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Apps: LaunchBar, Image Viewer, X-Plane, ...
Objective Development has released LaunchBar 3.2.7 ($20), an update to the its productivity utility for Mac OS X. Version 3.2.7 adds the ability to read the bookmarks from Safari, Apple's new Web browser. Aditionally, this version adapts more quickly to the user's preferred abbreviations making it much easier to re-assign already used shortcuts. It also features enhanced compatibility with the latest Chimera builds and improved Unicode support. [Download - 242KB]
Adobe Image Viewer 4.0 is now available for Acrobat Reader 5.0 and later. It allows users to view Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) slide shows and eCards created by Adobe Photoshop® Album with audio, video, and transitions. Details of the update are not available. [Download - 3.0MB]
X-Plane 6.5.1 address in issue whereby simulated geared propeller engines would "slip" and not match the engine speed. X-Plane is the a general-aviation flight simulator for Mac OS X. It features hardware-accelerated texture-mapped graphics, dynamic speech synthesis, full-planet terrain-mapped scenery, helicopters, and the widest range of aircraft. [Download - 8.0MB]
VueScan 7.6.2 is a maintenance update to Hamrick Software's $40 scanning program. This update adds support for the Microtek MTMA transparency adapter, works with OmniPage for Mac OS X, address a "slow startup" issue some Circon scanners, and corrects a number of other bugs. It is comptatible with Mac OS 9 and OS X. [Download - 2.2MB]
M-Audio introduces USB surround sound device
M-Audio today announced Sonica Theater, a USB-compatible device that enables any compatible computer to output 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. It provides "crystal-clear audio quality" and 24-bit/96kHz audio playback and recording. In addition to playing DVDs and music in surround sound, Sonica Theater "makes games more realistic" and can be used to record or mix music. Users lacking a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system can still enjoy surround results from Sonica Theater, thanks to its built-in virtual surround sound technology for stereo speakers or headphones. The Sonica Theater package ($100) includes bundled software with full versions of MixMan Studio, and Arkaos VJ Lite for Mac, in addition to other Windows-only software.
Viewsonic unveils multi-use LCDs
Viewsonic has introduced two LCD display product lines that serve as complete solutions for both computer monitoring and television viewing. ViewSonic's VT series -- which starts at $500 -- provides a component-type approach to LCD TV for consumers who seek high performance when viewing PC data, video and TV content on an LCD. Consumers looking for an integrated LCD TV solution can "realize their desires" with the company's new N series displays (starting at $700). As the newest additions to the series, both the 15-inch N1500 and 18-inch N1800 feature built-in TV tuners.
Apple releases QuickTime 6.1 via SUCP
Apple today posted QuickTime 6.1 via the Mac OS X software update control panel, which Apple says "delivers a number of quality and performance enhancements for audio, video, and full screen playback," including improved MPEG-4 video with more accurate rate control and improved visual quality, new AAC encoder controls bit rate options, significant encoding and decoding performance improvements to DV video, and enhancements in full screen playback, including newly enabled keyboard shortcuts for movie control, faster entry and exit, and improved playback performance.
Memorex 4x DVD, 24x CDRW media available
Memorex has announced new, high speed DVD and CDRW media. The 4x DVD media and 24x CD-RW Ultra Speed media burn at twice the speed currently available with other media. The DVD media is available in DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD-R formats and is priced from $11 (3-pack of DVD+R). The CD-RW media is priced at $8 for a package of 5 discs.
USB ThumbDrive now stores 256MB of data
The Memorex USB ThumbDrive is a small, key chain size device capable of storing 256MB of data, photos or MP3s. It can read at 700KB/s and writes at 350KB/s. The $180 device will be available this month; 512Mb and 1GB capacities are expected later this year. [site not updated]
Actiontec launches new 802.11g products
Actiontec today announced a complete family 802.11g wireless networking products. The line will include a 54 Mbps Wireless Gateway combining an ADSL modem with a wireless networking router as well as a 54 Mbps PC Card, Access Point, Router and Ethernet Adapter. The Actiontec Wireless-G products will be backward-compatible with older 802.11b infrastructure. The first products in the 54 Mbps line will begin shipping in the February/March timeframe. It will include support for the new Wi-Fi Protected Access security standard scheduled for launch this year (as well as 40-bit WEP, 128-bit RC4 and 152-bit RC4 data encryption), a unique second PC Card slot in the Actiontec 54 Mbps Wireless Gateway that will support a variety of network-enhancing expansion cards, (such as a Bluetooth cards), and support for advanced networking and management features, including SNMP, IP filtering and roaming.
ViewSonic joins MSFT, Intel on video device
ViewSonic has announced plans to join Microsoft and Intel in the initiative to create a new category of mobile devices -- a portable video player. The ViewSonic PVP (Portable Video Player) combines the functionality of a MP3 jukebox, a portable DVD player and a digital photo album into one device. Based on the Microsoft Media2Go platform, it features a 3.5" 240x320 color display and a 10GB hard drive. Pricing info is not available. [site not updated]
Minolta DiMAGE F300 digital camera announced
Minolta has made an addition to its DiMAGE digial camera line, the DiMAGE F300. It features a 5.3 megapixel 1/1.8-type interline primary-color CCD with 5.0 million effective pixels for high-resolution images. It also incorporates a built-in 3x optical zoom, three aspheric lens elements and a 4x digital zoom. The slim, aluminum camera is not yet priced. [site not updated]
Griifin shows FM transmitter for iPod: iTrip
Griffin Technology this week introduced the iTrip, a FM transmitter for the iPod that can broadcast songs to any radio. The $35 device does not require a battery (uses the FireWire port to draw power), allows you to choose any radio station on the dial, and has a 30-second automatic shut-off. It is available for pre-order now and will ship in the Spring. Other show specials include $5 off (as well as free shipping) on its iCurve ($40) laptop stand, PowerWave USB audio interface and desktop ampflier ($100), and PowerMate USB controller ($45).
Brother intros 2 new labeling systems
Brother has introduced the PT-3600 Professional Electronic Labeling System ($300). The commercial labeling system features 360-dpi resolution, prints industrial strength, 1.5" labels, includes a full-size, QWERTY keyboard and more. Brother has also introduced the P-Touch PT-1900, a low-price, general use labeling system. It has a 20-character (10 x 2 line) LCD display with font viewer, the ability to produce two fonts, 8 type sizes, 8 type styles including normal, bold, outline, shadow, italic, italic bold, italic outline and italic shadow and vertical. Pricing begins at $80.
Canto announces Internet Client Pro w/Cumulus
Canto has announced Internet Client Pro, an application that allows users to create dynamic web pages allowing visitors to search for images and other documents using a standard Web browser. The new Cumulus Option lets users catalog assets, edit metadata, publish archives and market assets online. The software will be available in February 2003.
c|net: \"Macintosh: An Acquired Taste\"
c|net's Enterprise Computing and Personal Technology editor, Michael Kanellos takes jabs at Expo attendees and Apple's announcements , calling Keynote "completely impractical", saying the 17" PowerBook is "not all that different than 16" screen models from Sony and Toshiba" and dismissing the 12" PowerBook as merely "a mininotebook" that "outside of Japan... few people will buy". In addition, Kanellos repeatedly pokes fun at the Macworld Expo crowd, noting audience members who "drunkenly gasped" etc., and how "scary" it would be if Apple was "the guiding force in computing...we'd be up to our necks in graphic artists, freelance DJs and career temp employees."
Bare Feats benchmarks new 12\", 17\" PBs
Bare Feats has posted benchmark results from the new 867MHz 12" and 1GHz 17" PowerBooks. The 1GHz 15" and 17" PowerBooks performed similar, except on Memory and OpenGL Graphics tests, in which the new 17" PowerBook dominated. The 12" PowerBook rated similar in most test to the 800MHz iBook, beating it out considerably in only the Memory Test.
Compal Electronics to produce 17\" PowerBook
Compal Electronics has been contracted by Apple to manufacture the new 17-inch PowerBook that was announced on Tuesday. It is estimated that Compal will supply 200,000 to 300,000 units this year. Toyo Rikaguku Kenkyusho has also been contracted by Apple to produce all the parts of the new Aluminum body.
Harman Multimedia releases 4.2 audio speakers
Harman Multimedia has announced the JBL INVADER ($180), an 80-watt, 4.1 multichannel audio system. It includes 4, 12-watt satellites and a 32-watt subwoofer. The satellites and subwoofer can also be used in a 2.1 setup. It is compatible with all analog stereo and multichannel sound cards in desktop and laptop computers, as well as MP3 players and other CD players.
GraphicConverter 4.5.2 adds SVG export, more
GraphicConverter 4.5.2 is an update to the popular $35 image editing program for Mac OS 9 & X. It adds support for downloading images from digital cameras, SVG export, AppleScript access to TIF options and more. [Classic, OSX]
Olympus debuts new Stylus Digital cameras
Olympus announced today the "Stylus Digital" line of digital cameras, including the 3.2 Megapixel Stylus 300 Digital and the 4.0 Megapixel Stylus 400 Digital cameras. The ultra compact cameras measure 3.8" (L) x 2.2" (H) x 1.3" (W) and weigh just 5.8 ounces. The cameras have an optical viewfinder, a 1.5" color LCD display, an all-glass lens, and functions for Macro Mode; Digital ESP multi-pattern and spot metering; auto white balance; multiple flash settings; and auto bracketing and exposure compensation. Both cameras also capture QuickTime video, ship with a 16MB xD-Picture Card and include a Li-Ion rechargeable battery. The Stylus 300 Digital ($400) will be available in February 2003, and the Stylus 400 Digital ($500) will be available in April 2003.
Apps: WeatherPop, DockFun!, InBooklet
NetRestore is a software deployment tool developed in AppleScript Studio that can be used to restore a master disk image to a computer's hard disk while that disk image is hosted locally, on a network via AFP, or on the internet via HTTP. It can also be used in conjunction with NetBoot to fully automate the deployment of a lab full of machines. It is free for Mac OS X 10.2.2 and later. [563KB]
Image Surfer 1.2 enables you to quickly surf through images, viewing them, rotating them so that they appear upright, and presenting them in a slide show or a high quality DV stream movie compatible with iMovie. The $15 application for Mac OS X adds the ability to export to any QuickTime file format. [495KB]
John MacDonnell has updated DockFun 3.6.6, his $20 shareware application that enables an infinite number of docks under Mac OS X. It has improved memory management, faster rendering, display of opplication icons in the status bar menu, and other core improvements. [2.2MB]
ALAP has released its imposition plug-In for Adobe InDesign, InBooklet 2.1.1, which resolves a number of customer reported issues. InBooklet expands Adobe InDesign's printing capabilities by allowing for fast and easy creation of printer spreads right from within InDesign. The $100 application is available for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [3.1MB]
Glucose today updated WeatherPop 1.6.5, fixing a problem with one of its online data sources that resulted in some missing data in current conditions for US users. It also has several minor localization improvements and changes related to the "Feels Like" feature. An $8 WeatherPop Advance offers 3 to 5 day forecasts, support for International cities, color icons, and other features. [WP, WPA]
CommandSets.com: resource for speech commands
Chuck Rogers Consulting has launched CommandSets.com, a website dedicated to the distribution of voice commands for MacSpeech's iListen, IBM's ViaVoice, and Apple's PlainTalk. The press release says that Command Sets with thousands of unique commands will be introduced later this month for most of Apple's iApps, the Microsoft Office Suite of applications, BBEdit, Acrobat and Acrobat Reader, America Online, Quicken, QuickBooks, and FileMaker Pro as well as other applications.
Ideative debuts FlexUSB connector at CES 2003
Ideative's FlexUSB is dubbed as the "World's first fully adjustable USB connector, which delivers secure positional flexibility in the use and connection of any USB device or cable. [It] maximizes the functionality and ergonomics of peripheral USB devices. It is expected to be available in Q1 2003 for under $20.
Smart Disk debuts Rover storage, PowerPlay
SmartDisk (Expo booth 1142) today announced Rover, its compact portable USB data storage device that doubles as an MP3 audio player: "Small, lightweight and sturdy enough to clip to a shirt, and versatile enough to be used as a USB storage device, Rover is simple and easy to use. The unit slides apart to plug directly into the USB port on a computer and is automatically recognized as a removable storage device." It holds up to 128MB of data and allows up to 12 hours continuous play from one AAA alkaline battery. It will ship in February in 64MB ($100) and 128MB ($150) capacities.
SmartDisk also introduced its new PowerPlay remote control and laser pointer for media presentations. PowerPlay ($70) features a 900 Mhz radio frequency signal with a range of up to 35 feet, even through walls and other obstacles. The $100 driverless USB device is compatible with both Windows and Mac versions of MS PowerPoint. PowerPlay Pro ($120) additionally offers 32MB of flash memory on the receiver unit, which acts a USB storage device for storing presentations. It is expected to ship in February.
designobject adds new iCover material
designobject has released a new version of its iCover screen protection product. The new iCover -- available in iMac-, Studio-, and Cinema-specific versions -- in made from "gray sueded rubber." The iCover is still available in the traditional "quilted platinum fabric." Shipping for orders inside the Continental United States continues to be free.
Safari data, .Mac Address Book sync issues
A thread in Apple's Discussion Forums discusses potential data loss with Safari ("In the blink of an eye, it removed, destroyed, evaporated, my entire Home directory, including the desktop"), which apparently was caused by an aberrant preference setting. Another (in the paid .Mac support forums) explains the delay in the .Mac Address Book Sync feature:
"Our apologies for the delay in responding to your posts. It's been a busy week, and we thank you for your patience...Our engineers are working on some last-minute technical issues, but they are hard at it and we hope to be able to give you more information as soon as we possibly can. If it counts, many of our own staffers are eagerly looking forward to it, too!...We do apologize for the delay in adding this additional feature to .Mac, and can say that we believe it will be worth the wait."
Belkin ships 54g wireless networking products
Belkin today introduced its complete lineup of 2.4GHz/54Mbps 54g Wireless Networking products, including its 54g Wireless Cable/DSL Gateway Router ($150), 54g Wireless Network Access Point ($140), 54g Wireless Notebook Network Card ($80), and 54g Wireless Desktop Network Card ($80). The Belkin 54g Wireless Networking products run at speeds of up to 54Mbps and operate on the same 2.4GHz frequency band as 802.11b Wi-Fi products, making them backward-compatible with existing Wi-Fi-certified IEEE 802.11b/AirPort products. Belkin includes its Easy Install Wizard software for easy configuration, Website access controls, 64- and 128-bit encryption support, and web-content filtering/logging as well as a Web interface for advanced configuration. They are expected to ship on January 15th.
Belkin today also introduced two new additions to its USB peripheral-sharing lineup. The 2x1 USB Peripheral Switch ($40) and 4x1 USB Peripheral Switch ($60) join the already-released 4x4 USB Peripheral Switch ($45) to give multiple computers access to a single USB 1.1 device. Both are set to start shipping in North America on January 15, 2003.
Lexar intros high-capacity flash drives
Lexar Media today announced increased capacity and speed for its JumpDrive 2.0 Pro, its portable USB storage line. The new 512MB and 1GB capacities will be available in February. The entire line (including the 256MB version) is being upgraded to 40X speed rating from the previous 24X for sustained read/write speeds of 6MB/s. JumpDrive 2.0 Pro is compatible with USB 2.0 and backward compatible with USB 1.1 ports.
Lexar also announced its JumpDrive Trio, which adds expandable, upgradeable memory to the JumpDrive line. The USB device features a three-in-one card slot that accepts either Memory Stick, MultiMediaCards, or Secure Digital cards. It is expected to ship in February 2003 with Memory Stick media (64MB or 128MB).
Virtual Programming ships Payback
Virtual Programming is shipping Payback, its top-down driving game inspired by Grand Theft Auto. The game engine supports perspective correct texture mapping, environment mapping (reflections), bump mapping, realistic shadows, alpha-channelling (lens flares, explosions and shockwaves), 12 channel 3D sound and realistic physics. The Ł30 title is available for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
MacNN Macworld Expo Coverage
Our Expo coverage continues with a new, in-depth look at the 12-inch PowerBook and Show Floor Photos (Gallery 3, Gallery 4, and Gallery 5) as well as coverage of 3D Applications from the Expo. Other coverage includes:
Apple offers Early Bird Special for PBs
Apple's Early Bird Special offers new 12" or 17" PowerBook G4 purchasers at Apple Store "an official launch t-shirt and a special day at our store. A Mac Specialist will help you choose software and accessories for your new PowerBook and ring up your 10% discount. A Mac Genius will install any new software you buy and answer any questions you have. This is just the beginning of the first-class treatment you'll get from Apple." (This appears to be a 10% discount on the software and accessories, rather than the PowerBook itself.)
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