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Davig Pogue of The New York Times says that working with Mac OS X has given him more time to be productive, while offering kudos to Microsoft Entourage, iMovie, and FileMaker: "I know that this will rankle all the Apple bashers, but I do most of my work in Mac OS X. I therefore spend zero time on viruses, spyware, maintenance and all those other typical computer time drains. I also use Microsoft Entourage, an e-mail program for the Mac that I consider head and shoulders above Outlook." [free registration required]
H2O Audio has launched the H2O Audio SV-iMini, a fully waterproof and submersible housing for Apple's iPod mini. The SV-iMini includes a unique dial and push button assembly for use underwater providing full access to the iPod mini's proprietary Click Wheel controls. "Watersports enthusiasts can now take their iPod mini with them while participating in sports such as wakeboarding, surfing, snowboarding, swimming and kayaking. H2O Audio's patented waterproof headset is lightweight and designed to stay securely fastened through the wipeouts, flips and turns endured by today's surfers, snowboarders and wakeboarders." The H2O Audio SV-iMini housing and headphones is $150 and is expected to be available in December at selected retailers and at the H2O Audio website.
Digigami today announced it is shipping MPressionist HD 2.0 for Macintosh, an MPEG diagnostic/stream and picture quality analysis tool for broadcast engineers and video editors working with prosumer or professional HD video in MPEG format, including HD camcorders and ATSC HDTV and DVB broadcast streams. The new tool, which runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or higher (Jaguar) is an evolution of the DVD Picture Quality analysis tool released by Digigami in May 2004. The introductory price of $600 is available until the end of the year. The company recommends a G5 and large Apple Cinema display for effective use with 1920x1080i HD video.
Sonance today announced that the iPort, its in-wall docking station for the Apple's iPod that lets the iPod's music play over any in-home audio system, will ship this month. Compatible with Sonance's full line of IR control systems, amplifiers and accessories, the iPort turns any room into an iPod concert hall. Sonance also announced a suggested retail price of $600. "The iPort is the first product that lets it slip seamlessly into a home audio system. Itís a great new accessory for existing multi-room systems as well as for new installations, in one room, or in every room of the house." We first reported on the iPort in September. [images added]
Script Software has released iKey 2, the latest version of its powerful automation tool for Mac OS X. iKey allows anyone to automate any computer action and fire it off via a hot key or menu or button on a palette. iKey now includes a wonderful manual and extensive reference written by Adam Engst. Version 2.0 is complete rewrite, offering components for entering commands, defining the context for availability, launcher for defining trigger events for command, shortcut customization, menu creation (with submenus), and palettes for multiple visual-based options. It also offers improved AppleScript support, automatic update checking, new metal interface/UI, the ability to re-use commands in different shortcuts, support for multiple commands per trigger, testing of commands, and more. iKey 2 is $30 and runs on Mac OS X Jaguar and Panther.
Fidelity Media today released MegaSeg 3.0, an update to its Pro DJ and radio automation software for the Mac. The new version includes over 100 improvements and new features, including a redesigned Dual-Deck Mixer, smooth pitch returns, bass and treble controls, right-click mouse support, multi-select editing, playlist sorting, HTML logging, library/playlist printing, restrict play dates rule, limit male/female vocalists rule, direct open/save to iTunes, improved category browser, new log browser, "related artist" separation, cold/fade end indicators, new database fields, and more. It is available for $200. Upgrades for current users is $60 through the end of November.
Apple today released Motion 1.01, an update to innovative application for video/graphic effects. Registered Motion users can download the Motion 1.0.1 Update and additional filters and tutorials. A valid serial number is required to download the update. (Apple has not posted the details of the update.) The full version of the application is $300; it requires an 867MHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor with 4X AGP card, 512MB of RAM, and Mac OS X 10.3.5.
Dension Audio Systems today introduced the new iceLink Plus ($200), a major upgrade to its vehicle integration kit for the Apple iPod. The new ice>Link Plus platform has dual mode operation, utilizes the iPod as an auxiliary vehicle display surface and is 'future-proof' with upgradeable firmware and a modular design. iceLink Plus works in conjunction with the display capabilities of the Apple iPod without the need for add-on display modules. ice>Link Plus supports a wide range of vehicle entertainment systems, both factoryfitted and aftermarket including those from Alpine, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Kenwood, Panasonic and Sony. The new model will be available in early December.
Apple today released Apple Bluetooth Module Firmware Update 1.2, which it says improves Bluetooth performance and reliability. "When this Update package is downloaded, it will install the software updater (listed below) for the Apple Bluetooth Module in the Applications/Utilities folder. Double click the installer and follow the on screen directions." It is available via the Web or via the Mac OS X Software Update Preference Pane.
Apple has quietly launched a new students website. The site, designed to showcase Apple's Mac, iPod, and iTunes solution to college students, helps centralize Apple's resources for higher education. It offers a new design, recommended solutions, links to Apple's online store, a daily student blog and student gallery as well as links to special promotions offered at local-area institutions.
Aspyr today announced that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword for Mac, the sequal to Raven Shield, has begun shipping and will arrive in stores by Monday, November 29th. Athena Sword takes the elite, multinational squad of counter-terrorist operatives to the exotic Mediterranean. "Your mission is to command Team Rainbow while tracking the desperate remnants of the international terror network from Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield. Prevent the terroristsí agenda of international anarchy and devastation while completing eight new missions. Athena Sword also introduces five new multiplayer levels, five multiplayer game modes and seven additional fully-customizable weapons." It requires Mac OS X 10.2.8, the full version of Raven Shield, and a G3/G4/G5 processor running at 733MHz. The $30 title is available for order from Amazon.com.
Synergy 1.5b brings 'sizzling' performance improvements to the versatile iTunes controller and cover art downloading tool. Version 1.5b features a complete rewrite of the communications subsystem to take advantage of new features in iTunes 4.7, which delivers a massive performance boost and keeps resource usage low--due in part to improvements in iTunes. [936KB] SoundFont Synth 2.0 ($15) is an Audio Unit plug-in synthesizer which is compatible with most modern music production packages such as Logic 7, Digital Performer, GarageBand etc. Version 2.0 includes an option to use the Pitch Bend wheel on your keyboard to control a low-pass, high-pass, band-pass or notch filter. It also includes a new Spanish-localized version. [160KB] Yummy FTP 1.04 ($25) offers both FTP and SFTP transfers. New features include direct access to 'Folder Favorites' and 'Direct History', new encoding and create new file toolbar items, more keyboard shortcuts, keep-alive for maintaining open connections, better display of permissions, sync based on file size and time stamp, improved window-based preference and settings, and more. [2.3MB] The Analog Ripper 2.0 ($25) is billed as the fastest and easiest way to record from LPs Cassettes, radio or any analog source. It features full control over recording sample rates, sizes and channels, the ability to stop or pause recordings based on elapsed time or after a period of silence, stereo level meters and control of stereo gain, scheduling functions, and advanced editing functions. [Classic, OSX] iSweep 1.3 ($15) allows you to find, remove and backup duplicate tracks in iTunes with much greater control than the duplicate view that is new to iTunes 4.7. iSweep also offers the ability to search your hard drive for all music files that are not currently registered in the iTunes Database and can also move all of these "orphaned files" to a custom location. It also adds a basic help and an notification sound that plays when a task is completed. [154KB] fennel DVDManager v1.4 (donationware) is free DVD manager for Mac OS X, offering the ability to retrieve and update DVD details through online sites, manually add/edit information entries, track lending to contacts in the Address Book, create/manage box sets, and export a complete list of your DVD library, etc. It can now precisely update IMDb or DVDFr-based entries and also fixes some potential issues regarding DVDFr retrievals. [565KB]
In Brief: Apple is now offering printable iTunes gift certificates at the Apple Store.... The Complete U2, the first ever digital box set, is now available from the iTunes Music Store.... Apple has grown the size of its global developer community by 2.5 times over the past two years, with much of the credit going to Mac OS X...Apple-history.com has been updated to include the latest iBooks, iPods and iMacs.
WitiBusiness 1.0 is a new application that allows you to manage your prospect and customers, The customer-relationship management (CRM)-oriented application runs on both Mac OS X Jaguar/Panther, offers management of an unlimited number of contacts, to-do tasks, groups, and more. It supports Apple's AddressBook, the ability to personalize each contact with custom fields, send email directly from within the application, supports the vCard format with drag & drop simplicity, and more. The application is $50 and available as a free demo as well.
Copernican Technologies today released Boswell 4.0, an upgrade to its innovative Macintosh organizing and archiving application. Boswell flexibly archives, organizes, and retrieves any text you give it: original writings, e-mail, web clippings, research, notes, etc, allowing information to be grouped, sorted, and searched. It also features highly detailed Manager searches and automatic cross-referencing functions as well as support for up to a million items of text in thousands of categories. Boswell 4.0 runs on Mac OS 9/X and is available for $100. Registration is required for a free demo.
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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