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Parents sue over Wi-Fi risk
ABCNews reports that parents of a Wi-FI- and iBook-equipped school are suing the school district over potential health risks associated with the technology. The suite sites "75 percent" of nonindustry-sponsored studies that show "some biological effect" that occurs because of wireless radiation exposure. "Effects of exposure include reduced absorption of calcium, headaches, and even the threat of senility." The school board now cautions students and teachers to stay at least eight inches away from wireless hubs -- the distance advised by most manufacturers.
FIDIM Interactive has announced Fontabulator 2.0, which "is designed to eliminate the tedious task of repeatedly selecting fonts from a long and slow Font menu while trying to decide which one to use. It allows the user to enter some text and then quickly and easily cycle through all the installed fonts." Dubbed as a "major upgrade", it features a redesigned interface, arrow key navigation, and a new preview keyboard to show all the characters in the font. A 14-day trial version of the $10 shareware for Mac OS X is available. [3.4MB]
BayDock 800 now shipping
WiebeTech has begun shipping BayDock 800, its new FireWire 800/USB 2.0 storage enclosure with removable single or dual bays. Offering sustained transfer rates up to 100MB/sec, it is available in a single- and dual-bay configurations. Both feature a removable InfoTray, which provides real-time feedback on the drive's health, and daisy chainable FireWire 800 ports as well as a high speed USB 2.0 port. The dual-bay configuration features two removable InfoTrays and either one FireWire 800 bridge (master/slave) or two FireWire 800 bridges (both configured as master).
Microtek Panther update
Microtek says it is in the process of developing scanner drivers that will be compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther: "Until these new drivers are released, our technicians have developed a workaround that will allow for compatibility of most Microtek USB and Firewire scanners in Panther. Although this temporary fix has worked for several customers it has not worked for all. Also Microtek is not offering support when connecting a Microtek SCSI scanner to Panther. In addition, the temporary fix is limited to individuals who are running Mac OS X v10.2 Jaguar."
1GB module for G4 iBook
Trans Intl. today announced the availability of a 1GB DDR (Double Data Rate) memory upgrade module for the Apple's G4 iBook (800MHz, 933MHz, 1GHz model). The module expands the system's main memory to 1152MB of available RAM: "Without this upgrade, the system memory capacity was limited to a total of 640MB of main memory as currently specified in Apple documentation." The 1GB DDR Memory Modules operate at a clock rate of 133MHz and transmits data at 266 Mbps. TransIntl also recently introduced 1GB DDR400 Memory Module for Apple Power Macintosh G5 (2GHz and 1.8GHz models).
Apps: eClick, IPer, ...
iModz 1.2 is a new iChat companion application that can be used to change iChat's statu s messages in many different ways: "You can display a song name, a website's title, a personal message, a list of messages that switch and much more." The freeware is available in Brazilian Portuguese and English. Version 1.2 has new Send Message feature, a cleaner interface, and other enhancements. [148KB]
Electric Image has updated Universe 5.05, an update to its 3D animation application: "Fixed Animator Bug: Under Panther (OS 10.3), Animator would not warn that Classic was running in the background. If people start using Animator with Classic running in the background, their project files could be destroyed." [710KB]
eClick 1.2.5 creates button graphics for web sites and presentations, reducing the button creation process to 6 steps, from selecting a button's style, size, color, shadow and label to choosing its final output file format. The $25 application includes over 900 button styles. [1.2MB]
FUNDimensions 4.5.6 is an update to the fundraising software database application for smaller non-profits and schools. Version 4.5.6 introduces compatibility with Panther (Mac OS X 10.3), Apple's latest operating system upgrade. [form]
IPer is a simple program used to find a server's IP (Internet Protocol) address. IPer is a free download and works with Mac OS X and Classic. Details of the latest version (1.3) were not published. [549KB]
Bobby Cronkhite's ZeboPhoto 1.3.8 is an image viewer/editor program for Mac OS X and Classic. This version adds the ability to flip through images in the folder in which an open image resides by using the Right and Left Arrow keys. [OS X, Classic]
piDog Software today released ScreenShot Plus v1.1.1, an update to the enhancement to Apple's built-in screen capture tool. This latest release adds the ability to set default format and compression settings as well as fixing several minor bugs. [1.0MB]
Rayman 3 coming soon
Feral Interactive will soon release Rayman 3, the latest installment of its popular game for Mac. The game has reached the "release candidate" stage, and is expected to ship shortly for Mac OS X and Classic. "Rayman's arrived for his first adventure on the Mac. And he's rising to the challenge with brand new powers and equipment like Shock Rockets, the Lockjaw, Vortex Fist, Mini-Shoe car, Funky-boards and other supercool stuff. The crusades of this legendary, limbless hero are praised throughout the land of the Teensies and beyond."
If Then Software has released ScriptLinker 1.0, its "donationware" application that takes advantage of AppleScript's new URL protocol support by allowing the user to quickly build clickable AppleScript links in HTML format. "URL Protocol Messaging provides the ability to retrieve script examples embedded in web pages or PDF files by simply clicking a link or picture on a page. The embedded AppleScript code will be automatically transferred to the Script Editor application and either placed in a new script window, inserted into the front window at the current insertion point, or appended to the end of the script in the front window. URL Protocol Messaging is a safe, secure method for sharing scripts. The execution of transferred examples requires direct action from the user and under no conditions can a transferred script be automatically executed."
SQLitePlugins for REALbasic
SQLabs has released SQLitePlugin 1.3, its database plugin for REALbasic built on top of SQLite, an embeddable, stand-alone SQL database library written in C. SQLite databases are stored as files on the user's local filesystem. SQLitePlugin 1.3 features support for older versions of REALbasic (beginning with 2.1.2). A limited version with royalty-free distribution returns 150 rows of any database query while registration ($30) lifts this limit. Company licenses for 9 or more developers may be purchased for $240. The company also launched a beta program for its soon-to-be-released SQLitePluginPro ($90), which can open and manipulate existing SQLite databases or create and open new ones. Users who register during the beta period will automatically receive the final released version for free. [Lite, Pro]
Mac OS X 10.3.1 Update
Apple has posted Mac OS X 10.3.1 Update as a 1.3MB download via the Web, after making it available yesterday via the Software Update function under Mac OS X. A separate Mac OS X Server 10.3.1 update, which it says "delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for the following applications, services and technologies: FileVault, Printing, WebDav, and FireWire 800 drives. This update also includes the latest Security Updates." [Client, 194KB]
Tech: music licensing, more
Afternoon tech news: An organization representing the international recording industry announces a "one stop" global license for online radio broadcasters to stream music; Sony Music on Monday said it plans to introduce new CD technology in Germany that prevents users from copying songs to file-sharing networks, but allows them to make copies for their personal use; Microsoft is preparing a major PR assault over Windows' perceived security failings in which it will criticize Linux for taking too long to fix bugs.
Gateway iPod knockoff
Gateway on Tuesday kicked off the holiday season with its renovated retail stores and an array of new PCs, music players and digital cameras, including an iPod knockoff: "Waitt touted the company's hard-drive-based DMP-X20 MP3 player, which has a 2.5-inch display and will come with 20GB of storage for $299, he said. The MP3 player may be of particular interest to audiophiles. Aside from playing songs, the device includes an FM tuner and a voice recorder," according to CNET News.com. Other features include timer, digital clock, case with belt clip, USB 2.0 connectivity, an indigo-blue display, equalizer, and support for MP3, WAV, WMA, Audible.
Iomega debuts NAS storage
Iomega today introduced its Iomega Network Hard Drive for home and small office networks. An Ethernet-enabled external drive, the new Iomega Network Hard Drive provides up to 250 GB of low-cost storage and is designed to allows users o organize and back up critical data from multiple computers. The drive includes a built-in 10/100 Mbps port as well as a USB 2.0 interface; multiple drives can be aggregated into a single logical drive letter. Each drive also features Iomega Automatic Backup software. It is due in late December for $300 (120GB) and $430 (250GB).
ConceptDraw Project beta
CS Odessa today announced a pre-release version of ConceptDraw Project. The new ConceptDraw title helps Mac and Windows users brainstorm, organize and manage projects of any size and length It is designed to plan activities effectively using Gantt chart, WBS chart, a Quick-start Project Assistant, a variety of status reports, the ability to plan and track any number of tasks and activities, HTML export, and integration with ConceptDraw MINDMAP. The final release of ConceptDraw Project ($180) is scheduled for November 18th, 2003.[form]
IOGEAR 802.11g router
IOGEAR has introduced its first wireless product in its new family of Wi-Fi devices: the Wireless-G Broadband Gateway allows users to surf the Internet, share files and print wirelessly: "As the pioneer 802.11g router with an embedded print server, the 4-port device allows small and home offices to network computers and share a USB printer wirelessly." It offers a Web-based installation wizard, a firewall and wireless security and is available now for $130.
PC vs Mac planted by CNN
The Boston Globe reports that "CNN planted a question about computer preferences at last week's debate of the Democratic presidential candidates at Faneuil Hall in Boston, according to the student who posed the query and wrote about it yesterday in an online forum of the Brown (University) Daily Herald. During the debate, cosponsored by the nonprofit Rock the Vote organization, Alexandra Trustman asked the candidates whether they preferred the PC or Mac format for their computers."
Panther FileVault data loss
Apple's Knowledge Base article on Mac OS X 10.3.1 describes the FileVault data loss issue addressed by the update: "FileVault normally asks to reclaim space before the computer sleeps, restarts, or shuts down. In some cases, you can lose some preference settings after space is reclaimed. Download and install Mac OS X 10.3.1 or later to avoid this issue. Important: Turning off FileVault and/or installing Mac OS X 10.3.1 does not automatically recover lost settings. You should configure any incorrect preference settings manually after installing the update."
MacMP3Gain 1.8 is a free AppleScript Studio application which brings an Aqua GUI to the command line version of mp3gain, a utility that performs statistical analysis to determine how loud the MP3 file actually sounds to the human ear and performs lossless volume adjustments. [224KB]
Gracion Software's DigiTunnel 1.3 is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) client for Mac OS X, compatible with Windows 2000, WatchGuard, Nortel, OS X Server 1.2 and other VPN servers. DigiTunnel supports PPTP and is now compatible with Panther, adds serial upgrade support, and other fixes. Upgrades to the $58 software are $20. [1.8MB]
Bitcartel Software has released RAW 1.0 (build 6), an update to its $20 audio utility for recording internet audio to MP4-ACC format. It supports Real audio/video, Windows Media (with WM9 installed), and QuickTime audio, offering the ability to archive BBC, NPR, music videos, movie trailers, news webcasts and even Flash jingles. It requires Mac OS X 10.2. [405KB]
flashLight 1.1 is a cross-platform product designed for prepping Macromedia Flash Certification exams. The application generates a test comprised of true/false and multiple choice questions structured to reveal a user's strength or weakness in knowledge of Macromedia Flash technology. Designer ($25) and Developer ($30) versions are available. [Classic, OSX]
SloppyDisk Software has updated its popular Tetris game, Descender 1.2. The update adds customizable level backdrops and several bugfixes as well as a fully-integrated online high scores system. Registered users of the game can now compete against other Tetris players. It is a free update to the $12 shareware for Mac OS 9/X. [7.3MB]
LAJ Design's DropWaterMark 1.3.2 brings Panther compatibility to the cross-platform application that creates allows you to easily watermark images. It also offers an interactive rotate image function, built-in help, a new setup assistant, and other enhancements. The $13 shareware offers text with custom styling or image watermarks as well as image border options. [Classic, OSX]
Beholder is an ultra fast, powerful web image browser that "combines a front end for web-based image searching services with an inline HTML image scanner. Image thumbnails are displayed in a large virtual contact sheet featuring simple shortcuts for source image viewing and downloading." [option-click]
Macron's ABDialer 1.0 is a phone dialer for Mac OS X Address Book: "Using AppleScript, Mac OS X Services or the clipboard ABDialer can dial the phone from virtually every application. Now compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther)." It supports Mac OS X services and offers a number of examples for integration with other applications. It is $12 shareware for Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [option-click]
nova media now offers full suppport for a SonyEricsson T616 mobile phone in its GPRS/HSCSD connection manager software for Mac OS 9/X, Mobile High Speed Version 3.11 (€85), which can be used to establish mobile high speed GPRS and GSM/ HSCSD connections. It detects mobile phone and mobile network carrier automatically and configures the Mac OS X to automatically to use this connection (via Bluetooh, IR, USB, and PC Cards). [6.7MB]
G5 commercial banned in UK
PA News Reporter reports that Apple UK has been "banned by advertising watchdogs from claiming its latest product is 'the world’s fastest, most powerful personal computer'. The claim was made in a television advert for the Apple PowerMac G5. But the Independent Television Commission branded the advert “misleading” and banned it from being broadcast. Eight viewers contacted the ITC to complain that the claim was based on the results of limited tests in which the specification of the computers used was configured to give Apple the best results.... But the ITC found that the claim was not supported by independent reviews and that, at best, the G5 was only 'generally as fast' as its competitors."
Flash MX 2004 7.01 updater
Macromedia has posted its Flash MX 2004 7.01, an update to its multimedia authoring software. According to the release notes, it brings stability with the application improves performance, improvements to the help content, a restored 'Scale and Rotate' menu item, and other bug fixes for ActionScript, Behaviors, Component UI, DataBinding, Effects, Import, and Script Editing.
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