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IcoNVader 1.0 (free) is a new screen saver for Mac OS X that animates Christmas icons. "They will bounce around, flip over and finally explode in a kind of soap bubble effect. It was initially released for Christmas 2004 and features an appropriate Christmas theme." [Download - 451KB]
Blender 2.36 (free) is the latest version of the open source 3D suite for Mac. A few bugs have been corrected, and features such as improved bump mapping, texture warping and RGB normal map rendering were added. [Download - 5.9MB]
Aki Mahjong Solitaire 1.1.0 is an easy to learn solitaire game for Mac. This free update introduces the ability to both play and create custom levels, and includes over 35 new levels. [Download - 20.2MB]
DockFun! 4.6.2 ($20) is a tool that enables users to run an infinite number of Docks in Mac OS X. The latest version improves the software update system, enhances Mac OS X Server compatibility, and fixed a memory leak. [Download - 1.0MB]
MBS plug-in 4.3 (80 Euros) comprises a collection of several plug-in parts which extend the REALbasic development environment with over 450 classes and 4 controls featuring over 9000 documented functions. This version improves Linux support, allows users to run Java code in RealBasic, and offers new classes for CoreGraphics and QuickTime. [Download - 17.3MB]
Jobs in 2005 watch list
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is named among the 15 people to watch in 2005 as noted by the Wall Street Journal's Online Journal editors. The report, which highlights "men and women who are set to shape the course of business, politics and world affairs in the next year," cites both of Jobs' "hot streaks"--Pixar and Apple (both the iPod and Mac marketshare challenges). Others noted include Nick Denton (online publisher), James Dimon (J.P. Morgan Chase CEO), Robert Iger (Walt Disney CEO), Mel Karmazin (Sirius Satellite Radio CEO), Neelie Kroes (European Union competition commissioner), Edward S. Lampert (Kmart chairman), Michael Leavitt (appointed Health and Human Services secretary), Pervez Musharraf (Pakistan president), Martha Stewart, John Thain (NYSE CEO), Evan Wolfson (Freedom to Marry executive), and Viktor Yushchenko (Ukraine politician).
Holiday deals Dec. 24
Sonic Solutions yesterday kicked off a 48-hour sale with of 50 percent off its line of Toast CD/DVD recording software. 'Toast Titanium' can be had for $50, while 'Toast with Jam' is $100. Meanwhile, Radical Breeze is offering a significant discount on its '10 Pack' of applications. The suite is being offered for $20, instead of the regular $50. If purchased individually, the ten apps would cost over $140. The offer is valid until December 27th.
Apple leads unique taffic
Apple remains the category leader in attracting unique visitors to its Web site, despite a dramatic surge in visits to the Dell site in the last month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Apple and Dell also lead in the amount of time visitors spend on the sites of computer brands. In the week ending Dec. 12, compared with a month earlier, the number of unique visitors to Apple's site declined from 4.9 million to 4.6 million. Meanwhile, Dell climbed from 2.7 million unique visitors in November to 4.1 million in the most recent period.
WSJ on \'Halo Effect\'
Wall Street Journal columnists Tim Hanrahan and Jason Fry on Monday said that the combination of the iPod's popularity and the increasing worry over viruses, security holes and spyware in Windows PCs "will lead to the second coming of Apple Computer as a home-computing power." In response to that column, WSJ received countless emails with stories from new Mac users: iPod owners affected by the "halo effect," and non-iPod owners who switched for other reasons.
iPod Mini rivals roundup
Technology guru David Pogue says that there are several iPod Mini rivals worth a look: "the Mini was an enormous hit, and back-ordered for months. Its appeal was never about logic; it's about emotion, style and status. It's so small, cool and comforting in the hand that to hold one is to want one. Inevitably, the Mini inspired other companies to send in the clones. This month you'll be able to choose from four impressive iPod Mini competitors, courtesy of Dell, Rio, Creative and Virgin Electronics....Four great players, each with some superpower that the iPod Mini lacks. It's curtains for Apple, right? Not so fast. On something that's as personal and frequently used as a music player, little things make a big difference, and it's in the Little Things department that the iPod Mini really shines."
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