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SplashID 3.0.5 safely and securely stores personal identification information including user names, passwords, credit cards, calling cards, bank accounts, PINs, and more. Information is stored in a secure, encrypted format and is quickly accessible on a Palm OS handheld or Desktop computer with the included desktop software. Version 3.0 includes the following new features: alternate row coloring and color picker, custom icon support, a password generator, resizable Preview pane, and more. Registration for new users is $30.
Apple should not be allowed patent its iPod user interface, according to ZDNet columnist Matt Loney. "I have yet to see anything in the iPod interface that I have not seen before elsewhere. If this patent is granted, it will simply serve to show what a car-wreck the US patents system has become, and should serve as a warning to governments elsewhere." Loney compares the situation to Apple's past attempts at patenting broad concepts: "Apple learnt its lesson when it tried - and failed - to sue Microsoft for copyright infringement of its interface."
Evening tech news: A judge in Canada says making copyrighted music available on a computer network is not a crime; hardware costs will fall sharply within a decade to the point where widespread computing with speech and handwriting won't be limited by expensive technology, Bill Gates said; America Online, plagued by subscriber losses and American job cuts, is following the lead of other large companies by opening a new software center in India.
IBM said it is opening up its Power microprocessor platform to enable other companies to innovate on top of the architecture, according to eWEEK: "The goal is to enable Power-based solutions to grow to the point where much of the technology developedófrom the smallest embedded systems to the largest supercomputersóis created atop the Power architecture." IBM says that Sony has licensed the architecture and that it is creating a new portal for developers. Meanwhile, IBM has posted articles on the PowerPC's three instruction levels and how to use implementation-specific deviations in its introduction to the PowerPC application-level programming, while another IBM-centric article talks a lot about the PowerPC.
Apple has extended its Free Personalization promotion at the Apple Store online with the purchase of any new iPod. It allows users to get custom laser engraving for free with the purchase of a 15GB, 20GB or 40GB iPod. It now runs through June 26, 2004 ("or while supplies last").
LaunchBar 4.0b1 ($20) updates the popular keyboard-based system utility that offer easy access to applications, URLs, and other documents/files. Version 4.0 brings a new configuration interface, a faster multithreaded indexing engine, Web search, hierarchical browsing (iTunes Music Library, Address Book, Bookmarks, Web Browser History, Folders), Network location control, system file functions, etc. [216KB] Path Finder 3.2b ($35) updates Cocoatech's file manager for Mac OS X with new features, including integrated CD burning, completely rewritten fast file search that leverages new OS 10.3 technologies, a new "Connect to Server" window, integrated screen capture capabilities, and other interface refinements and overall improvements. [5.5MB] Menu Calendar 1.6 (free) updates the free desktop-utility for Mac OS X with bug fixes and enhancements to the graphics. The system utility offers instant access to a monthly calendar from your menubar, integration with iCal, custom week settings, and other preferences. [162KB] Dantz Retrospect 6.0.193 updates the backup application with several bug fixes. It includes an updated Device Access bundle (v1.0.5) that provides a workaround to a Mac OS 10.3.3 bug that prevented tape autoloaders and fibre channel tape libraries from working. It also includes changes that increase the speed of duplicates and restores during the Closing phase and now allows "New Media" backups to older (pre-6.0) backup sets (as well as Restore functions). [24MB] CyTV 0.4 (free) is a streaming solution for elgato's EyeTV family of TV tuners. It allows you to watch TV and recorded programs over a wired or wireless network, and it supports EyeTV USB, 200, 300, and 400 and can pause/resume live TV on the client ("timeshift") and change channels remotely. It adds support for EyeTV firewire models, newer EyeTV software, and performance improvements. [430KB] Quicksilver 1.0b2 is keyboard-based application described as "an evolving structure for manipulating any form of data. The current modules include a launcher, a clipboard recorder, and a shelf." [762KB] Hog Bay Notebook 3.1 ($20) adds import/export of folder and file hierarchies, better GUI navigation via the keyboard, and validation of notebooks that are read/write before opening. The application, which allows you record and and organize your thoughts using a notepad and outliner, runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [1.0MB]
TrailBlazer is a new application that works alongside a Mac OS X Web browser to display the pages in the browser's history in a 2D map with thumbnails and summaries. The application was developed by students at the University of Illinois, who captured second place at the school's annual Engineering Open Hosue for their efforts. Version 0.51 is currently avaialble for donwload, as is the source code. An introduction video (16MB) is also available for viewing.
RE:Vision Effects today released FieldsKit 1.4, a plugin for After Effects-compatible applications such as discreet's Combustion, Final Cut Pro, Pinnacle's Commotion, and Boris Red. It includes FieldsKit Deinterlacer, which "deinterlaces video imagery with superior results. Using proprietary field reconstruction and adaptive motion techniques, FieldsKit Deinterlacer can build full frames from fields that are of much higher quality than the standard approaches available in most effects and video editing applications." It adds support for 24 Pulldown Advanced (24Pa), support for multi-processing, and now runs on Mac OS X. It is $90 (or a free upgrade to previous owners).
Techtree.com reports on a forthcoming wireless (Bluetooth) adapter and headset for the iPod from Impulsesoft Technologies. The iWisa adapter attaches to the iPod dock and communicates with the iWish headset adapter, which permits the use of any stereo headphones or speakers. The company is licensing its technology to US-based Ten Technology, makers of the naviPod, and hopes to ship the product some time in 2005.
OpenOSX has started shipping its build of Gimp 2.0.0, the open-source GNU image manipulation program that was released last week. The OpenOSX build installs quickly and easily on Mac OS X. OpenOSX Gimp 2.0.0 is available for $25 (download) or $30 (CD). Upgrades from the original Gimp are $15 (download) and $20 (CD).
Canon today announced two new Compact Photo Printers, the CP-220 and CP-330, which allow users to print pictures directly from a digital camera. The printers support three different paper sizes: 4"x8" for greeting cards or invitations, 4x"6" for postcard size prints, or credit-card size pictures. Canon says the printers can create water- and fade-resistant prints that last as long as traditional film prints in as little as 85 seconds. The printers will also allow consumers to print thumbnail sequences from movie clips from select Canon PowerShot digital cameras. The printers measure about 6.75"x4.75"x2.15" and weigh less than two pounds. Both are bundled with a 4"x6" paper tray and a compact power adapter, while the CP-330 model also comes equipped with a tray for the 4"x8" size and a rechargeable battery pack. The CP-330 is due in April for $280, while the CP-220 will ship in May 2004 for $180.
CMS Products has reduced the pricing on its ABSplus for Desktops line of backup products. ABSplus is an automatic backup system that combines a hardware solution (FireWire or USB 2.0 hard drive) with the company's BounceBack Professional software. New pricing follows: $210 (80GB), $230 (120GB), $340 (200GB), and $390 (250GB).
Apple Computer may bring its lawsuit to court against Apple Corps, a U.S. judge has ruled, the Los Angeles Times (free subscription required) reports. Apple Corps, a company owned by Beatles members and their families, filed suit against Apple Computer last year, alleging the iTunes Music Store violates a 1991 agreement between the two companies. Apple Computer for its part denies that allegation, which was filed in a London court, and responded by filing suit against Apple Corps in a California court requesting that a judge rule that Apple Computer has not in fact violated that agreement.
The music industry filed its first lawsuits against song-swappers in Europe and Canada yesterday, targetting 247 people, AP reports. According to the London-based International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), individuals in Germany, Denmark, Italy and Canada had been hit with lawsuits, criminal charges, or threatening letters. "This is our first coordinated effort to take this campaign over the range of countries where file-stealing is a problem," said Allen Dixon, general counsel and executive director of the IFPI. The latest lawsuits come one day after a Harvard study found that file sharing has little to do with a decline in CD sales.
QuickerTek has introduced a new antenna for 15- and 17-inch aluminum PowerBook G4 owners that boosts the wireless signal strength of units by up to three times. The $90 external antenna includes comes with detailed instructions and a CD with software for measuring wireless signal strength performance. [Site not updated.]
OmniWeb 5.0b4 features bookmark synchronization using .Mac iDisk or any WebDAV server to keep your bookmarks in sync between multiple machines as well as the usual bug fixes and stability improvements. Omni Group's browser runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later and offers advanced browser functions; it expires May 4, 2004. [4.8MB] D.B. Cooper (donationware) can browse the contents of the "secret" directories contained on Mac OS X restore CD's and DVD's. Users can extract the hidden images, including AppleWorks, iDVD, Quicken, etc. without having to use Apple's software restore software. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3. [72KB] ZipCodes FM has been updated with the current 2004 U.S. zip code database. It allows FileMaker users to perform tasks such as assigning customers to sales reps or locating the store nearest to a customer, based on reliable, accurate geographical data. The full version ($130) includes the entire US zip code database with latitudes and longitudes and a Light version ($40) is designed for those who already have their own database. My Money Minder 1.4 ($13) tracks expenses, income and bank account balances. It adds calendar control for selecting dates, better sorting options, negative number support for expenses, an improved GUI, and other changes. [1.5MB] JIMZip 1.41 ($7) is an easy-to-use zipping and unzipping interface for Mac OS X. It provides access to the archiving functions built into Mac OS X. It is compatible with programs such as: WinZip, PowerArchiver, PKZip, ZipIt, Aladdin Expander, Stuffit DropZip, etc. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [623KB] A Better Finder Launcher 1.2 provides instant access to all your applications, documents and folders via the keyboard, offering "type-as-you-go" filtering. It supports wildcar support, fast indexing, user-configurable options, and a semi-transparent interface. It runs on Mac OS 10.3 or later. [1.4MB] SuperSpriteSurface framework 1.0b1 ($30) is designed for REALbasic developers, offering "a savvy, modern alternative to REALbasic's built in SpriteSurface control. SuperSpriteSurface improves upon REALbasic's built in SpriteSurface control." It offers fast compositing, collision detection, animation, and other features. [2.8MB] WebPrint Plus X 3.1 ($40) provides a set of system-wide tools for collecting, saving, printing, and editing information. It offers an improved contextual menu, updated dialog boxes, and other stability improvements. [1.9MB] Ultralingua Dictionaries 4.4.8 ($30 per language) brings additions to the dictionary databases, support for new language modules (French-Italian / Italian-Frenc and Esperanto-English / English-Esperanto), better support for automatic verb conjugation (in French, German, Spanish, and Italian), and other bug fixes. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later. Upgrades are $15. [options]
Musikmesse 2004 kicks off today in Germany today, and with it Native Instruments has announced six new products: Guitar Rig, a complete solution for creating guitar sounds, live and in the studio; Elektrik Piano, which offers the sounds of four popular e-pianos in one software package (the Rhodes MK I and MK II, the Clavinet E7, and the Wurlitzer A 200); Xpress Boards, which includes Xpress versions of the B4, PRO-53, and FM7 keyboards; Komplete 2, which packs eleven synthesizers, samplers, effects, and instrument emulations, plus four high quality sample libraries, on two DVDs; FM7 Sounds Vol. 2, a new collection of 256 presets for the FM7 synthesizer; and finally the B4D Drawbar Controller, a hardware controller for the B4 Organ that features 9 mechanical drawbars, 22 buttons, and two knobs.
Reelhouse announced today the release of its royalty-free Film FX library. The 200-plus film leaders and FX were built from "extremely rare" 16 mm and 35mm sources from around the world. The collection took nearly 6 years to compile, according to Reelhouse. The library is contained on two DVD discs n QuickTime-compatible formats. This month, the FILM FX library is $400 and available with free overnight shipping, and free sample downloads.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ¬≠Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
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