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News Archive for 03/02/06

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Virex 7.2 available to .Mac members

02/06, 10:20pm

Virex 7.2 available to .Mac members

MacNN readers report that McAfee's Virex 7.2 is now available to .Mac members. It includes a new automatic eUpdate engine for downloading monthly virus definition updates, the latest of which was noted here a few days ago.

Bubble Design unveils iPod \"Habitat\"

02/06, 9:05pm

Bubble Design unveils iPod \"Habitat\"

Bubble Design recently announced the release of Habitat ($25) -- a stylish desktop cradle for the Apple iPod personal MP3 player. Habitat for iPod is manufactured from a clear, injection molded, polycarbonate for both aesthetics and strength. The Habitat is designed to hold both the iPod and ear buds on any flat surface. The angled stance allows for optimum viewing. When the iPod isn't charging or downloading, the Habitat holds the Firewire cable in a dedicated pocket.  In addition, Habitat features a set of non-slip rubber feet. Also available is the Secure Habitat ($40), which includes a stainless steel anti-theft bracket.  This bracket is compatible with virtually all PC locks currently on the market. 

PowerLogix cuts upgrade prices

02/06, 8:50pm

PowerLogix cuts upgrade prices

PowerLogix today announced lower pricing on PowerForce G4 Single and Dual CPU upgrades.

12\" PBG4/iMovie 3 coverage continues today

02/06, 6:30pm

12\" PBG4/iMovie 3 coverage continues today

We continue our special coverage of the 12" PowerBook G4 and iMovie 3 today, with incremental updates to each report. A potential solution to iMovie sluggishness, as well as solutions to poor 12" PowerBook wireless performance, are included in the respective reports.

Apple gives Macs, CSI-like science tools

02/06, 4:30pm

Apple gives Macs, CSI-like science tools

A Michigan middle school is one of two schools to receive an Apple $20,000 grant for a "science cart," which includes eight wireless laptop computers and nine different probe kits, including microscopes and a variety of other tools that measure factors such as conductivity and temperature--similar to equipment in the CBS crime drama TV show, CSI, according to the Holland Sentinel.

Some new PowerMac G4s may require replacement

02/06, 3:45pm

Some new PowerMac G4s may require replacement

Apple says that a limited quantity of Power Mac G4 (FW 800) computers may require a logic board replacement--those that display this message after the computer starts up or wakes from sleep: "Speaker Connection - The device plugged into the Apple speaker mini-jack cannot be recognized. Remove the plug from the jack. Then plug it back in and make sure it is fully inserted." Apple says that Power Mac G4 (FW 800) with a serial number prior to and including xx304xxxxxx maybe affected and recommends verifying the speaker connector is fully inserted into the Apple Speaker sound output port (noting that it may take up to 9 seconds for the message to appear).

Tech: MS pricing, MSN break Opera, sales tax

02/06, 3:45pm

Tech: MS pricing, MSN break Opera, sales tax

Tech news: Microsoft warned in a recent SEC filing that it may be forced to drop the price of its software because of the threat of open-source software; Opera Software has accused Microsoft of deliberately engineering the MSN home page in order to make it look as if the Opera browser has a serious flaw in it; Several large retailers have begun collecting sales tax on Internet purchases (including Amazon), to avoid being held liable for back sales taxes they may owe.

Apple still evaluating MWNY 2003

02/06, 2:50pm

Apple still evaluating MWNY 2003

Apple reiterated that it will not be participating in Macworld Expo Boston in 2004 and said that it is still reevaluating its participation in Macworld Expo New York this July: "Since IDG is no longer investing in New York, we now need to reevaluate our participation in Macworld New York 2003," according to The Boston Globe, which quotes an Apple statement following the departure of IDG's CEO Charlie Greco yesterday.

Apps: DivX codec, DockFun!, ScriptPaks...

02/06, 2:35pm

Apps: DivX codec, DockFun!, ScriptPaks...

    Jérôme Cornet has released an alternative, open-source DivX codec: ffmpeg DivX 2,0 is a complete update to the old Jamby's codec, which reads DivX 1, DivX 2, DivX 3.11, DivX 4, DivX 5 and XVID. It is optimized for all PowerPC CPUs and for G4 (Altivec): "By comparison, divx.com's codec is really slow (especially on 640x480 movies) and can't read DivX 1 and 2.... You will still have to convert avi files in .mov." It uses QuickTime, which the author says is "heavily optimized in RGB/YUV color conversion and for the display of the frames." [app, source]
    John MacDonnell's $20 shareware DockFun! 3.7.1 brings a new preferences window, compatibility wtih MacReport, startup improvements, better memory management, and other enhancements. [1.5MB]
    MacSpeech today released four new ScriptPaks for iListen on Mac OS X 10.2.x The four ScriptPaks voice enable Menus and functionality in Apple's Mail, iMovie 3, iTunes 3 and iPhoto 2 iLife applications. The ScriptPaks enhance the Voice Command and Control capabilities of iListen by voice enabling Menus and Specific functionality within the targeted application. They are available for $10 each and require iListen 1.5.1. Others are available for Microsoft Office, FileMaker, Eudora, America Online, and Netscape products.
    PrefsOverload 5.2 is a full-featured tool for managing the Preferences Folder, which contains your various "Preference Files". It adds user-based skill level-based preferences, update checking from within the application, and other bug fixes. The $15 shareware can display a list of damaged Preference Files can search for specific Preference Files, by their type/creator or their creation/modification date. [2.5MB]

Tax Cut Software: state, federal problems

02/06, 12:25pm

Tax Cut Software: state, federal problems

MacNN reader Mack Bolan notes that H&Block's Tax Cut software does not currently have Macintosh State programs available for download. A statement on their Website says the downloads are expected to be available at the end of the month. Meanwhile, another reader talks about problems with the Federal version as well:

"The federal version has big problems too. They haven't yet released a Mac update to revise forms that weren't complete when the product was initially released. This means you can't complete and file a return, at least electronically -- the program won't allow you to! What's worse is that the TaxCut site says nothing about this. You only find out when you complete all your entry in the program and get ready to file." [updated]

Adobe/AppleScript Success Story posted

02/06, 12:20pm

Adobe/AppleScript Success Story posted

Scripting Matters has posted an Adobe/AppleScript Success Story featuring scripts using InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. The scripts are part of a real-world project which automated the building of a 159 PDF files for a Georgia government agency. Demos of three major automation phases are available online as scripts and QuickTime movies. Scripting Matters, Inc., now in its fifth year of existence, provides both AppleScript development and training.

Apps: Entourage sync, MP3 Rage, iRC

02/06, 12:05pm

Apps: Entourage sync, MP3 Rage, iRC

    Paul Berkowitz has released Sync Entourage-Address Book 1.2.1, a free update to the $15 utility, offering new email label options, improved one-way syncing, and o ther enhancements. [1.9MB]
    Chaotic Software has updated its MP3 Tag Editor software: MP3 Rage 5.5 adds several improvements and features to its rich MP3 toolset. Uers can edit ID3 tags, adjust MP3 file sound volume automatically to play at similar levels, export MP3 files to AIFF format for burning CDs, play MP3 files with the built-in player, and perform other file manipulations. A demo of the $25 softwarwe is available. [2.0MB]
    Pyramid Designs's FTP Suite for REALbasic 1.1.2 is a set of classes and code modules that allows FTP operations to be implemented in REALbasic applications. A Professional license ($60) allows use in any commercial product or in-house tool, while a $30 Hobbyist license allows use in free or shareware programs. [4.1MB]
    SafeShred 2.0b1 is designed to permanently remove files from your computer. Version 2.0 adds a new progress window, the ability to cancel shredding operations and improved shredding speed and program performance. (The free SafeShred 1.2 requires registration for full functionality.) [v1.2, v.20b1]
    iRC 0.07 is a $15 shareware IRC client for Mac OS X, offering support for multiple servers, mIRC colours and text formatting codes, message highlighting, private messages and DCC chat, DCC file transfer (resume and drag-and-drop), autoconnection to servers, configurable colors and fonts, multi-window or single-window operation, tab completion and command history and a plugin architecture. [1.4MB]

Willow debuts 4 new slipcases for 12-inch PB

02/06, 11:25am

Willow debuts 4 new slipcases for 12-inch PB

Willow Design has announced four new slipcases specifically designed for the new 12" Powerbook. The Ashcroft 12" Powerbook Sylph slipcase ($60) offers the smallest possible package for your 12" Powerbook with two convenient outer pockets and a shortened protective flap. The $80 Nelson PowerBook slipcase, due February 7th, is a lightweight, compact case with an 'end' opening. The $80 McLeese Slipcase offers a lightweight, compact case for carrying the 12" notebook, power supply and cord and some accessories in a vertical configuration. The Courtenay 12" Powerbook ($80) slipcase offers a lightweight, compact yet flexible solution for carrying your notebook, power supply and cord and some accessories.

Canopus debuts ADVC-500 video converter

02/06, 9:35am

Canopus debuts ADVC-500 video converter

Canopus has announced its ADVC-500, a professional video converter designed for use in broadcast, postproduction and presentation applications. It provides analog-to-DV and DV-to-analog conversion in a standard 19-inch breakout box configuration and features convenient component video, composite, S-Video, and balanced and unbalanced audio input/output connections. ADVC-500 also supports balanced and unbalanced audio and boasts fully programmable PC control software for adjusting analog input settings. It is due in mid-February for $1,500.

Microsoft plans new Switcher campaign

02/06, 9:30am

Microsoft plans new Switcher campaign

A MacNN reader notes that Microsoft is planning to launch a new Switcher marketing campaign geared toward Apple users, according to the email from the company soliciting individuals who recently registered a Microsoft product. (Last Fall, Microsoft posted a "Switch confession" on its Website, which turned out to be a story based on an employee of an its marketing agency and was pulled by the company).

"The marketing campaign called 'Sensible Solutions' kicks off in April and runs through the summer of 2003. Sensible Solutions will highlight computer professionals that have recently converted from Apple Computer products to Microsoft based systems. To be considered for inclusion in the Sensible Solutions marketing program, you must be a US resident with a minimum of 3 years experience as a computer professional. You must have used an Apple Computer product and a Microsoft based system as part of your work.... This correspondence is the result of information provided by the following companies or organizations: Microsoft, Apple, Adobe."

Apps: Easy Fractal, Safari Enhancer, Framed

02/06, 9:10am

Apps: Easy Fractal, Safari Enhancer, Framed

    Berkhan's Easy Fractal 3.0 calculates both Mandelbrot and Julia fractals in real time. Version 3.0 features an extended fractal editor with 6 different escape conditions and fine structure function for 3D-looking fractals, 8 different iteration functions with freely selectable parameters, and new color palette editor. Updates to the $20 application for Mac OS 8/9/X are $10. [1.5MB]
    James Sentman's CD Session Burner 1.02 is a $17 utility that "lets you burn as many smaller volumes to the disk as you like until the space is all used up. That makes it perfect for doing incremental backups as you work on projects. When you use a multi session disk each session will mount as a separate volume." The update brings back the progress bar and fixes a few bugs. [1.1MB]
    Framed 1.0 is a quick and easy tool to create animations from a series of still pictures. It can be used to create stop-motion animations or create a cinematic sequence by rapidly flipping through numerous images. Version 1.0 adds movie info (FPS, duration, file size) to the created movie screen. [1.1MB]
    Safari Enhancer 1.4 is the latest version of Gordon Byrne's freee enhancement utility for Safari. It enables several hidden features of the web browser, including a debugging menu that allows you to do such things as enabling keyboard/mouse shortcuts, and changing how Safari handles Security. It also allows users to specifiy a minimum font size, as well as turn off underlines on links and handling direct bookmark imports from most browsers. [224KB]

Apple planning European retail chain

02/06, 8:55am

Apple planning European retail chain

Apple says it plans to develop its own retail chain in key western European locations such as London and Paris within six to 18 months, according to a Macworld UK report. The article also notes that the iPod has a 40 per cent European market-share -- "backing up the reported news that Apple's digital music player is the number-one selling MP3 device in the US and Japan. Worldwide, Apple shipped over 600,000 iPods in its first 14 months.

Apps: Web Help Desk, DTerm, ohNotes...

02/06, 8:45am

Apps: Web Help Desk, DTerm, ohNotes...

    fishcamp engineering today released a Mac OS X device driver for its FPCI-DIO data acquisition card. The $400 FPCI-DIO card is a PCI digital I/O interface card, which supports a total of 96 TTL compatible I/O signals with bidirectional data transfers; the signal drivers are capable of up to 24 mA drive current.
    MacsDesign Studio today released an update to its Web Help Desk technical support solution. Web Help Desk 6.2.3 introduces a free embedded FrontBase database and multi-level problem categories as well as simplified database and LDAP configuration, streamlined client problem reporting, improved FAQ search and display, support for WebObjects 5.1/5.2, and improved handling of e-mail based problem reports. Pricing starts at $3,350.
    SwimpSoft's ohNotes 1.0 is an application designed to handle all your notes: "Just click new, type in a main title and add a more detailed text to it. Fits on the side of your screen perfect. Like Stickies but way smarter, and better looking." It runs on Mac OS 8/9/X. [881KB]
    Austin-Soft has released DTerm 3.2, a $65 developer tool to display and capture diagnostic and debugging information about software programs. The new version adds the ability to specify the default buffer size, better documentation, and improved memory usage, permitting developers to specify how much output will be saved. [1.1MB]

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