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All Thumbs 1.3 ($8) is a powerful thumbnail/thumbnail website creation system. It can create thumbnails from user-defined portions of an image or it can create thumbnails in the typical manner of reducing the size of an image by a certain percentage or to a certain size. It adds a more convenient interface, shadow/solid border options, new template commands, and more. [1.0MB] iTunes Alarm 0.4 allows users to set the time, playlist, volume, and other settings to turn iTunes into a powerful musical alarm. It includes features like a user-controllable fade up or down and a sleep alarm and adds menu items to reset settings, help, and check for update. [346KB] SSHKeychain 0.6 (free) acts as a gateway between you and the agent by automatically adding SSH keys when you need them. It integrates with the Apple Keychain and offers options to automatically removed keys when your computer goes to sleep, when the Apple Keychain is locked, or when the screensaver starts. Version 0.6 adds tunnel support, allowing users to forward local ports over a ssh connection. [377KB] Bugdget X 4.4 ($30) updates the personal finance manager. It now offers integration with Mac OS X Addrees Book and Apple's iCal, adds new reports for balance sheet and profit/loss along with user-selectable date ranges, better bill payment options (new "weekly" option), better navigation, new German and Polish localizations, and more. [3.2MB] Simple Rotate 1.2 ($2) is an iMovie plugin that rotates any part of or the entire clip. Users can set start and end rotation, and the plug will animate the frames in-between. It includes options to set the area of the effect, opacity, start/end of the rotation, and background color. [890KB] KGA Golf 1.2.3 ($15) updates KB Productions' top-down golf game with a new sounds effects toggle (on/off), a smarter camera to follow the action, improved ball/terrain display, and "out of bounds" to help beginners. It features 13 different courses, a hole/course editor, "target golf", and more. [Classic, OSX] El iPodo v1.1 (freeware) is a small freeware utility who let you browse your Apple's iPod and copy files to your harddisk. It adds the possibility to copy more than one file at time (ADD) and show the Artist and Track title in list. [1.1MB]
Evening tech news: Security researchers warned of new Web server compromises--sometimes on sites of large corporations--that install malicious programs on a Windows PC using two flaws in Internet Explorer that Microsoft has not yet fixed; Japanese electronics giant Toshiba has developed a tiny prototype fuel cell the size of a thumb; a software engineer at America Online was arrested yesterday on federal charges that he hacked into the company's computers to steal 92 million e-mail addresses that were later sold and used to bombard AOL members with spam; Microsoft says it is looking to turn over more of its programs to open-source software developers, playing a greater role in a process that the company has criticized strongly at times in the past. [updated]
In Brief: BRU Server data protection software for Linux and Mac OS X server systems has been qualified across Qualstar's RLS and TLS-Series of tape libraries; Tiawanese manufacturer Hon Hai, Apple's largest contract manufacturer of desktop computers (both the eMac and Power Mac series), has acquired contract orders for producing Apple's AirPort Express WiFi device; A "Memo to Steve Jobs" says while the "sleek iPod is cruising along as the leading digital music player," Apple will need to add a color screen to the iPod to continue its success; and a new "WiFi hot zone" in downtown Spokane (WA) offers 100 blocks of wireless internet access for both government and limited free public use (up to two hours per day).
Two Apple product managers recently conducted what might have been the first in-air commercial videoconference, the company says. Apple product manager Kurt Knight, on the ground in Cupertino, hooked up over iChat AV with product line manager Eric Zelenka, returning to San Francisco from Munich, by leveraging Lufthansa’s new wireless high-speed broadband connection service. “The video quality was great and scaled well all the way up to full screen,” says Knight. “I think we made history as the first people to have an in-air video conference, not counting Air Force One or other ultra-expensive solutions. Very, very cool.”
Apple was No. 2 in educational market sales in the US--well behind market leader Dell--in the first quarter of 2004, according to a report by American City Business Journals: "Dell's share of the U.S. education market in the first quarter of 2004 - 44 percent - was roughly three times that of its nearest competitor, one-time leader Apple Computer Inc., with 14 percent. Hewlett-Packard Co. had 11.3 percent, Gateway Inc. 6.2 percent and IBM 3.7 percent." Dell is reportedly trying to garner even more marketshare by cutting prices and selling more "beyond the box" technology, including bundling computers with projectors, cameras, interactive whiteboards and tablet PCs.
FirewireDirect today announced its largest 2.5-inch portable hard drives. The new 100GB capacity portable drives are available in three models: Mach IV ($440), Mach VII ($460) and Spark 800 ($470). The bus-powered drives use a 9.5mm drive mechanism in a case that is less than 5-inchs long and half-an-inch in height. Featuring a tiny, sleek Titanium-style form factor, the Mach VIII features a triple interface, including a 6-pin FireWire, 9-pin FireWire 800, and a mini USB 2.0/1.1 connector, while the Mach IV features a standard FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connection. The Spark 800 features two FireWire 800 ports and a USB 2.0 port. All three models ship with 110-240V power adapters, cables, carrying case and available with Mac or Windows software ($15 extra for Mach drives).
A Techworld article on security says that Mac OS X is no more secure than other operating systems when looking at the number of vulnerabilities posted to the Secunia database during 2003 and 2004: "Each product is broken down into pie charts demonstrating how many, what type and how significant security holes have been in each. One thing the hard figures have shown is that OS X's reputation as a relatively secure operating system is unwarranted, Secunia said. This year and last year Secunia tallied 36 advisories on security issues with the software, many of them allowing attackers to remotely take over the system - comparable to figures on operating systems such as Windows XP Professional and Red Hat Enterprise Server."
In Brief: Boinx Software, currently developing 'Untitled App' for creating professional slideshows, is holding a naming contest in which it is giving away an Apple iSight; An online petition has been created asking Adobe to continue to develop FrameMaker for the Mac as well as create a Mac OS X version; CMS Products has reduced the price on BounceBack Professional (for versioning, disaster recovery, sync and backup) to $80 ($70 electronic). Cocktail, a popular Mac OS X utility for system maintenance, can be purchased at 50% discount ($6) during Euro 2004 finals (until July 4th).
Vonage and Xten today announced that Vonage and Xten have completed interoperability testing of an OEM version of Xten's X-PRO SIP SoftPhone for Mac-based Vonage subscribers. Mac users can now download the Vonage X-PRO for the Mac OS X SoftPhone to start making and receiving telephone calls immediately on their computers. Road Warriors using the Vonage X-PRO SoftPhone for Mac OS X can access the Vonage service from almost any Internet connected personal computer, offering increased mobility of the Vonage service.
Software MacKiev last week added support for label-free CD and DVD printing to Broderbund's The Print Shop for Mac. Offering support for some Epson Stylus Photo printers, the company says that The Print Shop becomes "first major consumer print productivity product for Mac OS X users to offer support for printing directly onto printable CDs and DVDs." The software already includes support for creating CD/DVD labels leveraging included project templates and integration with iTunes. The update provides direct-CD printing support for the Epson Stylus Photo 960, 900, R200, R300/R300M and R800. MacKiev is offering up to a $40 rebate on The Print Shop for Mac when purchased with direct-CD-enabled Epson printer. The promotion runs through July 15 and offers $20, $35, and $40 back on the R200, R300, and 900, respectively.
Early morning tech: Yahoo on Wednesday began blocking third-party messaging clients from using its services (affecting clients such as Adium), saying that it was an attempt to control "spim" (spam IMs); Hotmail is the latest provider to expand email storage (up to 250MB) for its free email account users and up to 2GB for its paying customers ($20/year); Florida is considering taxing home networks that have more than one computer using a 1985 state law; Computer trade show Comdex has been canceled this year because of the growing interest in shows emphasizing consumer electronics.
In Brief: Oracle has released Oracle Database 10g Early Adopters Release 1 (10.1.0.3) for Mac OS X Server 10.3.4 users; Apple is offering a discount on MacAddict magazine to .Mac members; Security Focus has a report that claims Capitol Records has "some sort of new copy protection system, that automatically, silently, installs 'helpful' copy protection software as soon as you insert the CD into default systems." Architosh has posted an in-depth look at form-Z 4.1 for Mac OS X and a review of SketchUp 3.1 for Mac OS X.
Miglia Technology today announced that its AlchemyTV DVR application now supports an open plug-in architecture, allowing third-party developers to extend the functionalities of the AlchemyTV DVR TV tuner/Video capture card by creating plug-ins. Miglia has released a SDK for the post-processing plug-in (and posted a plugins page): "Thanks to the newly available SDK, independent software developer Fabio Verna has created DivTV, a plug-in enabling the export to VCD (MPEG-1) and S-VCD (MPEG-2). Thanks to this plug-in, any movie recorded with AlchemyTV DVR can be exported to VCD/S-VCD from within the application." The software development team can be reached via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions concerning plug-in development.
Mark/Space today announced The Missing Sync 4.0 (TMS) for Palm OS, which is designed to replace PalmSource's HotSync Manager (enables data exchange between a Palm OS handheld and a Mac). TMS offers a number of Mac-first features and will support Palm OS 4/5 handhelds as well as dozens of existing Palm conduits for the Mac, including conduits for Apple's iSync and Microsoft's Entourage. It will offer a brushed-metal interface; "Conduit Profiles" sets; Wi-Fi (802.11) and Bluetooh sync; desktop mounting of memory cards; iPhoto and iTunes integration, Internet connection sharing; and improved install and backup capabilities. It is due in August for $40 ($50 on CD). Upgrades will be $20.
SubRosaSoft.com today announced DiskJockeyExpander, a software solution that allows users of the Disk Jockey drive copy device to reclaim "lost" space after cloning a smaller drive to larger one: "Based on the recently shipped SubRosaSoft VolumeWorks, DiskJockeyExpander solves a crucial problem previously facing many of Disk Jockey’s Macintosh users where additional space left over after cloning a smaller hard disk drive onto a larger one was left unusable. With the easy-to-use DiskJockeyExpander, a user can recover all the unused space of the drive with just one click." DiskJockeyExpander is available for $25. Upgrades to the full VolumeWorks solution are $25 as well.
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