK magic in there somewhere.

EDIT: Okay, if you are jailbroken, go ahead and update. ZiPhone still works, and will jailbreak the just-released 1.1.4 firmware update…although the developer recommends waiting until he can fully test. Your call.


iTunes 7.6.1 released

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Movies, Music, Software

iTunes 7.6.1

With 7.6, we got movie rentals, among other things. We also got nice, tight integration between iTunes and Take 2. Today, Apple released a small point upgrade in iTunes 7.6.1, which focuses on “several” bug fixes as well as an improving compatibility between iTunes and Apple TV 2.0 software. Here is the full scoop from Apple themselves:

Rent and download your favorite movies with iTunes on your computer or directly to your living room on Apple TV. Enjoy rented movies in sizes up to 720p HD with surround sound on your Apple TV and sizes up to DVD-quality on your computer. Transfer your rented movies from iTunes to your iPod or iPhone and enjoy them on the go.

Also, purchase and download your favorite TV shows, music, and more directly on your Apple TV. Effortlessly transfer purchases made on Apple TV back to your computer with iTunes.

iTunes 7.6.1 includes several bug fixes and improves compatibility with Apple TV software version 2.0.

Anything that eliminates bugs sounds good to us. Fire up Software Update to pull in the new version.


Can TaxCut Replace CPAs?

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Misc. Tech, Software

TaxCutWe know a few CPAs that moan and groan about loss of work because of H&R Block, but since April 15 will soon be arriving we wondered just how useful their TaxCut software is. The program goes step-by-step and if you have questions there is a FAQ pop-up and a Tax Advisor option for online advice. If you previously used Quicken or TurboTax, it will import all its data. There are also tax tips and videos for more assistance and tax-planning for the future. DeductionPro can help you chop off a few more bucks. Available at prices starting at $39.95, check out PC Mag if you are interested in their comparison with the ever-popular TurboTax.

Read More | TaxCut Store Store

Google Shows Off Android Run Prototype

Google PhoneThis week during the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google showed off its software platform Android for cell phones in solid form. Acquired in 2005 and launched last year, the company rounded up a team to show how it may look. They also announced the formation of the Open Handset Alliance, 34 handset manufacturers, carriers and chipmakers that will support Android. Based on open-source coding, Google is counting on the prototype to give the competition, including Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM a run for their money. Hooray for free enterprise.

Read More | c/net news

Leopard 10.5.2 update now available

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, PC / Laptop, Software

Leopard 10.5.2

Time to fire up Software Update yet again, as the 10.5.2 update has just been released. We knew this one was meant to fix a ton of stuff under the hood of the OS, and the file size we are seeing is pretty much in line with that. A whopping 341 MB download. 10.5.2 includes fixes for Active Directory, Airport, Back to my Mac, Dashboard, Dock, Desktop, iCal, iChat, iSync, Finder, Mail, Networking, Parental Controls, Preview, Printing, RAW Image support, Safari, Login and Setup Assistant, System, Time Machine, as well as a few other areas. We told you it was big. Hit the Read link to get the full scoop, as this download might take you a few minutes…

Read More | Mac OS X 10.5.2 Update Notes

ooVoo Records Chats

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Internet, Misc. Tech, Software

ooVoo logoThe latest 1.5 version of ooVoo in beta offers its users the ability to record chats. The free software also offers visual effects, two free hours of call time, and importing of contacts from e-mail. Have video parties with up to six of your friends or conferences with business buddies. You can add it to your blog or MySpace page and view its tasks on a sidebar. The price is right, but be careful that you don’t say anything you don’t want to be used against you. Sign up at the ooVoo Website.

Read More | ooVoo

iPods Cross Language Barrier

Vcommunicator

Even the military is Apple friendly. It has supplied iPod software to soldiers that speaks Arabic and Kurdish so that they can chat with the local population The report, issued in February’s National Defense Magazine, says that they are guided by a Vcommunicator application, which can also be used to read maps, study missions, and can be connected to a speaker or megaphone. What do you suppose the locals will do when one of our troops slips up and plays a bit of U2 by accident? The technology will soon be available for us civilians.

 

Read More | Computerworld

QTrax Music Makes its Debut

QTrax logoQTrax appears to be available with 25 to 30 million copyrighted tracks for file sharing. The free service is funded with advertising revenue that the company shares with music labels and will operate without spyware and pop-up adware. Users can exchange and download tunes, hopefully without the hassle of sites such as Limewire. QTrax then counts the number of times each song is played to compensate both artists and rights owners. USA Today reported yesterday that the coming out party was delayed after it was found that the company hadn’t quite finalized all the details, but we managed to download the beta service this morning without a hitch. We have yet to put it to a test drive, however, but we noticed that 30,000 others were utilizing the service.

Read More | USA Today

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