Gary Krakow, the MSNBC reporter who was one of the first journalists to offer a critique of Apple's online music service, has written a follow-up article in response to impassioned reader feedback to his initial findings. Krakow criticized the sound quality of the AAC files sold on Apple's service, and also suggested that Apple's pricing scheme was no more compelling than that of a CD store. In his latest article, he responds to reader feedback on the issues of sound quality, pricing, and even Krakow's alleged agenda.
Gefen's new ex-tend-it 4x1 DVI/ADC Switcher ($850) connects four DVI sources to two ADC and/or DVI displays. DVI sources include any computer or HD television equipped with a DVI port. Each source is accessed through either display. Any DVI or ADC equipped display can be used with the Switcher including Appleís 23-inch Cinema HD Display. "The 4x1 DVI/ADC Switcher is made with a technology that is better equipped to display high-end visuals so visual acuity is assured." The rack-mountable unit switches video, USB and audio for each source, offers HDCP (High Definition Copy Protection) compatibility for home theater applications and includes ports for USB and audio.
Microsoft Watch's Why Panther May Tear Up Longhorn talks about the forthcoming improvements in the next release of Mac OS X codenamed "Panther" and how the OS compares to Windows XP and the forthcoming Longhorn upgrade due in 2005: " Apple has been careful not to underestimate Microsoft on the OS front. Indeed, even though Mac users have been fulsome in their praise of the features and speed of the current version, 10.2, of Mac OS X (a k a Jaguar), Apple insiders are well-aware of areas where XP is ahead of Mac OS X."
Apple's Java 1.3.1 Update for Oracle provides support or Oracle 11i client applications on Mac OS X. It is avaialble in French, English, German, and Japanese. [13MB] Kepmad Systems has released ImageBuddy 2.8.2 adding improved project file support and a 3x Print To File Speed Increase along with a number of small improvements and bug fixes. Imagebuddy is a digital image layout program. The OSX version offers Drag & Drop support from iPhoto allowing you to greatly expand on iPhoto's limited printing options. It is $17 shareware. [Classic, OSX] PostView 1.1 is an update to the $22 document and image viewer. It includes support for immediate display of DSC Postscript files without pre-rendering, better performance with TeX/Postscript files, document icons for Postscript/EPS/PDF, page rotation and automatic detection of landscape format, arbitrary zoom, better intra-page scrolling, and other bug fixes. [1.6MB] Andrew's Vector Plugins Vol 8, "Symbol Paint" ($12) is a toolbox plugin for Illustrator 10. The plugin paints with symbols as a spray/hose/paint brush. The symbols can take the form of text, paths, gradients, patterns and even images. It includes a number of new presets as well as layers (for brush stroke animation), placement/speed features, and also improvements to the dab/brush bristles and also ships with a selection of bonus symbols.
NewTek has released LightWave 3D 7.5c, a mainenance update to the company's 3D animation package: "The update addresses a number of issues for both platforms but does not add features beyond those provided in 7.5b. The 7.5c update also addresses a feature parity issue by bringing three plugins to the Mac OSX version which had previously only been present on the Windows and Mac OS 9 versions due to a source code difficulty."
Marketcircle has released DayLite 1.4, a free upgrade to its solution for managing contacts, accounts, sales and campaigns. The release offers integration with Blacksmith's Chartsmith charting application and preliminary iCal integration with an iCal exporter for the DayLite calendar. It can also now create merged documents in Microsoft Word and Excel. The DayLite Business Edition is currently being offered for $150. (The company also announced new boxed versions of DayLite with Channel Sources handling the distribution. It is expected to be available in Mac business section off computer stores across the US.)
WaterField Designs today started shipping its new iPod Case specifically designed for the new third-generation iPods. The case has a bottom-entry design for use with the new iPod docking station and also has a slit on the bottom to enable users to easily attach a cable to the iPod's connector as well as exposes the iPod controls for easy user access to the iPod's buttons. A front flap protects the iPod and stores your ear buds. The case is available now for $40.
Card Validator 3.0 for FileMaker Pro allows developers and FMPro users to check authenticity of credit card numbers with a single calculation--without scripts or plug-ins. Version 3.0 includes support for additional international card numbers. The freeware also includes the source-code. [75KB] Birdstep RDM Server, now available for Mac OS X, is a relational and network database that is designed for applications with "demanding server based performance requirements for industrial, commercial and general line-of-business applications such as e-Business, Web applications and Internet infrastructure." The client/server database supports thin clients, 128-bit encryption, ODBC interfaces, hot online backups, dynamic database definition language (DDL) and other advanced features. iClip 2.0 is a $20 utility designed to extend the system clipboard functions. It allows you to quickly copy & paste and drag & drop clippings to and from its multiple "clipping bins," which can be easily access from any application. Version 2.0 adds "clipping sets", better support for vector graphics, and an improved interface. [1.5MB] Ampersandbox has updated its label and envelope printing software: Imprint 1.2 adds support for the Services menu, allowing users to print labels and envelopes from any application. It also adds many new preferences, envelope sizes and label templates (including Avery A4 templates). [829KB] iPod Access 1.2 can be used to transfer songs from your iPod to your computer organized by artist/album or can be used to play songs directly from your iPod and auto-sync with the last song listing gathered from your iPod. It can also perform full iPod backups. Version now allows the backup of m4p songs downloaded from the iTunes Music Store and fixes a few bugs. [1.6MB]
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl