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Dell under fire for alleged patent violation
CNNmoney is reporting that PC maker Dell is being sued for allegedly installing compression technology without licenses. Six companies, including Mitsubishi and Sony, filed suit Friday against the PC giant; the companies control 380 patents relating to MPEG-2 technology. The lawsuit states that Dell's promotional material describes the benefits of its DVD-equipped machines, their compatibility with the MPEG-2 standard and their ability to decode and play DVD movies. In 1996 the patent owners, including Apple and the six companies involved, formed a limited liability company, MPEG LA, which licenses the patent portfolio to 330 licensees worldwide.
c|net: iPod with iTunes \'like Sonny and Cher
c|net has posted a two-part review of both Apple's iPod music player and iTunes software. The c|net staff says the iPod is the best MP3 player they have ever reviewed; iTunes remains the best audio jukebox for Mac users. In both reviews, c|net calls for better Windows support, although they maintain that when Mediafour's XPod software is released (for Windows compatibility) the iPod review will be updated.
Neoprene iPod cover available in 5 colors
Marware, Inc. has announced a new line of neoprene sleeves for the iPod, named SportSuit Sleeves. These 3mm thick covers include a "small stretchy pocket in the front for earphone storage and a rotating belt clip on the back. The case contains a plastic insert in both front and back that protects the iPod from impacts." Available in 5 colors, the SportSuit retails for $20 and will begin shiping the week of December 17th.
Quicken 2002 Release 2 fixes outstanding bugs
Intuit's Quicken 2002R2, a second maintenance release to its financial management package, has been released. This fixes calculation issues in in the Security Detail Window, restores a few Investment Actions functions, and fixes freezes when using saved preferences to print a check.
Alarm Clock 4.5 fixes bugs; improves GUI
Reader Report: Windows Media Player for OS X
MacNN reader Nate Caplin writes "Here at Streaming Media East in New York, Microsoft is handing out CD's containing the just completed Microsoft Windows Media Player for Mac OS X. The gentleman at the booth said it is the "final code", not a beta or pre-release version."
Utility adds 1099 support to QuickBooks
Aatrix Software has released a 1099 utility for Intiut's QuickBooks. The utility uses QuickBooks export functionality and formats the information to the required 1099 layout.
Woz to be on \"The Screen Savers\"
MacNN Reader Eric Hand notes that Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, will appear tonight on TechTV: "Just saw that Steve Wozniak will be a guest on The Screen Savers tonight on TechTV. The show airs live at 7PM EST and is rebroadcasted at 10PM and 1AM EST."
Reader Review: ViaVoice for OS X
We've posted a review of ViaVoice for Mac OS X from MacNN reader, Robert H.
DesktopGB: Compact and compatible storage
WiebeTech has launched DesktopGB, a small and fast FireWire/USB storage device. The device, which lays on its side, takes up only 9.0in x 2.25 in of space, and includes support for Firewire, USB 1.1, and the forthcoming USB 2.0; sizes range from 40GB to 80GB. Pricing begins at $160. The company also announced MicroGB, the world's smallest FireWire, USB 1.1, and USB 2.0 storage device. DriveDock, another new device, enables any 3.5" hard drive to be a USB external storage solution. Both are due to ship in January.
IOGEAR ships USB 2.0/FireWire Combo PCI card
IOGEAR is shipping its $130 USB 2.0/FireWire PCI combo card, which features two external and one internal USB 2.0 ports and two external and one internal FireWire ports.
REALbasic 4 to ship in January 2002
REAL Software announced today that REALbasic 4 will be available in January 2002 and is offering a free upgrade to all purchases after December 1, 2001. Version 4 will bring improvements to the IDE as well as EditField, ListBox, Canvas, Shell, and multimedia components. It also supports external Project Items and compiled RbScript. REALbasic 4.0b3 is available for download now. Upgrades will be between $30 and $90 for v3.5 owners. It will be available in Personal ($150) and Professional ($350) editions. [Classic, Carbon]
JumpStart ships two new Education CD-ROMs
Knowledge Adventure is shipping JumpStart Languages, a new $30 software title that prepares children ages 3 to 6 to learn a second language (Spanish, French, Japanese and English). The company is also shipping JumpStart Explorers, a new $30 CD-ROM designed for students in grades pre-K to 2. It introduces children to age-appropriate history and social studies curriculum as they travel back in time with famous explorers on educational expeditions around the world. A $40 license for the teacher's edition includes two copies of the software and teacher edition includes lesson plans, and lab pack for 5 users is $120 (site license for 15 users is $325).
Totally Hip announces Education initiative
Totally Hip has launched its new LiveStage Professional Educational Development Program, which is "designed to assist educators in integrating interactive video authoring with existing core new media programs at a reasonable cost." It offers a 50-seat site license for $5,000 as well as a certification component that may be added to the site license, complete with course materials and classroom workbooks with supplementary CD ROMs.
ImageDroplet 1.0b1 converts file formats
ImageDroplet 1.0b1 is a free utility for translating the format of still image files via drag and drop. (Other useful utilitiesi include SimpleImageViewer 1.0 to view, perform limited editing of, and translate the file formats of images from a large variety of image file types and X-Droplet 1.0, user configurable droplet application for modifying the attributes of single or batches of files. It is particularly useful for adjusting the file attributes used by Mac OS X such as creator and file types, name extensions, privileges, and locks.) [ID, SIV, XD]
OS X: release of OS X 10.1.2, Alcatel drivers
osx.macnn.com has reports on the forthcoming release of OS X 10.1.2, Tri-Backup 3.04, the latest Alcatel SpeedTouch USB drivers, and other updates.
Jobs\' MWSF \'02 keynote moved up one day
Apple and IDG today announced that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will kick off Macworld Expo 2002 in San Francisco with the opening keynote presentation on Monday, January 7, 2002 at 9:00 AM instead of the previously scheduled Tuesday keynote, making this year's MWSF five days long. [updated]
Tri-BACKUP 3.04 adds full volume restore
Tri-BACKUP 3.04, a free update to the backup utility for OS X, adds the ability to create a complete (bootable) backup of an OS X, which can be used to restore part or all of OS X. Other changes include "fuzzy" date matching to prevent unnecessary backups, more synchronization options, an option to exclude aliases, and other enhancements. The $50 utility is a $30 upgrade for registered users of previous versions (free to v3.0 owners).
Alcatel posts OS X drivers for ADSL modems
The latest Speed Touch USB v1.4.3 drivers now support OS X and are available for residents of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, and UK.
ShredIt X 5.0: Cocoa-based privacy utility
Mireth Technology has released ShredIt X 5.0, a Cooca-based version of its privacy utility that securely deletes files and folders. It includes a Safe Place feature which allows you to protect important documents from accidental deletion. A demo of the $20 shareware is available online.
OS X 10.1.2 may be released today
MacNN sister's site, MacGeneration, reports that Mac OS X 10.1.2 is "ready for primetime" and could be released as early as today (later this evening). The 30MB update will bring numerous fixes, including USB and FireWire improvements, PC Card management, PowerBook IrDA modem support on FireWire PowerBooks as well as as updated components such as AirPort 2.0.2, Apache 1.3.22 and AppleScript 1.8.
Mac port SWIG 1.3.10 adds PHP module
SWIG-1.3.10 is a compiler that connects C and C++ with a variety of scripting languages including Perl, Python, Tcl, Guile, and Ruby. Version 1.3.10 features "substantial" changes to typemaps, exception handling, and SWIG's internals and also includes support for C++ operator overloading and an experimental PHP module.
FileMaker products receive SIIA honors
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has honored FileMaker database software products as finalists for two prestigious Codie Awards, selecting FileMaker Mobile as a finalist for Best Handheld Application, and FileMaker Developer 5.5 as a Best Software Development Product finalist. The awards will be presented April 15, 2002 at the SIIA annual conference. (In 2001, FileMaker Pro 5 Unlimited won the Codie Award for Best Numeric/DatabaseSoftware.)
Sonnet announces Crescendo/7200 v1.0.2 driver
Sonnet today officially announced that its Crescendo/7200 v1.0.2 driver upgrade, noted here several weeks ago, provides OS 9.1 compatibility for the Power Mac 7200, 7215, 8200 and Workgroup Server 7250 machines and extends support for the recently released Sonnet Tempo ATA100 PCI Host Adapter as well as increases total RAM capacity to 768MB (384MB on the Crescendo/7200 card and 384MB on the motherboard). The Crescendo/7200 upgrade is available in G3/400/512K ($250), G3/400/1MB ($300), and G4/400/1MB ($400) versions.
FileFreak 3.5.3: keyboard app launcher
John Scalo's File Freak 3.5.3, a $13 shareware utility for Mac OS 9 and OS X which allows you to quickly access your files by just typing a few letters, fixes a memory leak that could lead to redraw problems or the application quitting unexpectedly.
Ircle 3.1b12: IRC client adds long file names
New Classic and Carbon versions of Ircle 3.1b12, the popular IRC client, are now available on the Web. It adds support for long file names (supported on OS 9.1 thru OS X), fixed a few text display bugs (and a "rather large memory leak"), and improves compatibility with OS X (requires OS X 10.1). [Classic, Carbon]
Reader: Early G4/400 cannot be upgraded
Stephen Falk notes that early versions of PPC G4 (with the Uni-North: 3 memory controller) are not compatible with Sonnet's dual G4 upgrades: "Go into the go to the Sonnett home page and you'll find out the process involved in getting this uni-n 3 number it's under the Apple Profiler. I thought I had at least a few years of life with this machine with upgrades."
Dr. Bott ships Auto Charger for iPod
Dr. Bott is now shipping its $25 Auto Charger for iPod, which connects to the standard12 Volt DC cigarette lighter found in most any car and provides power to the FireWire port of the iPod.
Tech: Piracy seizures, broadband surge, P4
Early morning tech news: Federal agents carried out dozens of raids today against the ""DrinkOrDie" warez group, seizeing computers and hard drives in at least 27 cities in 21 states in raids on businesses, university computer centers, Internet service providers and many residences; High-speed Internet connections in homes has surged this year to more than 21 million; and Intel is planning the stealth introduction of a chipset that will allow Pentium 4 computers to use DDR (double data rate) memory.
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