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Lightsoft has released Home Weather Center 1.0 for Mac OS X. The application offers weather graphing, monitoring and analysis using internet-based weather. It allows the user to view weather statistics such as the lowest temperature or the highest wind speed over any time period stored in the database. In addition HWC contains a journal for weather notes and can generate web pages containing current conditions, graphs, statistics and a web-cam image and can automatically upload these web pages to a web server. HWC also monitors the weather and can run a set of pre-defined and user programmed alerts that can trigger emails, send SMS messages to a mobile phone and/or run scripts should an alert trigger. The $35 shareware runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later, but requires Mac OS X 10.3 for some advanced functions.
Linksys today announced the availability of the Wireless-G Internet Video Camera (WVC54G), a new device providing users a unique and affordable way to monitor the home and office via a Web browser, from anywhere in the world where the user has Internet access. This compact, self-contained unit sends a high-quality live video stream with sound through the Internet, and does not need to be connect to a PC. Linksys also announced today it will be shipping a line of Dual-Band Wireless A+G networking products for the home environment at prices starting at $90. The line of consumer Wireless A+G products will include an A+G Broadband Router, PC Card, PCI adapter, and USB Adapter.
WebBox S10 offers (260 EUR) GPRS tri-band 900/1800/1900 Mhz data connectivity, GSM voice calling, SMS, FAX and contact management in a single PC Card. It provides GPRS data communications, giving users the freedom to send and receive email, SMS and Fax directly a computer. "S10 is also great for SIM cards contact management and backup... WebBox S10 card is the first Tri-band GPRS connectivity card, supporting Mac OS X right out of box... S10's specially designed user-friendly utility helps you easily manage all functions."
Afternoon tech news: Red Hat agreed Thursday to pay America Online up to $23 million in cash for the assets of Netscape Communications' Security Solutions unit.... AT&T's CallVantage Internet telephony service will cost less starting Friday with pricing at $30 per month.... PayPal, eBay's online payment service, will expand its U.S. buyer protection program to cover up to $1,000 for qualified transactions, the company said on Thursday.
PHP-engine creator Zend Technologies has released a Mac OS X version of its commercial application for performance management: the Zend Performance Suite for Mac OS X. Used by companies such as Lufthansa, Viacom, Disney, Sony, and many branches of the US Government, the solution is designed to optimize the performance of business-critical PHP applications using a combination of content caching, file compression, code acceleration and download serving, Zend Performance Suite enables customers to decrease hardware costs, improve performance, and securely deliver content to authorized users. Zend claims up to a 25x increase in performance. It offers PHP 5 support, flexible caching options, built-in testing functions, and API functions for personalization. Pricing starts at $1900 with a 25% discount for education.
In Brief: Auto-component maker Delphi Corp. helped design a cooling system for Apple's newest dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5, marking a leap into the OEM electronics business for the company.... Several readers are reporting confirmed shipments of Microsoft's Virtual PC 7 with Windows XP Pro.... One reader notes that the upcoming week-long national holiday in China is expected to delay the delivery of his iMac G5 from Shanghai as noted by Fedex representatives..... MacMusic.org, the first bilingual (English and French-speaking) community site devoted to music and audio on the Mac, celebrated its seventh anniversary on the web on September 29th.... An iMac G5 review in the USA Today says that it is "even more exquisite than last one."
e-on software has released Vue 5 Esprit, its 3D software for both casual and advanced digital artists. Designed for the creation, animation and rendering of natural 3D scenery, It can create volumetric skies, realistic landscapes, glowing materials, planets and more as well as features SolidGrowth technology to generate completely unique vegetation. Version 5 features support for global illumination and radiosity with EasyGI single slider quality setting, High Dynamic Range Image (HDRI) and Image Based Lighting (IBL), procedural terrains with sub-pixel detail, and more.
BBEdit 8.0.2 updates the HTML and text editor for the Macintosh. BBEdit 8.0.2 is a maintenance release to fix a bug which would cause an error to be reported when saving files opened with passive FTP via the "Open from FTP/SFTP Server" dialog. The full version is available for $180 through November 1st with upgrades starting at $50. [11.4MB] The BoardRoom 7 ($100) lets users communicate instantly with your coworkers in a familiar, graphical chat environment without leaving FileMaker Pro. The FileMaker 7 solution provides a chat environment for up to 250 simultaneous users, offering audio and visual notification of incoming messages. Developer ($300) and API ($1000) versions are available for integration into existing solutions. [720KB] MaxBulk Mailer 3.4 ($40) is an email-merge solution that supports plain text, HTML and RTF as well as optional plain text alternative and attachments. It supports document and contact managment, multiple lists, multiple accounts, POP/APOP/ESMTP authentication, SSL, groups, mySQL import, and more. Version 3.4 adds direct import from plain text, conditional statements in the subject line, and postgreSQL database support. [Classic, OSX] iCash v2.1 ($25) is a personal finance and money manager designed to track incomes, expenses, credits, debts and banks transactions. It offers unlimited categories, multiple account creation, a SQL backend engine, password protection, export/import routines, search functions, and drag & drop support. It expands the currency symbol support and properly saves the sorted contact/favorite lists as well as has other fixes. [Classic, OSX] Collaba 3.0 is an online web application that provides dozens of communication and collaboration tools, including secure e-mail (web or POP3/SMTP), online forums (web, RSS & NNTP), multimedia chat, calendering, address book, bookmarks organizer, file server access (web, ftp, smb, cifs, etc.), directory access, and more. Version 3 adds a new Web Sites module, public file sharing for group members, improved browser reliability, and more. Pricing starts at $200. [form] VueScan 8.1.1 ($60) offers improved color accuracy and color balance, and better productivity for more than 330 different flatbed and film scanners. It also supports digital Camera Raw Files and advanced functions for batch scanning, etc. Version 8.1 adds a new improved interface, new guided tasks (i.e., Wizards), support for more Epson scanners, and other bug fixes. A Pro version ($80) is also available. [2.0MB]
LinuxInsider writes about speed and price comparisons between Macs and PCs: "About a month ago, I compared the cost for Apple's Latest News about Apple desktop, server and laptop products to their nearest Dell equivalents and discovered that Macs generally cost less than comparable PC products. That was a bit of surprise, but the truly astonishing thing that came out of the comparison was that Dell's product line extends marginally below Apple's at the low end, but has nothing to stack up against Apple's 17-inch Powerbook, X-Serve/X-RAID combination, or Cinema displays at the high end. Bottom line: when you upgrade the PCs enough to allow an approximately apples to apples comparison, Apple turns out to offer both lower prices and a broader range than Dell."
Sony next week will launch a marketing blitz in Europe for its new Connect music download store, its latest effort to derail the runaway momentum of Apple Computer's iTunes service, according to Reuters: "The Japanese consumer electronics giant said on Thursday it would heavily promote the Connect service in new advertisements for four Walkman products, including the recently launched NW-HD1 hard disc player." Sony also said that its second wave of European expansion is still on track for later this year, following a similar announcement by Apple earlier this week. The expansion plans are expected to be announced at the Popkomm music trade show in the German capital.
Gefen today announced two new extension solutions for Apple's new 20- and 23-inch HD Cinema Displays. The new extension cables bundle three cables together and offer three connectors at each end: DVI, FireWire and USB. The 10- and 15-foot cable-only solutions require no hardware or external power to operate. Gefen's combo cable requires a simple connection to the computer on one end, and to the extended display and peripherals on the other end. Gefen also provides a variety of extender kits that support longer distances--up to hundreds of meters in length. The 10-foot ($100) and 15-foot ($130) extension cables are currently available through Gefen's website.
Elgato and SCM Microsystems today announced "the first" EasyWatch DVB-T PC card, allowing Mac users to view digital terrestrial TV on their PowerBook. EasyWatch uses Elgato's EyeTV software to allow users to receive DVB-T signals on any PC-card enabled PowerBook. Elgato's EyeTV software can be used to receive digital TV as well as record to the hard drive and timeshift (pause and replay live TV), archive directly to DVD, and schedule recordings over the Internet using an electronic program guide. The EasyWatch DVB-T card will be available in Germany on October 7th for 250€. It is being sold by Satelco bundled with a functional DVB-T antenna by Kathrein, which can be clamped to the display of a PowerBook.
Newer Technology (NewerTech) and Other World Computing (OWC) today introduced the NuPower Ti 4800mAH high-capacity replacement battery for the PowerBook G4 "Titanium" 15-inch. The battery supports those models that ran between 400MHz and 1GHz. "The NuPower Ti 4800mAH Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery is the highest capacity battery ever available for the PowerBook G4 Titanium with an amazing capacity of 71 watt-hours, giving it up to 42 percent more capacity than any other Apple or third-party internal battery option available." The NuPower Ti 4800mAH battery is currently in stock and available online for $150.
MOTU has released Digital Performer 4.5, an update to the company's integrated MIDI and audio sequencer designed for studio recording, film scoring, live performance, and remixing. Version 4.5 features a new Beat Detection engine, latency compensation, MasterWorks EQ, enhanced Pro Tools support, a consolidated Window, and productivity enhancements, including a new Smooth Audio Edits to automatically fill gaps with "room tone", a new QuickScribe notation view that shows film cues in a manner familiar to film composer, frame-accurate QuickTime movie DV playback, MP3 and other audio file export, more voices and busses, Apple Loop import. Upgrades are $150 from a previous version and cross-grades from a competing product are $400.
In Brief: A federal judge on Wednesday struck down a portion of the Patriot Act, ruling that the FBI cannot require ISPs to turn over subscriber information and keep quiet about it forever without giving the providers a chance to fight the government in court.... Instant messages are being used to lure users to websites with photos that exploit a recently disclosed flaw in Microsoft software--which is also showing up in online porn sites--that allows malicious sites to take control of a PC.... California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed on Wednesday a bill that would have required the state's employers to give workers written notification if e-mail and other Internet activity is being monitored at work.
Iomega today introduced a redesigned series of its Iomega-branded external hard drives that feature a stackable design, a drive stand for space-saving vertical placement (can be stowed in the drive case when not in use), a high-gloss black finish, a Kensington security slot, and an on/off switch to power the drive. The drive will be available in single- (USB 2.0), dual- (USB 2.0/FireWire 400), and triple-interface (USB 2.0/FW 400/FW 800) versions. The "whisper-quiet" 72000 rpm drives ship with Iomega Automatic Backup software and disaster recovery software, while the triple-interface version also includes Dantz Retrospect Express.
FUNDimensions 5.0 updates the fundraising application/database application for small non-profits and schools. It manages the entire fundraising process, helping these organizations to raise more money, identify the best fundraising opportunities, and maintain a personal relationship with donors. Version 5 helps plan and keep records of all fundraising activities, by using the new Calendar and Scheduling Module with reminders; can utilize new donor statistics in mail merge exports for more personal emails; and streamlines the interface and workflow. The $2000 software runs on Mac OS 9/X and includes a 30 day money back guarantee as well as 30 days of free phone support.
SubRosaSoft.com today announced CopyCatX 2.0, the latest version of the software incorporates enhanced performance for volume copying, new device copy feature, new streamlined user-interface, improved help file and comprehensive manual. "The previous version of CopyCatX will copy every byte of a volume to the destination including any empty space. The new version will skip all the space that doesn't contain data. So if you only have half of the drive utilized, you will see the total backup time reduce significantly." It also supports PC/Linux volume copy, can utilize proprietary resizing technology to regain lost space after a volume copy, and ships on a bootable CD-ROM that supports machines ranging from first generation iMacs to the latest PowerBooks. It is available for $50 (additional $10 for CD) and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Upgrades are free.
Terra Soft has released Yellow Dog Linux v4.0, a final version of the RPM-based Linux operating system built for the PowerPC architecture. The company said that the final Yellow Dog Linux v4.0 CD-Rs have been created and will today be delivered to a CD production facility for glass mastering and replication. Although the CDs are not expected to be available for approximately two weeks, Yellow Dog Linux v4.0 is immediately available through YDL.net Enhanced accounts. YDL 4.0 is built upon Fedora Core 2, offering both KDE 3.3 and GNOME 2.6.0 desktops with an all new presentation for both the Installer and post-installed desktop environment. It also includes OpenOffice 1.1.1, Rhythmbox 0.8.3, Mozilla 1.7 and development tools glibc 2.3.3 and gcc 3.3.3 built upon the 32-bit kernel 2.6.8.
Alex Salkever offers a look at the Beatles' lawsuit against Apple in his latest BusinessWeek column: "This time the outcome is far from a lock for Apple Corps. Make no mistake: There will be a settlement. No one benefits from pushing a case all the way through a full trial and appeals because the costs are prohibitive. But analyst predictions that the case could cost Apple Computer hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement payments, even the use of its own name on music products, are way out of line."
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