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As anticipated earlier this month, LimeWire has released LimeWire 4.0, the latest version of its file-sharing client. The new release includes better search results, more detailed results, faster connections on startup; proxy support; a new search progress bar; support for international searches; and improved downloads. LimeWire is available in a free basic version, and a 'pro' $18 version.
Apple has launched a new Present Your Passion with Keynote contest that offers a variety of prizes the best presentation developed with Apple's Keynote presentation software: "Create a killer presentation expressing your favorite passion, using Keynote — Apple’s innovative presentation tool. You could win a 23-inch HD Cinema Display or up to $1,000 from the iTunes Music Store. Entries must be 20 slides or less and may include text, audio, video, and images — whatever you can dream up. Winners will be judged on artwork, slide design, creativity, and overall effectiveness." The deadline for submissions is June 27, 2004 at 11:59pm PT.
Evening tech news: Google's plan for selling display ads stirs complaints that the search giant is undermining the branding business; software giant Microsoft is directing its might toward the growing Internet search industry, with a broad-based push that extends from its dominant Windows operating system to its MSN online division; sports score Web operator Sportsnetwork.com sued Walt Disney Co's ESPN on Monday, claiming its bigger competitor was stealing baseball scores for its own site and refused to stop.
Apple today posted GarageBand 1.1 via the Mac OS X Software Update. The update "addresses isolated performance and stability issues, allows per-track Echo settings similar to other effects, supports loop libraries in other disk locations, supports importing of unprotected AAC audio files in addition to AIFF and MP3 files, and addresses issues with ReWire support, moving GarageBand songs between different computers, Help support, timing of individual notes (as well as entire regions), and dragging entire tracks in the timeline."
buyolympia.com has released SwordfishExpress 2, the only application for Mac OS X that is authorized for printing USPS PC Postage. It builds upon the original (and still available) freeware SwordfishExpress 1.0 which allows for printing electronic rate Delivery and Signature Confirmation barcodes. Version 2 adds many new features including more mail classes, auto-calculation of postal rates, support for high-speed thermal printers from DYMO and Zebra, automation via XML and AppleScript, integration with the Apple Address Book, third-party insurance, and a mailing log. Pricing is $20 per month (not including postage). A 30-day free trial is available.
EFI today announced EFI Designer Edition 4.0 for HP, an upgraded version of EFI's proofing software and option for the new HP Designjet 30 and HP Designjet 130 series multi-format desktop inkjet printers. It offers support for Mac OS X, the HP remote proofing format, RPF 2.0 and HP CMYK Plus color technology. It features PDF/X support, a nesting function, selectable RIP resolutions, and a new Adobe CPSI Interpreter, which supports in-RIP separation, overprinting, and handling of 2-byte fonts via a font-download facility. It will ship as an option for the HP Designjet 30 and HP Designjet 130 series printers after June 1, 2004.
White Wolf Software has released FormMate 1.0, an innovative new application that allows users to fill out PDF forms by creating text areas and picture cells directly on top of any PDF document. The application can overlay text and photos, offers alignment and position tools, supports drag & drop, and can create new PDFs based on the original document with the new text/photos. A watermark-enabled demo is available and registration ($25) removes the watermark.
TheCodingMonkeys has released SubEthaEdit 2.0, an update to the collaborative text editor that offers simultaneous (realtime) editing of the same text document with multiple parties over the Internet. It adds regular expression find/replace, invitations for improved collaborations, read-oly access to documents, "show invisibles", auto completion, split view, improved syntax modes (with individual preferences), much improved networking, iChat/Mail integration, IPv6 support, and line-endings conversion. It is free for non-commercial use; pricing starts at $35 for a commercial license.
Insecure.ws reports on a new Safari exploit, which it says allows remote websites to execute code on any machine: "there is a new Safari exploit, using a management error in the HelpViewer.app Helper which allows to execute anything on the client computer, especially when Safari Safe File Opening is activated (this is your default setting). A demo of the problem, writting a text on your hard disk and displaying is available on the Web. Apple was been notified back in February and still hasn't answered or fixed the problem."
A PC Pro magazine review of MP3 players says that there are better and cheaper options than the iPod, according to the BBC: "This month's issue of PC Pro magazine looked at 18 portable MP3 players and concluded that there were several lesser-known brands that noticeably outperformed the iPod. 'The iPod is over-priced when compared with these competitors,' said Mr Ross. 'It also falls down on battery life, with some portable MP3 players lasting three times as long, while its lack of support for Windows Media files will upset many PC users.'"
Digigami today announced it is shipping Digigami MPressionist.X, which the company says is the "first and only premastering tool for DVD video picture quality for DVD authors and professional compressionists...Digigami Mpressionist.X reveals all aspects of the compressed MPEG-2 video track, including all headers and actual bitstream data at the sequence, GOP, picture, slice and macroblock layers. Key information is available as graphic overlays that can be superimposed over the moving picture, allowing the compression variables to be correlated with the actual moving picture in realtime (realtime requires 2GHz G5 CPU)." It is available in 3 flavors--optimized for G3 or G4 (both Mac OS 9/X), and G5 (Mac OS X-only). The full version is $1000, while upgrades are $500.
lynda.com today released "Learning Apple GarageBand", a movie-based tutorial designed to help users quickly get up to speed with Apple's GarageBand music-creation software. "The training begins with an overview of the GarageBand interface and quickly advances to cover topics such as working with Apple Loops, creating and editing MIDI tracks, and recording real instruments. Users will then learn to put everything together by mixing their songs and exporting them to iTunes for sharing with the world. Exercise files accompany the training, allowing users to follow along and learn at their own pace." It features 5.5 hours training is available for $40 on CD-ROM.
WiebeTech today announced the ComboGB, a new pocket-sized portable storage enclosure featuring three different interfaces, including a FireWire 800 (requires Mac OS X), FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 interfaces. The enclosure uses the Oxford 922 bridge chipset for optimum performance, offers a brushed aluminum finish with an embossed logo, and fits smaller portable notebook drives in capacities up to 80GB. It is available starting at $240 (40GB/4200 rpm) ranging up to $400 (80GB/5400 rpm). It ships with a FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 cable. The case-only version is $120, while an optional AC adapter is $25.
MindFortress 1.2 ($25) updates the multi-media knowledge with AppleScript support (with sample templates), a script to import tab-delimited data, a new view-only mode for cards, custom icons for individual cards, and other speed improvements. MindFortress can store multiple types of data into a single (secure) storage area. [3.6MB] Proteus 4.0 ($15) is a final release of the popular multiprotocol messaging client with support for ICQ, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Yahoo Japan, Rendezvous, and Jabber. Version 4.0 features an new interface, AIM/ICQ buddy icons, a new setup assistant, AddressBook integration, custom message views, and more. [4.2MB] URL Manager Pro 3.2 ($25), now a Mach-O app (requiring Mac OS X 10.2 or later, adds support for a new validate bookmark engine, local URLs, longer file names, FireFox and OmniWeb 5 web browsers, new AppleScript commands, and Spanish and Italian localizations to the bookmark application. [4.0MB] iClip 3 ($20) is a multiple clipboard/scrapbook application; it features new pop-up previews that enable quick viewing of clipping contents file aliases for file launching, dockless operation, the ability to name clippings, and new "action buttons" for easy access to various clipping functions. Clips can be stored/retrieved/organized in a floating window. [4.0MB] ScriptPak for QuickBooks Pro 6 ($30) adds over 180 voice commands to control Intuit's popular accounting program. ScriptPaks supplement MacSpeech's TalkAnyWhere technology (for dictating text into any text area) in its iListen speech recognition software to allow to support specific keyboard and menu commands in an application. Code-X 1.4 is a FileMaker plug-in that allows developers to build registration functionality and issue custom registration codes to unlock their solutions. Version 1.4 support multiple products, detailed documentation, new tutorials, FileMaker 7 examples, and new restriction methods (time- and function- limiting). Pricing starts at $110. [1.4MB] iTunes XHTML PlayList 3.3 (free) is a playlist converter that creates XHTML and CSS pages from exported iTunes playlists. Version 3.3 adds improved support for text documents exported from iTunes under different languages. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [1.1MB] FootTrack 1.7 ($40) allows users to import, catalog, and search video collections. The update adds support for keywords, streamlined importing/compression, and a new 'Export' toolbar. It can split analog video manually (and set the recorded) and reads the date recorded and timecode info from DV footage. [3.1MB]
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak received an honorary doctorate degree Saturday from North Carolina State University. MacNN reader Arman Assa has posted a page with a number of photos from the commencement ceremonies.
Freshly Squeezed Software has released PulpFiction and PulpFiction Lite, two new news reader/aggregator applications for Mac OS X. PulpFiction features a Mail-like interface, flexible filters, and audio-visual queues to alert users of feed updates. PulpFiction also sports customizable cascading stylesheets, which allow users to view their feeds in whatever way they please. PulpFiction is available for $19, while PulpFiction Lite is free. A feature-set comparison of the two can be found here.
eZediaQTI 2.1 is the latest release of the next generation multimedia authoring software for the Web. Version 2.1 adds new paint tools (brush, eraser, fill, selection, crop, feather, drop shadow, and more) and a new Export function that saves an entire projects a self-contained HTML Web site, not requiring any plug-in to view. eZediaQTI sells for $100; the update is free.
Chronos today released SOHO Business Cards, which it bills as "the fastest and easiest way to create stunning business cards on Mac OS X." SOHO Business Cards features more than 13,000 designer-quality graphics, 3,000 ready-made designs, 700 supported card stocks, and more. SOHO Business Cards sells for $30 and is the first in a series of Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) products Chronos plans to release this year.
Cyberduck 2.3 (free) is an open-source SFTP and FTP browser supporting multiple connections, drag & drop, a transfer queue, upload/download resume, a simple bookmark manager, and integration with third-party applications. It adds Keychain support, public key authentication, a new file transfer manager, improved bookmarks, and more. [2.9MB] Link Checker 1.3 ($20) searches websites for broken links or images and displays any redirected links it comes across so the links on your web site are not outdated; it will also fix the broken links for local websites. Version 1.3 offers interface improvements and many other enhancements and bug fixes. [Classic, OSX] iCalViewer 1.1.1 ($11) adds the ability to see important events (outside the current timeline), custom calendar display, viewing of "to do" items, color preferences, a new hotkey, and interactivity. The application/screen saver displays iCal calendar events as boxes dynamically moving in a window, on the desktop or in a list view. [1.5MB] Brickles Pro 1.01 ($25) is a new version of the classic "Ball & Paddle" game, offering adjustable colors and patterns, adjustable ball and paddle sizes, stereo sounds, adjustable speed and window sizes and more. Users can now chose from among various brickle array designs. [560KB] TaskTime 1.6 ($10) updates the project timing and invoicing application with options to log expenses, multiple clients, custom invoice messages, currency localization, and more. It adds an export feature for both comma and tab text. The application can generate invoices which can be emailed, printed, and saved to disk. [1.8MB] DRDial 1.0.1 (free) is a plug-in for Apple's Address Book application. It adds a menu item to the action menus of all telephone numbers, which allows the user to play the corresponding DTMF tones through the speakers to dial the number automatically without using the number pad. [175KB] CryptoQuote 1.3.3 ($5) is a word puzzle game which contains hundreds of quotes; it adds an option to automatically download monthly "Big One" puzzles. Cintos is a unique (online) strategy board game that is played on an 8x8 board with 2 or 4 players. [CRYP, OSX] Painter's Picker 2.0 ($20) is "complete redesign" to the extension to the color picker panel in Mac OS X. It puts an ineractive color wheel inside almost any Mac OS X application, allowing the user to find related colors easily and quickly choose color schemes. [975KB] iPhoto-To-Keynote plugin ($10) allows users to export photos into a Keynote presentation (and will automatically reformat photos, if necessary). A limited demo allows users to export 3 photos at a time. (A version with raw photo support will be included with the upcoming Lightbox 1.0.3.) [147KB]
Tech news: advertisers are returning to the Web, and spending is expected to reach a record high; the U.S. government has arrested 65 people and launched more than 1,000 investigations as part of a crackdown on child pornography distribution through Internet file-trading networks; Malaysia will bar companies from hosting 'terrorist' Internet sites such as the one that carried a video of the murder of American Nicholas Berg, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said on Friday.
Hitachi's hard disk drive unit said on Sunday that it will spend about $200 million to double the disk drive output of its Thailand factory, including the 1-inch, 4GB disk drives that are found in the iPod Mini, according to Reuters: "Production of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' Microdrive will rise to about 2 million units per quarter by the end of the year, from 200,000 in the first three months of this year, said John Osterhout, who manages Hitachi GST's Microdrive 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