Corel buys MetaCreations titles

Corel buys MetaCreations titles

Corel and MetaCreations announced Corel’s acquisition of four MetaCreations software products yesterday.

Corel is taking over MetaCreation’s Painter, Kai’s Power Tools, Bryce and KPT Vector Effects packages. The products are widely used by graphics artists, the KPT series are top-selling plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and Bryce is a 3D landscape creation and animation program.

Corel acquires everything associated with thee products, including marketing materials, customer lists, URL’s, trademarks and existing Painter patents.

Kylee MacKay, Corel’s media relations manager, UK & Ireland, said: “Corel is definitely committed to the Mac. We are beginning immediate development on these products for the Mac market. 60 per cent of MetaCreations current business is on the Mac.”

She continued: “Corel plans to roll out Corel-branded versions of these products towards the end of the year, and Corel and MetaCreations intend releasing an update to Painter very soon.” The update will be made available to registered users from the MetaCreations Web site.

MacKay added: “We intend to continue to develop Painter as a stand-alone product. Painter offers leading-edge painting technology for Photoshop users.”

Bryce 4 is set for release by Corel in the next few months. Corel has also contracted Mark Zimmer, Tom Hedges and John Derry, creators of MetaCreations Painter, and plans to recruit additional MetaCreations engineers to assist in the development of its new product lines.

Michael Cowpland, Corel’s CEO, said: “This acquisition fits into our strategic vision of offering world-class applications for multiple platforms.”

Technical support for the products will continue to be handled by UK distributors.

iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending March 14

iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending March 14

With spring stirring, so is the iOSphere’s optimism, not to mention Wall Street’s. The thrilling prospect of a Big Screen iPhone 6 is prompting visions of an upgrade tidal wave.

Also this week: more hints of iOS 8, a work progressing; a patent for a range finder sparks dreams, somehow, of “Kinect-like” motion sensing and 3D..something or other; Digitimes discovers the perils of questioning the Dawn of the Age of Sapphire.

+Also on Network World: Hands on with iOS 7.1: A few good improvements |  Best Instagram accounts of enterprise technology companies +

You read it here second.

iPhone 6 will have a 5-inch screen, and zillions of iPhone and Android users will upgrade

The 5-inch screen that the iPhone 6 is bound to have “will lead to a big replacement cycle that may poach customers of Samsung,” writes Larry Dignan, of ZDNet. “That theory is what has analysts getting wound up about Apple’s earnings prospects.

Dignan gets a bit wound up himself at the prospect.

He cites comments by two stock analysts. One is Pacific Crest’s Andy Hargreaves: “We believe Apple can sell a 4.7-inch iPhone at a subsidized price of $299, which should generate incremental gross profit on replacement sales and attract new customers that had previously purchased Android phones specifically for a larger screen.”

“Is the chorus of analysts right about the iPhone 6?” wonders Dignan. “Probably. As noted before, the Android launches of late have been lackluster. Apple just doesn’t have to do much with the iPhone 6 beyond offering a larger screen. Other improvements are likely to be gravy.”

Somehow, The Rollup thinks it all may be a bit more…complicated.

When Apple announced the iPad with Retina display, it increased the starting price from $329 to $399, a 21 percent rise presumably in response to the higher costs associated with the advanced display. The screen assembly for a larger-than-4-inch iPhone also will be more expensive. Today, the starting price of the iPhone 5S is $199, with a two-year contract. Hargreaves is estimating that a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will sell for $299, which is a 50% increase.

It’s really unclear at this point what Apple intends with the iPhone brand. The 5C was the first extension. If it deems the time is right for a larger-screen phone, will that be for a single, high-end model the follow-on to the 5S? Will it be a third model? Will Apple stick with two models and give them both the same sized larger screen? Is the company really prepared to increase the price of its phone?

Those questions make Dignan’s assertion “Apple just doesn’t have to do much with the iPhone 6 beyond offering a larger screen.” sound a bit oversimplified.

iPhone 6 firmware iOS 8 to have improved iCloud integration

Finally, a rumor that is actually based on reporting.

Screenshots purporting to be of iOS 8, and details of new cloud-focused apps that could appear in the next release this year, continue to crop up.

9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has been on top of trying to confirm and elaborate on both.

In one post this week, he shows images first posted on the Chinese-language website Weibo. “Even though the source of the images is absolutely uncertain, I have confirmed with several sources that these shots are legitimate,” he writes.

Here’s one shot, showing part of the home screen. Honestly, The Rollup couldn’t see any real differences when comparing this image with one of the just-released iOS 7.1. As was the case with 7.1, the visual changes in iOS 8 may be quite subtle, with more attention paid on addressing issues that Apple didn’t have time to deal with in the fast development of iOS 7, leading up to its release in September 2013.

That becomes apparent in Gurman’s earlier post, where he explored information about two new iCloud apps for iOS, along with some new developer tools.

“Apple is developing versions of the Mac operating system’s Preview and TextEdit applications that are optimized for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch,” Gurman writes. “The applications are said to not be designed to actually edit PDFs, images, or text documents. Instead, the apps are built to serve as tools to view Preview and TextEdit files stored in iCloud by OS X. Apple added iCloud synchronization for Preview and TextEdit with OS X Mountain Lion, but has not yet released iOS counterparts to actually view the synchronized content.”

IOS users will work with the iBooks app to edit and manage PDFs, with iWork’s word processor Pages for other documents, and the new iOS Preview and TextEdit apps to view and sync the cloud-stored documents created on a Mac.

Gurman’s sources tell him development is still in early stages and that it’s not yet clear whether these new apps will ship with iOS 8.

Also on tap: “Apple is said to be researching new iCloud storage tools to make the development of server-integrated App Store applications for iOS simpler,” Gurman writes. “Developers have long complained that building App Store apps that rely on iCloud is a complex and unreliable process. This potential future initiative would be designed to resolve those issues.”

iPhone 6 to have “Kinect-like” motion sensor

This is the typical “if it’s an Apple patent, it will appear in the next iPhone” rumor.

“On March 13, two new published patent applications hinted at Apple’s foray into three-dimensional images in mobile devices,” writes Precious Silva in a post at TheBitBag. “The patents also describe a system allowing better ways mobile phones can connect or work with laptop computers. Will Apple really introduce a Kinect-enabled iPhone?”

The answer to that is almost certainly “not in 2014.” The BitBag post, with the headline “Apple iPhone 6 to Feature Kinect and Force-Detecting MacBook Trackpad,” was pure clickbait.

It was based on an AppleInsider post by Shane Cole, who covered two newly published Apple patent applications: one dealing with what Cole terms a “Kinect-like iPhone motion sensor,” the other a “force-detecting MacBook trackpad.” We’ll focus on the motion sensor.

You can find the text of the patent application online at the US Patent and Trademark Office website. 

The application “relates generally to range finders and more specifically to range finders integrated with imaging technology.” Range finders are used “for determining a proximate range or distance of a target object” and the text briefly summarizes them. According to the application, “currently available range finders often do not provide the desirable accuracy and performance that many applications require.”

So why would you want that? Lots of reasons apparently, including (from the text): “to map a space for inventory control, space planning, space navigation, and photo sharing; for 3D object scanning and pattern matching; as a navigation aid for the visually-impaired to detect landmarks, stairs, low tolerances, and the like; as a communication aid for the deaf to recognize and interpret sign language for a hearing user….”

Well, you get the idea. It is recommended to not hold your breath as you await these wonders.

From what The Rollup can tell, the invention described in the document uses light emitters embedded in the phone to send a beam through a fixed or moveable lens. The beam hits an object in front and reflects back through the same lens. Circuitry and software figure out the distance between the phone and the object.

So basically, it’s for a more accurate range finding technology that can be embedded on a mobile device and combined, somehow, with “imaging technology.” Whether that means the iPhone gets “Kinect-like” capability, or just a “Kinect-like” range finder, is something that only time will tell.

Just don’t expect it on the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 will have sapphire glass on only about 16 percent of units

We’re kidding a bit with that headline.

The rumor in question is the conviction that when iPhone 6 is released later this year, the traditional Corning Gorilla Glass screen cover will be replaced by synthetic sapphire, produced in raw form at Apple’s new Mesa, Ariz., plant. Its partner is GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT), which has expanded from being a supplier of sapphire furnaces to also being a supplier of sapphire material. Apple is buying over a half-billion billion dollars in furnaces and related gear from GTAT, which apparently will operate the equipment at the plant.

There are a whole bunch of still-unanswered questions about Apple’s plans and its schedule.  

This week, a brief Digitimes story, which sketchily summarizes a new report (apparently only available for purchase) from the company’s research arm. That report claims that “typical production cost for a 4-inch sapphire wafer is $30.” (Currently, this appears to be true, but it’s a price that GTAT has been working to break.) The Digitimes research apparently then works backward from what it says is GTAT’s forecast of sapphire revenue for the balance of 2014, in the $188 to $348 million range, and factors in other data based on assuming that Apple may introduce an iPhone 6 with a 5-inch screen.

The result is an “output of 6.27-11.6 million 5-inch sapphire-made screen covers,” according to the summary blogpost. “As Digitimes Research estimates that Apple will ship 70 million units of the new-generation iPhone in 2014, the output of sapphire screen covers from GTAT will account for 9.0-16.6% of the iPhone shipments.”

This analysis is being disputed, particularly by GTAT investor Matt Margolis in a blogpost this week. The weakest point in Digitimes analysis is the sapphire revenue estimate.

“GT’s management had stated a few weeks ago during their latest conference call that sapphire would account for more than 80 percent of their 2014 revenue,” Margolis notes. “Their 2014 revenue estimate was $600-800m; at 80+ percent [for] sapphire that would account for $480-640m in sapphire revenue. The company did not break out revenue between sapphire equipment (ASF furnaces) and sapphire material.” This matches The Rollup’s own notes taken during that earnings call. GTAT also said that the bulk of this revenue would come in the latter half of 2014.

Margolis also talked with a leading materials industry analyst, Eric Virey, of the French consulting company Yole Développement, which covers an array of components and materials markets. “Eric estimated that GT could make sapphire screens at $6.40 per unit and they would be sold for $8.00 unit….He also estimated that 42m units could be made in 2014 and more than 85 million in 2015.” Margolis argues that Virey is very (implying “overly”) conservative in his estimates and that output, at least, could be higher.

It would probably have to be in 2014 to meet demand for a large-screened flagship iPhone. In October to December 2013, Apple sold a total of 51 million iPhone, though that included 5S, 5C, and at least some 4S and 4 models.

All of this data, or rather its interpretation, is already being mangled by the iOSphere. At 9to5Mac, Peter Mayo happily quoted Margolis to discredit the Digitimes Research conclusions but then showed he hadn’t read Margolis, or Virey, very closely.

“GT is expecting more than 80% of its revenue in 2014 to come from sapphire and this would require production of a lot more than 11 million units,” Mayo writes. As noted, that revenue includes both sapphire material, such as the project with Apple, and sales of sapphire manufacturing equipment. “9to5Mac has already reported that Apple has procured enough sapphire machinery, through GT, to make over 100 million iPhone screens a year,” Mayo continues.

The question is when that level of production will or can be achieved. Mayo for example ignores Virey’s estimate that the GTAT/Apple plant in Mesa could deliver material for about 42 million iPhone covers by year’s end, and then double that by the end of 2015.

Virey, as quoted by Margolis, thinks that given the size of the Arizona project, the most likely use of sapphire in this quantity will be in smartphone screens and not, for example, cover glass for a rumored smartwatch. But Tim Cook has recently reiterated that Apple will be introducing new product “categories” plural later in 2014. There’s at least a chance that sapphire glass might feature in one or more of these, and move into smartphone screens in 2015.

iPhone 6 will have a microUSB charging port, because of EU regulations

This is a pageview-engineered rumor, erroneously based on the latest news that the European Union has extended its “support microUSB charging or die” rule from smartphones to tablets.

The news of the extension was reported by, among others, KnowYourMobile, in a post by Paul Briden. “A while back the European Union passed into law a requirement that all smartphones sold within its member states use microUSB chargers, but crucially, that legislation didn’t cover tablets,” he writes, unhappily. “Happily, this has now changed, as the EU has expanded the statutory law to include tablet devices.”

Even though this rule extension doesn’t apply to the iPhone 6, or to any smartphone, David Gilbert at International Business Times created a post saying that it did, with the clickbait headline “Will EU Ruling Force Apple to Change iPhone 6 Charger?”

It’s on ominous post. “An EU ruling will force all smartphone manufacturers to use microUSB chargers from 2017 – potentially causing trouble for Apple,” he writes.

Except it doesn’t. For years, Apple has complied with the smartphone microUSB mandate by offering an adapter for its older 30-pin connector and the newer Lightning connector. The adapter is acceptable under the EU mandate.

As Gilbert, at the end of his own post, admits. “If Apple didn’t want to give up using its proprietary ports, it could possibly get around the legislation by including a lightning-to-microUSB adaptor in the box with every new iPhone, iPad or iPod.”


John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.Twitter: [email protected]

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Pokemon X Y – Leaked Legendaries Diancie, Volcanion, and Hoopa | Pokemon X and Y

Pokemon X Y – Leaked Legendaries Diancie, Volcanion, and Hoopa | Pokemon X and Y

Hoopa is just too dang cute for me

Some dedicated Pokemon X Y fan has found a way to access the files hidden away in the game cartridge. This has lead to the leaking of a few unreleased Pokemon, three of which are brand new legendaries.

The most interesting part of these new legendaries is that they are special types: fire/water, ghost/psychic, and rock/fairy. So far, only one rock/fairy type exists: Carbink; the other two types have yet to show up in-game.

Pictured above is Volcanion. It is a fire/water type. It looks sort of goofy until you make the association of it being sort of like a hadron collider.

Even then it is still goofy.


Pictured above is Diancie. It is a rock/fairy type. It’s got some sweet-looking crystal pigtails. I wish I could get my hair to look like that.

Long lost twin?

The header image is a picture of Hoopa. Hoopa is the ghost/psychic type. This will make for an interesting type match up against other Pokemon.

Where and When Can I Find These?

It is not known where or how you will get these legendaries yet. The current speculation is that they will be available in the locked power plant areas on Route 13. Perhaps this will be unlockable via DLC. They could also come out as event Pokemon, like the Torchic and Giratina that are/were available recently.

I think the DLC idea is the most likely. There have been other leaked images of previous legendaries Mew and Arceus. This means that they are already in the game files and are probably awaiting unlocking DLC and/or possible region DLC.

Adding further to the case for DLC are all the NPCs in game that mention another region. This has been speculated as either Hoenn or a previously unreleased region. Going by the remakes of Kanto and Johto, it would not be surprising if Game Freak remade the third generation games.

Need more information about the game? I’ve got you covered with Professor Neckbeard’s Pokemon X Y Walkthrough.


Battlefield: Hardline Beta confirmed for Xbox One, Won’t Be Same As Playstation 4 Version

Battlefield: Hardline Beta confirmed for Xbox One, Won’t Be Same As Playstation 4 Version

Right now only Playstation 4 and PC gamers are enjoying the beta of Battlefield: Hardline, but pretty soon Xbox One owners will also receive it, as per the details confirmed by DICE’s GM Karl Magnus Troedsson. In addition to this, Magnus confirmed that content of Battlefield: Hardline beta will be different from that of what Playstation 4 owners are enjoying.

Battlefield: Hardline

“We will have a beta on on all platforms before release,” said Magnus in a recent interview with our friends at OXM. But it won’t be this beta on Xbox. It’s not going to be the same version, just to be clear.”

“We basically have code in the hands of players already, here at E3. We’ve never done that before,” said Troedsson. “We do it both because we want their feedback of course, but also because in the background we are testing various things. We’re going to continue doing more tests like this.”

So Xbox One owners rest assure you all will be getting beta as soon, timing and other details will be reveal in coming days. So stay tuned.



Intel launch could mean new MacBook Pro on 24 April

Intel launch could mean new MacBook Pro on 24 April

Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors, which are expected to feature in new MacBook Pros, may ship on 23 April. This could mean a new MacBook Pro could launch as early as Tuesday 24 April.

As we reported yesterday, Authorised Apple resellers are suffering from low 15in MacBook Pro stock, which suggests that Apple is slowing production of the current MacBook Pro line-up in preparation for a redesigned MacBook Pro launch.

Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor announcement had been anticipated for the end of the month, but according to DigiTimes sources it has been bought forward to 23 April, with various notebook manufacturers planning to release ultrabooks in May. Apple is expected to be the first manufacturer to launch an Ivy Bridge-equipped laptop.

The new MacBook Pro line-up may include a new thinner and lighter 15in MacBook Pro, borrowing its styling from the MacBook Air. As a result the optical drive will be removed and the traditional hard disk drives will be scrapped in favour of SSDs. Later this year MacBook Pros with up to 800GB SSD could become available, after Intel announced new solid-state drives with storage of up to 800GB.

Fallout 4 gameplay trailer snuck into Fallout Shelter update video

Fallout 4 gameplay trailer snuck into Fallout Shelter update video

Bethesda announced update 1.2 for Fallout Shelter, which would include Survival Mode, cloud saves, and a new dweller, Piper. The publisher released the update’s official trailer yesterday, and snuck in new gameplay footage of Fallout 4.

In the new gameplay trailer, we see Piper grilling the Vault Dweller whether or not he supports the news. His response of “what newspaper are we talking about?” gets Piper to discuss her position writing for the Public Occurrences, where she claims “we’re the hard look at the truth.” Piper then invites the Vault Dweller back to her office for an article she feels he’ll be perfect for.

The animations of Piper show there’s been a lot of improvement to the Fallout series. We can see more natural facial animations, higher detail to clothing, and actual finger movement. Hopefully, all interactions in Fallout 4 will be as detailed as this conversation with Piper, and if it is, then we’re in for a noteworthy experience when the game releases on November 10, 2015.

You can view Piper’s conversation in the video below starting at 24 seconds in.

Expo: Farallon networks reach for Sky

Expo: Farallon networks reach for Sky

Farallon announced new wireless products at Macworld Expo, New York – including the SkyLine Access Point and its PCI wireless Ethernet card for Macs – as well as the NetLine Broadband Gateway. All should ship this autumn.

The Access Point is a wireless ethernet solution, capable of supporting up to 30 users at connection speeds up to 11Mbps, at distances of up to 150 feet. The speed can also be dropped, in certain instances, to improve link quality or distance. The Access Point is built to work with Wireless PC Cards, such as Farallon’s SkyLine 11Mbps card, or Apple’s AirPort cards.

Mac challenge
The SkyLine PCI card offers an 11Mbps connection for all PCI Macs. Ken Haase, Farallon’s vice president of marketing, said: “The development of this card is a challenge. The Mac OS doesn’t really like the idea of a network bridge through its PCI set-up, it doesn’t come naturally to it.” He added the card’s price would be similar to its Wintel equivalents.

The NetLine Broadband Gateway is aimed at DSL and cable modem users, and links a broadband connection to an Ethernet network. The solution offers both DHCP server and Network Address Translation (NAT) support. It is built to allow a single IP address to be shared by multiple computers simultaneously over a network. It includes Web-based management features, can support Macs and PCs, and provides firewall features for “always-on” Internet connections.

Wireless broadband
The Gateway can be used with Farallon’s SkyLine wireless solutions to create an Internet-connected, wireless network for school, home and small-business users. It will support up to 253 addresses, and will be a plug-&-play solution, automatically configuring the machines on the network with their own IP addresses.

Of Apple’s new G4 Cube, Haase said: “The Cube puts the Mac at the centre of an entertainment system.” He seemed excited by the possibilities the Cube has to offer home entertainment and domestic networking. Hinting at future products, Haase said that Farallon is watching the emerging standard from HomePlug, for network connectivity over existing electrical networks, very closely.

Rovi signs multi-year deal with Apple

Rovi signs multi-year deal with Apple

Rovi Corporation, billed as a digital entertainment technology leader, which enables the digital home entertainment experience, has signed a multi-year deal with Apple.

The Mac maker will use Rovi technology in future Apple products, although details of the deal remain confidential.

Rovi specialises in digital home entertainment technology solutions enable consumers to intuitively connect to new entertainment – from many sources and locations.

The Wall Street Journal reports Rovi shares rose 7 per cent to $45.52 in recent trading and have now gained 47 per cent year to date and 22 per cent over the past three months. Rovi shares hit a new 52-week high of $47.19 earlier on Monday.

Google rejects Viacom’s copyright claims

Google rejects Viacom’s copyright claims

Google has rejected claims that it enables copyright infringement on its web ite, its first response to entertainment giant Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit filed in March.

In documents filed Monday in the US District Court, Southern District of New York, Google outlined how it plans to defend itself against Viacom, which along with the damages wants an injunction to prevent further use of its content. Google requested a jury trial.

A cornerstone of Google’s defense will be the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which has safe harbour provisions that relieve carriers and hosting providers from responsibility for copyright offences as long as they remove the material.

“By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for Internet communications, Viacom’s complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression,” Google said in its response.

Google, which completed its $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube in November, said it provides tools for copyright holders to find their material and uses technology to prevent videos from being reposted after they have been removed.

Viacom has contended that those tools aren’t adequate, and filed suit in March about a month after demanding that Google remove 100,000 clips from YouTube.

Viacom filed a list of offending clips, including some from “MTV Unplugged,” “The Ren and Stimpy Show” and “The Daily Show.” The media company’s properties include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures.

Jade Dynasty: Legacy Announced 

Jade Dynasty: Legacy Announced 

Perfect World Entertainment announced a new expansion to its free-to-play martial-arts MMORPG, Jade Dynasty.

In Jade Dynasty: Legacy, players explore the secretive Incense Valley while fighting through the massive multi-staged instance, which is larger than any other dungeon currently available in this game.

Key features include:

• Two New Classes: Players can now choose between the powerful, fire-wielding Incense Valley Mages and the crippling, melee-astute Forta.
• New Instance: The Crimson Peaks Voidland is the largest instance in Jade Dynasty, designed for groups of 10-25 players to face its many dangers and claim its secreted rewards.
• Character Visuals: Character creation has been reworked, providing new visual examples of each faction, new starter fashions and even the ability to preview high-level armor sets.
• Balance and Enhancement: Several facets of gear and combat have been reworked, from rebalanced factions skills to stronger Ethereal and Celestial gear.
• Content Updates: New wedding and seasonal events, more items available for exchange with new Jade types, and more easily attainable Treasure Boxes are but a few of the many other changes.

For more information about Jade Dynasty: Legacy, or play the beta, visit: