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A new school in the he Jordan District in Utah has voted to equip the facility with Macs only, according to MacUsingEducators. "The principal did present her new staff with a choice [...] her staff overwhelmingly wanted Macs in their classrooms." Every teacher in that school will be receiving an iBook as the school opens. "They told [the principal] they didn't want all of the problems associated with PCs." The school will also be ordering a mobile iBook lab as soon as further funding is received.
Evening tech news:Microsoft is demanding the 'Lindows' open-source software company, be hit with a fine in excess of $100,000 per day for allegedly infringing on the Windows trademark; Sony has created a buzz with the unveiling of a new digital music player, but analysts say it has a long way to go before it challenges the industry dominance of Apple's popular iPod; U.S. lawmakers want to make taking surreptitious photos using cell phones and other illicit uses of video technology a federal crime punishable by up to a year in jail.
Blue World today announced the Lasso Settings Migrator, a new tool to aide users of Lasso with migrating settings from one Lasso setup to another. It is a free tool for Lasso Professional that enables migrating database settings between hosts and creating an export of all of Lasso's preferences and security settings for import into a new Lasso Professional 7 installation. The Lasso Settings Migrator is immediately available as a preview release for testing and feedback.
USBVision 1.1 ($25) updates the software drivers for video digitizing devices including the XLR8 InterView, Belkin VideoBus and others. Version 1.1 adds auto-file naming, keyboard snapshot access, duration-based recording, better aspect ration management, improved startup time, and broader AppleScript support to the USBVision Capture software. [842KB] CodeTek Virtual Desktop 3.1 is a system utility that allows to creat virtual monitors/desktops to better organize information and extend the traditional Mac desktop. The $20 "Lite" version supports X11, Expose, offers a GUI for switching between environments, and other features, while the $40 "Pro" version adds AppleScript support, and more options. [Lite, Pro] SuperSpriteSurface 1.0 ($30) is a framework to give REALbasic game developers a modern foundation to build the next generation of 2D games. The OpenGL-based game engine offers an alternative to REALbasic's built 2D game and graphics capabilities with collision detection, time-based animation, and hardware graphics acceleration, GPU-based object manipulation, etc. [2.8MB] QT Easy Annotations 1.0 (free) is a tool to set QuickTime Pro's advanced features, alloweing authors to customize QuickTime movies info such as copyright data, URL links, comments as well as set AutoPlay, loop movies, and turn off controllers. Users can build/import information sets. It requires QuickTime Pro 6.5 or later using Mac OS X 10.3. [99KB] Apple's CHUD Tools 3.5.1 are "applications and tools for measuring and optimizing software performance on Mac OS X as well as for hardware bringup and system benchmarking. The CHUD Tools are delivered as a part of the Xcode Tools for Panther." [22MB] Wired 1.1 (client/server) is an open, modern and free version of the BBS-style client/server system, providing chat, messaging and file transfers. Version 1.1 adds support trackers, sound preferences, IRC-style chat options, chat history toggle, and many other changes. [client, server]
Edirol today announced that is now shipping its FA-101 10x10 FireWire Audio interface. Offering direct support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther using Apple’s FireWire Core Audio Driver 1.0.8, the FA-101 is a powerful FireWire Audio interface that offers low latency, portability and stability on the Mac platform. "With its ultra low throughput latency and easy management of audio capabilities, Mac OS X Core Audio integrates a range of audio functionality into the operating system." The FA-101 ($700) is a single half-rack 10x10, 24-bit/96kHz audio interface drawing power directly from a 6-pin FireWire port for portability.
A MacNN reader reports that his copy of Microsoft Office 2004, ordered from the Apple Store, has shipped. Microsoft has yet to make an official shipping annoucement but has previously said the new version of Office would ship some time in May. Microsoft Office 2004 sells for $400 ($230 upgrade). A student/teacher version is available for $150. Update: Virtual PC 7.0, which will be available as part Microsoft Office 2004 Professional, will be available later this summer, as the company completes development of the application. Version 7 will bring Power Mac G5 compatibility as well as other enhancements.
Digital Events is hosting the inaugural New Zealand eXpo Conference for Mac Users, which will be held in in Auckland on October 9th, 2004. It will feature twelve 90-minute seminars on using your Mac and related applications: "The eXpo Conference is a celebration of all things MacIntosh. An opportunity to learn more about the programmes you use with your Mac. Learn some new short cuts or creative ways of using your computer. If you are thinking of purchasing an Apple computer, this is the perfect place to see what these wonderful machines are capable of."
Got Game Entertainment today announced Alida for Mac OS X has begun shipping to North American retail outlets (with the PC version due in July). The $40 first person 3D graphical adventure game created by Australian musician and artist Cos Russo is set on Alida, an abandoned island theme park ten miles out at sea: "Originally built and inhabited by a wildly successful rock band, the island is actually a gigantic guitar, replete with wondrous and ornate graphics, unique and bizarre locations. When the band split up, Alida was abandoned. But, now, several years later, the band’s manager suggests a reunion on Alida. Soon thereafter band member Arin leaves for the island and is not heard from again. Players must search the island for the missing musician and bring him home."
Small Tree Communications today announced support for the new Intel PRO/10GbE SR Server Adapters for Mac OS X. These 10Gb Ethernet adapters use Small Tree's driver software to offer the fastest enterprise-level networking for the Mac. The cards are targeted for high performance video, media, and file serving. The 10Gb/sec transfer rate is equivalent to 25 FireWire connections running at maximum theoretical bandwidth. The 10Gb Ethernet adapters are 133MHz, 64-bit capable PCI-X cards compatible with Power Mac G5, Xserve G4 and Xserve G5 running Mac OS 10.2.7 or later. The cards utilize multimode optical fiber that can span distances up to 300 meters without repeaters. They are available now for $4800 with a 3-4 delivery time.
XtraLean Software today announced ImageWell V2, an update to its free image editing software for quick manipulation and upload to an iDisk, FTP server, or other web server. It offers functions such as resize, crop, shape, rotate, and watermark as well as other advanced functions such as drop shadow, annotations, or highlight labels and arrows. ImageWell saves and stores multiple server locations and offers more choices for setting personal preferences, making server set up and user specific options easy to manage and organize. Version 2 adds a new interface, new tools, and improved editing as well as Apple scriptable functionality, manual resize, more grab options, non-destructible crop, import directly from digital camera, and more.
MonsterGecko has announced the PistolMouse 3D, a unique game controller geared specifically for first-person shooter games. MonsterGecko says the PistolMouse 3D improves a player's reaction time and offers superior precision over traditional alternatives. Pre-orders for the $70 controller are currently being taken, with shipments starting in June.
Open Door Networks today introduced new software, which it says "lets Mac users experience the World Wide Web's increasingly visual nature in an innovative new fashion. 'Envision' presents images from Web sites outside the confining windows of traditional Web browsers. Instead of requiring Web content to be clicked through, Envision helps users experience the 'sights' of the Web in new ways, including a slide-show-like presentation, full screen with a digital picture frame around images, and/or a 'thumbnail' view for a broad overview." Envision offers easy access to the textual Web content underlying any images and supports automatic scanning and display of website images. A free beta for Mac OS X 10.2.8 is available now, while the final version is due in July (pricing has not been set).
Roxio today announced it will offer DVD Double Layer (DL) support in its Toast 6 line of software. The new DVD +R Double Layer capabilities of Toast 6 Titanium and Toast with Jam 6 will enable users to burn nearly twice the amount of personal data (from 4.7GB to 8.5GB), or record more than three hours of MPEG-2 (DVD-quality) video content on a single DVD +R DL disc, allowing video professionals to create full-length productions without using complicated and expensive DLT (digital linear tape). Toast 6 users will also benefit from the ability to back up their non-encrypted DVDs without having to first compress the dual layer into a single layer--a step which requires additional software and sacrifices video and audio quality. The update will be offered as a free download to registered users in June.
VueScan 8.0 ($60) brings a new metal look under Mac OS X, an improved UI, new support for per-color analog gain on Nikon scanners, and added support for reading raw files from dozens of digital cameras. The scanner utility offers improved color accuracy and color balance as well as supports USB, FireWire, and SCSI interfaces and both film and flatbed scanners. [2.0MB] Adobe Photoshop CS MultiProcessor Support update addresses an issue that caused image corruption when rotating bitmap images and an issue that caused a program error when using the Magic Wand tool. [52KB] dincTYPE today posted eight new free fonts, which it says "won't be there very long. dinc will soon be 'Missing In Action.' We will be closing the site temporarily for redesign and hopefully a lot of new font designs." The MIA 8 Ball of fonts include Capsule, Grandpaboy, Scarlet Letter, Chewtoy, Frank Mills, Little Eden, Doggy, and Jez. Yasu 0.5 is a maintenance utility for Mac OS X 10.2 (or later) designed "with System Administrators who service large groups of workstations in mind, enabling them to perform a specific group of maintenance tasks quickly within a few clicks, rather than endlessly typing shell script commands in the Terminal app." [195KB] WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos 1.15 and Frozen Throne 1.15 updaters have been released by Blizzard. Both updates resolve a number of bugs with the games and several small feature enhancements, including an improved matchmaking system, and anonymous 'Free For All' games. [WC, FT] Captain FTP 3.3 updates the multithreaded FTP/SSL-FTP/SFTP client with support for accelerate downloads, external text editors, bookmarks, virtual folders, privileges management, and more. It supports files larger than 2GB, custom scripts, alternative FTP server support, automatic resume after failure, and more. [5.3MB] MovieHouse 3.7 ($15) adds an export function to the movie player and library with a 3D gallery, Designed to organize a movie collection, it offers functions for organization, full-screen/window playback of MPEG, MOV, and AVI files, burning CDs, player "skins", searching, shuffle play, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [919KB]
The playfair project, which worked to strip the digital rights management of songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store, has re-launched as hymn, an acronym for "hear your music anywhere." The purpose of hymn remains "to allow you to exercise your fair-use rights" under copyright law. In that vein, the software will still strip a song's DRM, but will now maintain the Apple ID of the user who purchased it, to encourage fair-use and not piracy. Apple has twice managed to remove the playfair project from servers that hosted it by sending cease-and-desist notices.
Ovolab today released Ovolab Phlink 1.4, an update to its innovative telephony software for the Macintosh that turns your Mac into a powerful answering machine and telephone information center. The new version can handle multiple phone lines simultaneously, by simply plugging in multiple Phlink telephone adapters. Additionally, Ovolab Phlink now detects incoming faxes and routes them to the Mac's internal fax modem as well can optionally add dynamic information to the callerid window through AppleScript. Ovolab Phlink ($150) includes the software and the USB telephone adapter, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
A new Town Hall meeting will take place at Macworld Expo Boston, IDG World Expo announced today. The interactive forum will feature a number of top industry observers who will debate the important issues shaping the Mac industry. Currently slated to appear are Chuck Joiner of The MUG Center, Shawn King of Your Mac Life, Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus, and Jason Snell of Macworld. Macworld Expo Boston runs from July 12-15; the Town Hall meeting will take place July 13 at 11:30 a.m.
Advanced Media, a subsidiary of optical media giant Ritek, has announced a series of new RiData flash memory products. Among the new offerings are CompactFlash (32MB-4GB), SmartMedia (32MB-128MB), MultiMedia (64MB-1GB), and SecureDigital (64MB-512MB) memory cards, as well as four PCMCIA flash memory card adapters (5-in-1, CompactFlash, SD/MultiMedia, and SmartMedia) and a USB 2.0 8-in-1 card reader. Finally, a thumb-size EZ Drive USB flash drive is available in capacities from 32MB-1GB. Pricing information is unavailable.
Iogear has announced its new line of 3.5" Ion Combo Hard Drives, which feature both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity. The drives are available in capacities from 80GB ($220) to 250GB ($420); an enclosure, without drive, can also be purchased for $100.
PB FixIt has released its free FixIt Guide series, which provide detailed instructions for disassembly, upgrading, repairing, and reassembling PowerBooks. Each guide has detailed disassembly instructions that walk the reader through the process of easily accessing and replacing damaged PowerBook components. The FixIt Guides are available on the Web for free and in print for $15 each. At present, guides are available for the following PowerBooks: PowerBook G3 Wallstreet, Lombard, Pismo and Titanium PowerBook G4 Mercury, Onyx, DVI.
Apple has started offering the AppleCare Professional Video SupportLine, which provides customers with direct access to Apple's Professional Video Technical support team 12 hours a day, 7 days a week; priority phone and email support; and an unlimited number of support incidents for one year. The program covers current releases of Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro HD, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, and Soundtrack, as well as troubleshooting for Apple hardware and for interconnectivity between a Mac or Xserve and an Xserve RAID4. The AppleCare package costs $800 and covers a single designated contact in an organization.
Apple has announced a new award program involving its 'Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics,' which "makes it easy for every life scientist to harness the immense power of computational clusters." Apple is seeking five of America’s "best life science researchers," each of whom will receive an award of the cutting-edge research technology they need to reach their scientific goals. Through a formal call for applications, Apple will award five fully provisioned, all-inclusive Apple Workgroup Clusters to four higher education researchers and one non-education researcher. Over $200,000 in cluster hardware and software will be awarded during this program.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
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
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