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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 developed—from the smallest embedded systems to the largest supercomputers—is 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: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
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