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CharView 3.0.2 ($15) allows users to view, insert and print any symbol from a selected font. The latest release adds a window to show/hide timeout setting and a redesigned preferences dialog. [Download - 408KB] Cyberduck 2.2b6 is an update to the open source SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) and FTP browser for the Mac. Version 2.2b6 adds proper deletion of symbolic links; link icons in the browser; downloading files from FTP servers not supporting the SIZE command; contextual Menu support; and bug fixes. [Download - 2.8MB] Mushroom 1.3 is an easy developer tool for software localization. This release introduces several new features and improves many aspects of the software, including support for Xcode. [Download - 1.4MB] SQLabs has released SQLitePluginPro 1.0.4 ($120), an update to the $40 REALbasic database plugin that seamlessly replaces REALbasic's built-in database engine. Changes since the last version include: zlib 1.2.1 and a new internal Base64 implementation. [Download - 1.5MB] CodeBlender today released an update to Rally Shift ($25), its car racing game. The version 1.0.1 update adds support for steering with the mouse and improves steering capability when braking hard. [Download - 36.7MB] Picture Namer 1.4 is an application used to name a folder full of pictures. It is ideal for naming a folder of pictures freshly downloaded from a digital camera. Version 1.4 adds Web page creation functionality, and a new icon. [Download - 353KB] FmPro Migrator 1.73 Enterprise Edition ($50) has been updated to generate Perl CGI scripts for FileMaker databases migrated to Sybase and DB2. This latest update also adds support for using HTML checkboxes to facilitate the creation of Web survey forms. [Download - 1.7MB] TrueBlue is a free font conversion utility that converts True Type fonts (TTF) to PostScript Type 1 fonts (PS). PS Fonts are required by Stone Designís PStill; TrueBlue provides a one-click interface to install fonts into PStill.
Evening tech news: Beginning this week, Qwest will become the first regional Bell company to let customers buy "naked DSL"--even if they get their local phone service elsewhere; Roxio shares gained nearly 9 percent Wednesday after reports that Microsoft has been "quietly shifting some of its marketing muscle" to Roxio's Napster digital music service; Flash memory maker M-Systems announces a contract to make storage cards for future versions of the Xbox, reinforcing speculation that Microsoft may dump the console's hard drive.
Concord Camera today announced two new additions to its line of digital cameras: both the 4-megapixel (MP) Concord Eye-Q 4363z ($250) and 3MP Concord Eye-Q 3343z ($200) digital cameras feature a 3x optical zoom, 7 preset scenes for optimal exposure control, 16MB of internal storage, SD card slot, and support AVI video with sound at 30 fps as well as user-selectable ISO settings, exposure and white balance controls. They will ship in the second quarter of 2004 ("end of April") and will include AA batteries, a USB cable, a video out cable, a wrist strap, and a pouch.
Popular Science has published a guide to disassembling an iPod to replace its battery or repair other repairs. "Your iPod will die, maybe sooner than you think; bring it back to life." The guide provides steps to replace the battery, and perform "other unsanctioned trickery." Of course, disassembling an iPod will result in a voided warranty. Steps to take apart the iPod Mini were also published recently.
DVDxDV has released DVDxDV v1.07 and DVDxDV Pro v1.01, adding video resize option to its utility for extracting DVD video and exporting it to other common file formats, including iMovie (standard) and Final Cut Pro (Pro version). DVDxDV ($25) allows you to resize to standard 4:3 DV frame sizes for PAL and NTSC, while DVDxDV Pro ($80) supports a wider range of video resizing options including the ability to resize anamorphic video to a 16:9 aspect ratio. Demo versions of both products are available online.
The New Zealand Herald offers additional details about lawsuit filed by Eminem against Apple, noting that the suit also names Viacom, its MTV subsidiary and TBWA/Chiat/Day advertising agency as plaintiffs: ""At no time did Apple, Chiat/Day or MTV receive authorization or permission to record, reproduce, perform, transmit, copy, use or otherwise exploit the composition ("Lose Yourself") for any purpose...Defendants have acted intentionally, recklessly, wilfully and in bad faith." The report says that the suit does not spell out any specific damage claims, but says Eminem is entitled to "exemplary damages" for the alleged use of a "song it touts as having achieved 'iconic stature' among hip-hop fans worldwide."
Laurent Colson has released MusicMath v3.0, a freeware application for Mac OS 9/X that converts music values (BPM, semi-tones, samples, ms, Hz, Timestretch) This new version adds a "Note" module to convert notes into MIDI values or frequencies (Hz), and also a basic SMPTE calculator. Version 3 also improves Tap Tempo accurracy, Delay's ranges, and adds milliseconds support to the Sample module.
WiebeTech has introduced two new versions of its Forensic Field Kit, which allow professionals to image 3.5" IDE and SATA drives in the field. They include high-speed write-blocked FireWire 400/800/USB2 forensic readers: The Forensic Field Kit 4 ($1,500) includes both Forensic and Regular ComboDocks, SATA adapter for ComboDock, Forensic and Regular Notebook DriveDocks, PC Card FireWire 400 adapter, AC adapter, and FireWire/USB cables as well as a sturdy Pelican 1500 case. The Forensic Field Kit 5 ($1,700) offers space for an additional 15 hard drives.
Web Crossing today announced Web Crossing Express, an update to the free integrated Web Crossing Web/Mail/FTP server platform that now includes a low-volume license for discussions and plug-ins. Web Crossing Express provides unlimited Web, FTP and Email (POP/SMTP/IMAP) servers in Web Crossing's core integrated environment, and now includes an additional low-volume (100-pageviews/day) license for plug-ins or discussions. Plug-ins are available for a extensive array of functionality, such as discussions, Weblogs, RSS feeds, personal and shared calendars, WebMail, wiki web, Neurons, and more. It is available immediately for free as a software license only.
Iomega today announced it has begun shipping two new CD-RW/DVD-ROM combination drives: the Iomega CD-RW/DVD-ROM Plus 7-in-1 Card Reader, and the Iomega CD-RW/DVD-ROM External USB 2.0 Drive. Both offer 52x24x52x CD-RW technology along with 16x DVD-ROM (read-only) capability, while Iomega's "Plus" product also adds a USB 1.1-enabled 7-in-1 card reader. Both include buffer under-run protection, 48x DAE (digital audio extraction), and a 2MB hardware buffer. The drives are $130 each and include Charismac Discribe.
Casio today announced the 4-megapixel EX-Z40, which features a 2.5x longer life battery than previous models using Casio's new low-power EXILIM Engine--allowing up to 360 photos to be taken on a single charge. Other features include a 3x optical zoom, large 2.0-inch TFT LCD screen, movie/audio recording, SD memory card support, voice memos (and playback via a built-in speaker), world time features, instant web album creation, etc. It is due in April with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, USB cradle, USB cable, AC adapter, Strap, and software for $400.
Aspyr today announced that it is now shipping The Sims Making Magic, its new expansion pack for The Sims with that brings over 175 new items to the popular game title: "Add a little magic to your Sims' lives. Cast spells, hypnotize friends, and even turn a neighbor into a frog. Perform magic, quest for ingredients, and unlock spell recipes. You can craft charms, animate minions, and add magical decor." It requires a full version of The Sims and is available for $30 (due in stores by March 4).
Apple UK reports that "on the first three weekends in March, some of Apple's key resellers will host a series of in-store demo days designed to demonstrate why the Mac is the perfect platform for your digital lifestyle. Visit a participating reseller near you and discover how Apple's iLife '04 software suite can ignite your creativity and transform the way you use your computer." Apple UK has also posted a FAQ on the iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program for users in the UK.
Apple today launched a "More memory for less" promotion that offers a savings of up to $700 when upgrading memory on the purchase of a new iMac, Power Mac, or Xserve G5: "Between February 25, 2004 through March 27,2004, customers must purchase qualifying Apple product(s) and additional RAM modules (sticks), in either 256MB, 512MB, or 1GB RAM modules (only DDR333 or DDR400 RAM modules qualify)." The offer is good at the Apple Store online or Apple Retail store and is limited to limited to open RAM slots (excluding installed base RAM).
Apple saw its worldwide market share dip below 2 percent for the first time during the fourth quarter of 2003, according to Merrill Lynch. Apple captured just 1.7 percent of worldwide PC sales for the quarter; HP took the lead with 15.3 percent, while Dell was second with 14.5 percent. Merrill Lynch believes the iPod's success will eventually lead to more Mac purchases, however. Last month, IDC announced that Apple captured 3.2 percent of overall sales in the U.S. for the year.
Retrospect 6.0 Driver 5.1.103 brings support for several new tape libraries to the backup software. The update also corrects a Content Unrecognized error message with AIT tapes. Trisection 1.2 ($15 shareware) adds French and Dutch localizations to the Tetris-inspired puzzle game. Instead of blocks and lines, players must match colored groups of triangles together.Big Medium 1.3 ($130, free demo) is a Web content management system designed for non-technical staff who need to edit and update Web pages without knowledge of HTML. The new version includes WYSIWYG text editing, document uploads, 20 new templates, and more.Lasso Professional 6.0.6 Update fixes error reporting behavior and an issue with JDBC connectivity. The issues do not affect Lasso Professional 7.
Hitatchi is currently developing an embedded version of its Microdrive that could be built directly into devices like MP3 players, c|net reports. Currently, devices like Apple's iPod mini use Microdrive's with a CompactFlash interface. An embedded design would be smaller and allow manufacturers more flexibility for using the product. It would also curtail the ability to extract the Microdrive for use in other devices. The 4GB Microdrive featured in Apple's $250 iPod mini and Creative's $200 Muvo2, for example, retails for $600 on its own. Digital camera owners and eBay hawks have been ripping the drives out of the Muvo2 and using them in other applications or reselling them for a profit.
REAL Software has started shipping REALbasic 5.5, a new version of its cross-platform development environment that adds support for building Linux applications. Other new features include the ability to create native Mach-O applications for Mac OS X, build Web-aware applications with SOAP/XML support, build database applications with embedded databases, and debug Mac, Windows, or Linux applications from a Mac IDEA with new remote debugging tools. REALbasic 5.5 sells for $100; a Professional Edition that includes cross-platform development support and database server connectivity costs $400.
Apple Computer will return to London's High Court today to contest the latest lawsuit brought forth by Apple Corps, the company that represents the interests of the Beatles, Bloomberg reports. The lawsuit stems from a supposed breach of contract by Apple Computer. The two companies have previously gone to court and agreed that Apple Computer could use the Apple name for computers, while Apple Corps would retain the exclusive rights to use it for music. Following the release of the iPod and iTunes Music Store, Apple Corps filed suit against Apple Computer in July 2003. Apple Computer responded by filing its own suit in October 2003 in a U.S. court, seeking a declaration from Apple Corps that the agreement has not been breached.
Barcode Automator 2.0 updates Intelli Innovations' scriptable bulk barcode generation suite for the Mac. Version 2.0 includes a JPEG barcode image exporter, support for Adobe Creative Suite, redesigned barcode generators, support for EPS-to-PDF conversion (under Mac OS X 10.3), a new toolbar, a new customizable output font option, and support for Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode generation. The $500 appication requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Upgrades are $190.
Audiofile Engineering today announced Sample Manager 1.0, a full-featured batch audio processor for Mac OS X with support of AIFF, WAVE and Sound Designer II audio files as well as partial support of ACID, Recycle and Apple Loop files. Other features include organization functions, batch processing (gain, fade, trim, etc.), audio dithering, unlimited undo, MIDI playback, background analysis, and more. A 15-day demo of the release candidate is available, while the final version is due at the end of March for $50.
An ex-Oracle executive that Apple hired a few years ago to head up its corporate sales efforts has left the company, according to BusinessWeek: "When Apple hired Sebastian Gunningham away from Oracle in the spring of 2002, some analysts thought CEO Steve Jobs had brought him on board to crack the corporate-computing market...Two years have gone by, though, and Apple has yet to make serious inroads into the corporate market. Worse, its efforts took a huge hit when Gunningham quit in January to become the CEO of a small Miami-based software outfit. Apple says it remains committed to enterprise computing and is actively seeking a replacement for Gunningham."
Apple has released a software restore utility for the new iPod Mini. The iPod mini 1.0 Software "update" function restores software on your iPod mini. The "Restore" option erases the entire contents of your Pod mini, resets all iPod mini settings, and then installs new software. iPod mini software is not compatible with other models of iPod; the iPod mini 1.0 updater will not update or restore other models of iPod.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.62 ( -0.08 )
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ