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European regulators will conduct an oral hearing Nov. 12 that will give Microsoft an opportunity to comment on charges that it abused its dominance with Windows; at the height of the Internet boom, e-books were hailed as the future medium for publishers, but the bubble has burst and printed books are preferred by consumers; analysts were doubtful Friday that Microsoft would be able to uphold a pledge to prevent e-mail attacks and make software security a "no. 1 priority."
Synthetic Aperture today announced Color Finesse 1.1, a free upgrade to its color correction plug-in for Adobe After Effects. Color Finesse offers high-end color correction and enhancement tools--including multiple color spaces, tonal correction, curve-based correction, automated color matching and balancing, six-channel secondary color correction, reference images with split wipes, smart color legalizing, and waveform monitor and vectorscope displays. Version 1.1 adds secondary preview monitor support, preview pan and zoom, enhanced secondary color correction with additional controls, and mask and alpha mode previewing. The $600 plugin also works with Final Cut Pro and Discreet Combustion.
Hoodman Corp. has released a new line of anti-glare hoods for Apple's PowerBooks. The Eclipse PowerBook hoods offer optimum outdoor performance, privacy while working, and compatibility with Apple's 12-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch PowerBooks: "Hoods spring into shape when removed from their carry bags requiring no assembly. Slip the hood over the screen and you are ready to go. Spring tension keeps each hood mounted in place. Collapsing in just seconds makes the E2000 Eclipse PowerBook hood line convenient and easy to use." Each is priced just under $30 and includes a travel bag; all are available for order now from the company's website.
"Having Apple's new Power Mac G5 around the office is like having a superhero assistant," says Mercury News columnist Jon Fortt. Mr. Fortt cites the machine's graphics capabilities and its ability to handle multiple demanding tasks at once as strong points. "For example, the G5 managed to resize a 122-megabyte file up to 1.68 gigabytes in three minutes, while also smoothly playing a full-screen movie and compressing an edited DV movie to Quicktime format," explains Fortt.
Tim Verpoorten of Surf-bits today announced the second in a series of articles on upgrading and modifying the Apple Power Mac G4 Cube. "My Great Cube Adventure: Part Two" is available now for online viewing. Part 2 deals with "easy upgrades" and maintenance.
PhoneAgent 1.0 ($30) offers dozens of functions for the Sony Ericsson T610 mobile phone, including management of its phonebook, SMS and MMS messages, custom themes, and WAP profiles and bookmarks. It requires either a Bluetooth USB adapter or built-in Bluetooth and runs under Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later. [3.4MB] The Wild Bits released Ask The DJ 1.4. This new version includes a new tracks browser, works with Unicode (Japanese script support) and includes a French version. Ask The DJ is a $30 application that analyzes beats to perform truly seamless transitions between tracks. [1.4MB] FrameSeer 1.2 is a $50 network packet capture application. The native Mac OS X application will diagnose network problems by capturing traffic on your Ethernet, AirPort, PPPoE, PPP, and loopback interfaces. It features extensive online help, packet decoding, and filters. [748KB] MOTU has posted updated MOTU PCI Audio for OSX drivers, which contains drivers for MOTU PCI-324 and PCI-424 audio systems under Mac OS X 10.2.2. MOTU FireWire Drivers and Consoles OSX 1.06 were also updated this month. [PCIAudio, FireWire] Camfrog Video Chat is new videoconferencing software that allows users to host their own video chat rooms. The company says it is interested in making the software compatible with iChat AV: "If you know any technical information that is freely available that would allow this please let us know." IPSecuritas 1.1b2 is a free front-end to the Mac OS X built-in IPSec core and allows to configure and establish secure IPSec tunnels to remote networks. It adds a new host-host transport mode, certificate authentication, easier setup, automatic key exchange initiation, substitute DNS functionality, and auto-start. [479KB]
A MacNN reader notes that Apple is planning to build a retail store in Tigard, Oregon (a suburb of Portland). The store is expected to open on November 15 in Washington Square Mall (next to the Eddie Bauer store). Apple's retail website has not yet been updated; it will be Apple's first store in the state of Oregon.
Apple will soon release WebObjects 5.2.2, an update to its enterprise rapid application development environment, to allow developers to build projects under Panther, according to WebObjects Product Manager Bob Fraser: "WebObjects development will be supported on Mac OS X v 10.3 (Panther) with an upcoming WebObjects Software Update (WebObjects 5.2.2). This update will include: (1) Support for WebObjects application development using Xcode; (2) Qualification of WebObjects applications running under Java 1.4.1; and (3) Qualification and support for WebObjects applications running on the JBoss application server. No WebObjects software update will be required to deploy WebObjects applications on Mac OS X Server v 10.3 (Panther Server). The WebObjects runtime libraries will be included."
Impression 1.71, the backup software for Mac OS X, has been fully recompiled and optimized for the Power Macintosh G5 architecture and also fixes a bug in the $25 application. [570KB] Radical Breeze's DiscBlaze 2.0.3 updates the CD/DVD burning software with support for burning ISO disc images, the ability to optionally set which platforms (Mac or PC) specific files are visible on when on a Mac/PC hybrid disc, and revamped and updated Burn Lists. It is $20 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2.6. [1.1MB] Acrux has released X-Builder 1.02, an update to its authoring tool specially designed for creating multimedia projects and applications for Mac OS X: "X-Builder projects contain slides, and each slide in a project is constructed using X-Builder's built-in tools for creating text, banners, lines, rectangles, buttons, input boxes, controls, choice lists, graphs etc." [7.4MB] f(x) 3.0 beta brings improvements for intense computations in the shareware scientific calculator. It also offers the ability to select numbers already in the memory stack, editable constants, enhanced numeric input, resizable windows, and other enhancements. [2.1MB] The personal radio system for Mac OS X, Wimpus, records radio streams, breaks them up by song, and recommends new music to the user based on user song preferences and ratings. The application is free for use with the current release (v0.99). [3.1MB] ThermographX 0.8 monitors the various temperature sensors inside newer Power Mac G4 and G5 models. The shareware records maximum and minimum temperatures, shows temperature records over time (using a zoomable display) and shows individual sensor temperatures on models that have them. Version 0.8 increases compatibility with older systems. [940KB] The Omnigroup has released OmniGraffle 3.02, an update to the professional diagramming charting applications. The maintenance update is free for both Standard ($70) and Pro ($120) users; however, the details were not available. [Classic, OSX] Symantec has posted updated October Virus Definitions for its line of Norton Anti-Virus Software. It is available for Mac OS 7/8/9/X.
Apple specialist MacForce, an independent Portland, Oregon, on Friday is opening InnerSpace, a showcase of digital lifestyle technology: "Designed to mimic a home environment, InnerSpace will showcase new technology that helps automate home appliances. .... the center will show visitors how to use Macs to control everything from lights, heating and alarms to controlling a home theater." MacForce is offering free seminars this weekend as well as holding giveaways for several products.
Bodelin has released ProPrompter, its teleprompter softwaare for Mac OS X. It works with Avid iNews or any text file; offers both horizontal and vertical flipping; both smooth forward or backwards scrolling; the ability to adjust the scroll speed with either keyboard or a scrolling mouse; auto cue points; and full selection of font, styles, and sizes. The ProPrompter software was originally designed for use on the Bodelin ProPrompter LCD but is now sold separately on CD or as a download. It is available for $60.
FireWire Depot will soon release version 2.1.5 of its firmware software for its PCI host adapters. The update improves "deep sleep" support for its IOI-4601, IOI-4602, and U2FW-PCI01 products. "The conclusion we have discovered is that only PCI Host Adapters with a PCI-to-PCI bridge can go into deep sleep," the company notes. Version 2.15 also fixes a issue under Mac OS 10.2 where the drive would not show up when connected through a 1394b hub/repeater to a 1394b host.
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Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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