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Forums roundup Sep 24th
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: one member's very positive experience upgrading from an older Power Mac G4 to a new Power Mac G5.... speculation and rumors regarding the next PowerBook G4 revision.... capturing an online video steam.... ongoing discussion of new Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger features.
iLife Missing Manual
In Brief: O'Reilly has released "iLife '04: The Missing Manual" ($30) by author and New York Times columnist David Pogue.... Feral has released the Ford Racing 2 demo for Mac.... Freeverse Software today announced that ranked games of Burning Monkey Solitaire are approaching the five million mark. Freeverse will award the person who plays game number five million a special iPod Mini.
ROBOLAB 2.5.4 software
Lego's ROBOLAB 2.5.4 software expands the educational value of Lego models. "If your students are experienced at constructing LEGO models, challenge them with ROBOLAB software and watch them employ the RCX Programmable Brick; add sensors, motors, and a camera; create a program; and log the resulting data. Connect your students with the real world in a fun and challenging way ... ROBOLAB 2.5.4 packs all the benefits of earlier versions including Pilot, Inventor, Programmer, and Investigator levels; is USB compatible; and works with the Control Lab interface box." Pricing starts at $70 and it is expected to ship in October.
KeynotePro Announces Proof
KeynotePro has announced the release of the Proof '+' and '-' themes, "a modern, all-purpose take on the timeless metaphor of the creative world's make or break point." KeynotePro explains: "With origins in the classic look and tone of the trusty Light-Box, Proof (+) and (-) presents a familiar, semi-realistic context your audience will immediately understand. The Photo-Masters are built around traditional 35mm Negative frames and the classic look of the Polaroid-style instant photo. A wide range of crisp, modern layouts and photo options are included in two complete tones - so you can effortlessly switch from light to dark as needed for the lighting or tone of the room." Proof is a $20 download.
Free version of DAZ/Studio
DAZ Productions today launched a free version of its 3D design package DAZ/Studio, which allows first-time 3D artists to load and render a pre-configured scene with two mouse clicks, producing beautiful imagery without a time or cost commitment. The offer, which requires users to sign for a free account, includes pre-configured 3D scenes, complete with a poseable character, accessories and environments. These scenes can easily be manipulated in an intuitive interface -- character poses, shape morphs, model textures, lighting and more can all be customized in just a few mouse clicks.
Mac vs. Windows security
USA Today columnist Kevin Maney has written a follow up to his last article on Windows security. "The message I get is that people are fed up with the vulnerability of Windows. They are increasingly willing to consider other options. And, for whatever reasons, Apple Computer's Macintosh and Linux-based computers hardly get infected or invaded at all. My in-box is proof that hackers and virus writers know no bounds. They are filling Windows computers worldwide with pop-up ads and spyware, which can steal information from your hard drive. They're sending out viruses that outright destroy PCs, often taking out valuable digital files with it."
iStopMotion 1.5 released
In time for its second anniversary, iStopMotion 1.5 has been released, with much anticipated support for high resolution movies and digital still cameras. The product is now available in two licenses: the iStopMotion 1.5 DV license sells at $40, the new iStopMotion 1.5 HR license sells at $400. The new Noise Reduction feature increases the image quality when working with video sources such as the Apple iSight. Special $350 introductory pricing for iStopMotion 1.5 HR ends October 30th.
BBEdit, Skype, Solarian...
BBEdit 8.0.1 ($180) is a free maintenance update to the popular HTML and text editor for the Macintosh. Version 8.0 introduced over one hundred new features and improvements, including a new Documents Drawer and Navigation Bar interface, automated text processing, improved HTML markup tools, and more. Upgrades start at $50. 
Skype 0.10.01 is an update to the internet telephony application. It offers several bug fixes, improved contact management, HTTPS (secure) proxy support, blocked users management, privacy preferences, IM history status, and more. Calls to other internet users are free, while calls to land lines start at $0.02 per minute. [3.7MB]
Solarian II v1.1 ($10) is a Mac OS X version of the classic shareware game for the Mac. The Cocoa-based game requires Mac OS X 10.3 "All the sounds are the same (but cleaned up), the graphics are untouched (with support for full screen mode), even the user interface is preserved in all its archaic wonder." [828KB]
QuickAddress 1.0 (free) provides a quick and easy way to access your Address Book data without the need to launch Address Book. It launches with a keyboard shortcut and provides search-as-you-type filtering for a dynamic short display of filtered results just below the menubar with easy access to other contact info. [284KB]
SharingMenu is a small application for Mac OS X that offers a menu in the menu bar with easy access to some of your sharing preferences. Version 1.3 features a color signalling icon, logged in users display, and a guest access option. [192KB]
BBClick 1.0 offers keyboard access to BBEdit's function and marker popups. It consists of three components: two very simple AppleScripts, and a command-line application called "cliclick" that performs emulated mouse clicks on arbitrary screen coordinates. [19KB]
Panic\'s Stattoo 1.1
Panic has updated Stattoo 1.1, its digital statistics utiilty for the Mac OS X desktop. Users can display the current weather in any worldwide location, the time in any time zone, remaining disk space, last three received e-mails, next three upcoming iCal appointments, and more. It provides a single at-a-glance display of custom information. Version 1.1 turns the regular clock into a fully-functional world clock with selectable time zones, improves the iCal module with recurring events and "all calendar" support, features a rewritten Mail module that can check IMAP/POP mail directly, supports pinning of the Stattoo bar to the left or right of the screen, and more. It is a free upgrade to the $13 utility. A 15-day demo is available.
The Missing Sync 4.01
Mark/Space today announced The Missing Sync for Palm OS v4.01, an update to synchronization utility designed for handhelds. It offers the ability to sync with iCal, AddressBook, Microsoft Entourage as well as connect via Bluetooth/Wi-Fi, mount memory cards on the Mac OS X desktop, transfer MP3 songs, and more. It now allows users to mount the Sony CLIÉ memory card on the Mac's desktop (would cause a kernel panic under Mac OS X 10.3.5). It also adds support for several conduits, including FMSync and Vindigo, introduces a new menu bar icon that allows users to check status and change settings, adds keychain support, improves support for Tapwave Zodiac handhelds and includes a new version of the MemoPad application with an updated UI and improved synchronization. The full version is $40; upgrades are $20.
GarageSale 1.0 ($25) lets Mac OS X users create eBay auctions using an intuitive
and mac-like interface. It features a WYSIWYG description editor and
imports photos directly from iPhoto. Users can export and share auction templates and view their active auctions using the built-in web browser. A 3-item trial is available online. [800KB]
Mactracker 3.0b2 (free) provides detailed information on every Apple, Motorola, PowerComputing, and UMAX Mac OS computer ever made, including items such as processor speed, memory, optical drives, graphic cards, supported Mac OS versions, and expansion options as well as other Apple peripherals. It adds info on the new iMac G5, iTunes-style searching, and more. [8.5MB]
Mariner Calc 5.3 updates the spreadsheet application with new file extension support in the Save dialog, new open preferences, and Find/Replace dialogs as well as numerous bug fixes and performance enhancements. Other features include SYLK support (MS Excel), CSV/text export, 140 built-in functions, split/freeze window panes, print previews, cell borders, etc. [form]
MapMemo 1.0 (free) allows you to link your files to maps or any other graphics. Users can link aliases to various files/folders using a visual graphic as a template to help establish a visual relationship between files. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3. Version 1.1 is available to any user who makes a donation. [2MB]
WeatherDock 1.0 (free) displays weather information based on xml-feeds supplied by Weather.com. It displays textual weather information as well as icon-based. It actively updates the Dock icon based on the current conditions. Next to the current conditions it contains 5 day forecasts as well as a 24-hour hour-by-hour forecast for favorite locations as well as day/night locations. [1.5MB]
Sixth Sense Software has released Version 6 of both Sixth Sense POS and Sixth Sense Cafe, advanced point of sale software for retail and restaurant operations management. The new versions include a new user interface and many new features. Users can create and print barcodes and labels as well as perform functions for Inventory ordering and receiving.
400 Richest Americans
In Brief: Big Nerd Ranch has announced a new a November 8-12 Cocoa Class ($3500) in Atlanta, GA with expanded coverage of the new bindings mechansim.... Steve Jobs is No. 74 with a $2.6 billion networth in Forbes' list of The 400 Richest Americans--behind others such as Bill Gates (No.1, $48B), Warren Buffet (No. 2, $41B), Paul Allen (No. 3, $20B), and Michael Dell (No. 9, $14B).... OmniPilot's Lasso Professional Upgrade Amnesty expires today, offering $100 off its any-version upgrade to Lasso 7 as well as a special price of $150 on Lasso Studio upgrades (also ending today are a number of Apple promos).... One reader talks about his sub-$3000 2.7TB RAID, which offers speeds in excess of 575MB/sec.
For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD
USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera
Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lackin ...
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