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RealPlayer 10, now available as a final version, allows you to view RealNetwork's streaming media over the Internet on Mac OS X. First announced in June 2004, It includes new "TurboPlay", which the company says "practically eliminates buffering over high- speed connections so your clips start faster and play smoother as well as support for RealVideo 9, its new codec that offers dramatically improved compression for high quality at every bandwidth and includes 5-channel RealAudio Surround. Version 10 also offers near DVD-quality video, full-screen theater mode for viewing video clips, a grpahic equalizer, and QuickTime file playback. This version fixes the security flaws noted ealier today. [form]
Brother today introduced four new sub-$200 business-class color inkjet Multi-Function Center (MFC) products targeting home office and small business users. The new USB 2.0-based MFC line includes two traditional sheet-fed based models: the MFC-3240c and MFC-3340cn, and two flatbed models: the MFC-5440cn and MFC-5840cn--each of which is expected to ship later this month. The new MFCs utlize a 4-cartridge ink system, offer 33.6K bps color faxing, up to 6000x1200 dpi color printing, color copying, color scanning and PC Faxing. The MFC-3340cn and MFC-5840cn also include Brother's PhotoCapture Center feature which offers media card slots for CompactFlash, xD-Picture Card, Secure Digital, Memory Stick and SmartMedia cards.
Citing "numerous sources in Asia," Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum said Apple will use SigmaTel's controller chips for a player it's planning to launch this Christmas, according to The Miami Herald: "SigmaTel stock rose Friday after a Wall Street firm said the semiconductor company will supply chips for a music player from Apple Computer Inc. Unlike Apple's hugely popular iPod and iPod Mini players, the new player would use solid-state flash memory, which has less capacity but can make for a lighter, cheaper player."
RPGMapMaker 4.0.0 is a tool for drawing maps with polygonal grids. These maps are generally used in Role Playing games, and can be designed for any other purposes. In this version, terrain tile size can range from 12 to 40 pixels, you can create maps based on a model, and more. [Downoad - 6.1MB] Bugged Out Rally ($20) is a racing game "where you take control of bugs instead of cars." There are total of eight bugs in the game. Player starts with a beetle, the weakest bug, but can be upgraded to a faster and a higher performance bugs. [Downoad - 20.3MB] MrClean is simple utility that finds and trashes duplicated files, empty folders and aliases. It is available in English or Italian. It can remove aliases, unwanted folders, duplicates, and more. [Downoad - 905KB] MacSQL 3.0.2 ($250) is the latest version of the powerful SQL database tool for Mac. There are now "no JDBC drivers to download," increased export and import capabilities, and Tools that make such tasks as managing users and table creation easier. [Downoad - 8.0MB] Footlights 1.1 ($15) is "the best way to play, organize, and export your movies." It offers three different modes : Inside the main Footlights window, the small compact view, or full screen. You can export movies to any file type that QuickTime can write. [Downoad - 1.8MB] Mac Cleaner ($15) allows users to do everything from moving a couple of files to syncing documents between a home and office computer. "Using Mac Cleaner is very easy because the only thing you need to do is creating a new item - Mac Cleaner will do the rest, perform your file actions at any time you wish." [Downoad - 1.5MB]
eEye has uncovered new security holes affecting a wide range of RealNetworks' media players, including the Mac version, according Techworld. "The flaws could be exploited via a malicious Web page or a RealMedia file run from a local drive to take over a user's system or delete files, according to RealNetworks. The most serious of the three new bugs involves malformed calls, and could be exploited via a player embedded in a malicious site to execute arbitrary code. This bug affects RealPlayer 10, 10.5.... A second bug could also allow malicious code execution, but only via a local RM file, RealNetworks said. The bug affects several versions of RealPlayer and RealOne Player on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux." Update: These security problems are fixed in the final version of RealPlayer 10 (and were only present in the beta).
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: possible sources of heat generation in the new Power Mac G5.... choosing where to purchase a Mac (Apple retail, reseller, etc).... one member's impressions of their new iMac G5.... speculation about the next iBook update.... Canon's latest Elph compact camera offerings.... impressions of Virtual PC 7 for Mac OS X.
Apple has launched a new iMac G5 Troubleshooting Assistant, its self-service web-based support solution that covers the most common questions iMac owners ask Apple. After entering their serial number, users are guided through a "series of time-tested instructions" and in case of problems are offered live tech support via a web-based chat with tech support agents between 6am and 6pm (PST). "If our steps determine that your iMac G5 needs to be repaired, we'll send you a Do-It-Yourself repair kit, complete with any necessary parts and easy instructions. Installing parts is easy. Most parts can be installed in less than 30 minutes. No special tools are required." Other support options include info about the iMac G5 diagnostic LEDs and a listing of user-installable parts.
Native Instruments today announced Battery 2, the next generation of the drum sampler. Version 2 adds a new sampling engine, enhanced sound shaping and modulation capabilities, sophisticated sample control and a revised user interface. It also includes a massive new sample library with more than 3.5GB of high-quality drum and percussion samples. Optimized for today's complex drum kits and large sample sizes, the new sampling engine offers features like 256 voice polyphony and support for hard disk streaming. The user interface is now customizable and can accommodate anything between 9 and 72 cells to adapt for drum kits of different sizes. Battery 2 supports Kontakt, Gigasampler and Rex 1/2 files and offers a dedicated import browser for convenient file import. It will ship in November for $240. Upgrades are $120.
In Brief: Apple CEO Steve Job was at the top of Forbes' September's Top Ranked CEOs with a 91% approval rating.... WorldSync has launched its new SyncDeK Developer Alliance (SDA) and has begun accepting Subscriber and Associate members.... Ars Technica has posted a review of Apple's dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5.... IconBase.com's Tupperware Icon Package ($250) is a new royalty-free icon kit for developers that includes 96 icons.... InterfaceLIFT has launched a new stock icons collection area for programmers to find high-quality, royalty-free interface icons designed specifically for use in software and web site projects.
Boinx FotoMagico 1.0 ($80) is a final release of the tool for building dynamic presentations from still photos, offering integration with iTunes and iPhoto. It is designed for high-quality, live slideshow presentations with an optional pan and zoom effect, smooth transitions and audio. It can also createa QuickTime movie for burning to DVD via Apple's iDVD or Roxio Toast. [form] VideoWeb 2.1 (free) is an utility that allows you to publish your webcam or DV camera on a web folder with only three steps, allowing users to view the remote webcam with any browser. Users can apply effects to the image or add time, title, or graphic as well as use the integrated HTML editor to edit the generated videoweb page and customize the refresh intervals. [2.9MB] DVDManager v1.2 (free) is a simple DVD manager that helps manage, update, and automatically download info on DVDs. It now offers more control of HTML export features and a new source "Amazon (AT)" for retrieving data. Version 1.2 also delivers an enhanced method of rating DVDs and also adds complete French documentation. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [553KB] The next major release of QPict Media Asset Management Software will bring support for the new Digital Negative format (DNG) from Adobe, according to a release from RL Development. The new file format, geared towards creative professionals, will make it easier when working with and preserving RAW images. Registered users of QPict can apply for a test version available now. Puzzle Word 1.0 ($20) is a new word search game title where "players make words by clicking the colorful letters on a grid, which then disappear and other letter tiles collapse into their places, forming new combinations. Players can either play the game casually, finding whichever words they see immediately, or can maximize their score by playing strategically, finding one word so that the tiles will collapse to bring a longer word into place." [5.3MB] MultiMode 5.0 ($90) brings improvements to the user interface as well as several bug fixes. The application can decode and transmit several different modes of non-voice communication often heard on shortwave and ham radio. It can decode and display morse code, RTTY, FAX, SSTV, ACARS, PSK31, and many other modes on your Mac, without any extra hardware. [946KB]
Apple's future looks bright with the introduction of the iMac G5, the success of the iPod, surging laptop sales, its successful retail initiative, and delays in Microsoft's delivery of Longhorn, according to BusinessWeek: "A $1,300 Cadillac in a world dominated by $700 Chevys, the iMac G5 appeals to just 5% of PC buyers, says NPD Group Inc. But the new iMac, along with Apple's popular notebook computers, could help the company find modest market share gains that could have an outsize impact on sales and earnings. If Apple can boost its global market share in PCs by just a half-percentage point, to 2.5% by 2006, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, it could boost revenues over current estimates by 24%, to $12 billion, and earnings by 23%, to $491 million."
SubRosaSoft.com today released DesktopEarth 3D v3.0, delivering a 3D screensaver, a new streamlined user-interface, an improved help file and a comprehensive manual. Designed to visualize the Earth, it uses a combination of satellite imagery and calculated data to provide realtime views of the entire globe. It offers realtime cloud maps, simulated horizons, and live pictures of the moon and sun, superimposed on different earth maps, which can then be set as the desktop picture. The 3D screen saver allows you to display a spinning earth, overlaid with real cloud layering and the pattern of night and day. It is available for $15 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Upgrades are free.
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