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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]
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).
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 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.
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.
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."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir