Wide compatibility with third-party equipment; no Wi-Fi bridging
Apple on Thursday clarified its guidelines on its HomeKit home automation platform and its ability to "play well with others" in terms of third-party automation products and their own connectivity platforms. The iPhone maker will allow HomeKit products to be compatible with some competing protocols such as Zigbee or Z-Wave, but there are limits to the compatibility allowed. In addition to requiring an Apple TV for outside-the-local-network remote appliance control through Siri, the unit can act as a bridge to third-party devices.
IK Multimedia launches portable Lightning/USB iRig MIDI 2
IK Multimedia has announced that it is now shipping the iRig MIDI 2, a portable MIDI interface with Lightning and USB connectivity for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac and PC. The device is equipped with three standard-sized female MIDI DIN sockets -- IN, OUT and THRU -- which allow for full MIDI functionality and connectivity with any MIDI-enabled device, such as a keyboard, hardware synthesizer and more. Its two blue LED lights provide monitoring of the MIDI data passing through the In and Out sockets.
828x audio interface with Thunderbolt technology provides comprehensive I/O
MOTU has released its newest audio interface of the 828 series, the 828x with Thunderbolt connectivity. Though still possessing USB 2.0 connections, the 828x provides low-latency performance thanks to Thunderbolt, due to the latter's ability to maintain speed in high-bandwidth applications.
Preliminary specification completed, final version due this fall
MHL, LLC today announced the advancement of the MHL 3.0 specification to address the latest consumer requirements for connecting a mobile device to displays, marking major advancements in the areas of audio and video transmission over an MHL link. With double the bandwidth compared to the previous specification, MHL 3.0 delivers 4K (Ultra HD) resolution and a wider color gamut to create a better visual experience. By using a bi-directional channel that’s significantly faster than MHL 2, the new specification enables concurrent 4K video and high-speed peripheral support of mass storage and input devices such as a touch screen, keyboard and mouse.
USB over Cat 5 extenders
Tripp Lite has released its latest connectivity products, The U224-1R4-R and U224-4R4-R extender hubs that send USB signals over Cat 5 cable. The 1R4 model offers three USB 2.0 ports to connect local peripherals, along with a single-port receiver for connecting an additional remote device. The 4R4 variant allows connection of up to four remote devices to a computer. Users plug the transmitter into the USB port of a computer, then run Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable to the hub at the destination, without the need to install drivers or software.
Missing Sync for Bold
Mark/Space on Tuesday unveiled support for the BlackBerry Bold smartphone in its connectivity software, The Missing Sync for BlackBerry. The company illustrates that The Missing Sync now allows users to synchronize contacts, calendars, Entourage data, iTunes playlists, iPhoto albums and more with the BlackBerry Bold 9000 series handsets. The Missing Sync for BlackBerry is currently selling for $39.95 through its online web store.
Gefen HDMI IR Extender
Gefen on Thursday introduced its newest connectivity product, the HDMI IR Extender. Aimed at custom installations, the HDMI IR Extender will allow users to control their HD source units from another room without having to purchase and run lengthy HDMI cables through their walls. The Sender and Receiver connect via two standard Ethernet (CAT-5) cables, and can deliver 1080p resolution video signals over up to 300 feet or 1080i resolution over up to 150 feet. Audio is likewise transmitted.
Enhance 4/8-drive storage
Enhance Technology has unveiled the new EnhanceBOX E4 MS and E8 MS series external host card (HBA) dependent desktop SAS/SATA storage arrays. The new storage devices offer support for high capacity SAS and SATA I/II 3Gbps hard drives using the latest Mini-SAS SFF-8088 connectivity, and depending on the host cards are configurable as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) or RAID to sustain data transfer rates of up to 500MB/sec. The EnhanceBOX E4 MS is priced at $375, while the EnhanceBOX E8 MS is available for $650.
Leopard issues loom
A month has passed since Apple introduced Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and the upgrade still has several problems to address despite an early patch that fixed numerous others. Time Machine and AirPort Extreme connectivity issues remain unsolved, even as Time Machine and Aperture data corruption plague Leopard users alongside windows that seem to vanish when using the new 'Spaces' feature. Failed installation attempts resulting from partitioning issues also still stand, as well as the potential for forced reinstalls after attempting to use Migration Assistant to recover data from a cloned disk backup using a utility called 'SuperDuper.'
Leopard network problems
Some users are experiencing less-than-satisfactory network performance since their upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, or from the 10.5.1 update, and are seeking help on Apple's forums (1 | 2 | 3 | 4). The reports vary in circumstance, with some users having troubles on third-party network equipment while others that use the same hardware deny having any issues. Most of the complaints revolve around poor network reception, low speed, and a high ping rate – a type of network command that displays network latency in milliseconds. Most users with the problem seem to believe that it is a problem related to DNS entries, and some are turning to DNS hosting services such as OpenDNS.com.