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Columnist slams Windows
Mark Morford, a SF Gate columnist, asks "why isn't everyone on a Mac?" Further, he asks "why does Windows still suck?" Moford is highly critical of Microsoft's user interface, and also points to the ongoing struggle with viruses, spyware, and worms. "Why is there not some massive revolt, some huge insurrection against Microsoft? Why is there not a huge contingent of furious users stomping up to Seattle with torches and scythes and crowbars, demanding the Windows Frankenstein monster be sacrificed at the altar of decent functionality and an elegant user interface?"
Forums roundup for Feb 4
Discussion topics on the MacNN Forums today include: deciding which Power Mac G5 model to purchase.... some speculation regarding the scrolling trackpad feature available on the new PowerBook G4 models.... Complaints of iMac G5 fan noise from one user.... One member's problem with receiving the $150 rebate promised by Amazon on an iBook purchase.... Ongoing discussion of the iPod shuffle with feedback from owners.
Pepsi ad with Gwen Stefani
Pepsi has completed production of its second iTunes Super Bowl television commercial, which will air in addition to the 45-second spot previewed Wednesday. The new 30-second spot features Gwen Stefani.
iPod a great social tool
In an article on WebProNews, Neville Hobson describes his "first true iPod experience." He writes, "I had my first true iPod experience today. You know, the feeling of coolness as you're out and about in public with those little white buds sticking in your ears with the white cables dangling down that disappear under your jacket. Yes, I did succumb to strong temptation when I was in the US last week and I bought an iPod Mini ... You get looks from people. Knowing looks, especially from those with dangly bits in their ears. Might even exchange a smile or two. Even a wink if your cable is white... Wow, this is a great social tool."
BusinessWeek praises \'mini
In his latest article for BusinessWeek Stephen Wildstrom praises the Mac mini, and says it was "worth the wait" for Apple to debut such a product. Wildstrom cites the Mac mini's tiny form-factor and low price point: "the real importance of the Mini is that it overcomes the twin barriers that have kept Apple out of many homes: cost and lack of design flexibility." Mr. Wildstrom says "it is utterly unlike anything else on the market" and while bargain-basement PCs may cost even less, "you'll get a box that's big, ugly, and a lot noisier." Wildstrom also observes that the lack of an Apple keyboard or mouse is "mostly as a packaging gimmick," but the PC equivalents work fine with the Mac mini.
"Creating Photomontages with Photoshop: A Designer's Notebook" ($25) is the third release in O'Reilly's new Designer's Notebook series--a series designed to inspire and instruct professionals who work with digital images. Photomontages are multiple images artfully combined. In the book, well-known French artists reveal the techniques used in creating many projects.
PitchBoards 2 themes
KeynotePro has announced PitchBoards 2 themes ($40), including a fully-updated PitchBoards Classic and Pro with new master slide options and Zoom Overlay Objects, as well as the new PitchBoards Motion Pack, which includes 20 alpha-enabled Quicktime motion-arrows. The Motion pack is available as a stand-alone download, or as part of the new PitchBoards Producer Edition, which also includes the updated PitchBoards Pro and the new PitchBoards White, which allows users to convert PitchBoards presentations to a print-friendly format.
MacDoppler 2.8.3 update
Dog Park Software released MacDopplerPRO X/Lite 2.8.3 this afternoon. MacDoppler is a popular satellite tracking software solution for Mac, available in PRO and Lite configurations, for $50 and $100, respectively. Version 2.8.3 updates both editions of MacDoppler, changing city lights to 3D points, offering Ports Dialog Support for Kenwood TS-2000 1.04 Firmware, and correcting an Icom IC-910 Driver bug. This release is a free update.
IQue Server 4 for Mac OS X
Harris & Baseview has released IQue Server 4.0, the latest version of its print publication management software for Mac OS X. Using a MySQL database, a JBoss application server and the cross-platform NewsEditPro IQue client, IQue Server 4.0 offers a solution that can scale from a dozen seats to hundreds. Version 4.0 implements remote administration, publication profiles so each publication can have its own set of metadata, EditionBuilder, which automatically generates page folios and breaks multipage documents into single documents, and much more. In December, MacNN reported that Liberty Suburban Group (over 30 newspapers) switched to iQue on Mac OS X.
Call of Duty update
Call of Duty: United Offensive 1.5.1 ($20) is a maintenance update to the game that thrusts players into authentic action across Fortress Europe's most historic battlefields. This release brings the game up to the current PC version. [Download - 319MB]
shadowClipboard 2.0.1 ($10) is a multi-clipboard manager for Mac OS X. Version 2.0.1 fixes memory leaks in both Simple and Advanced mode which were introduced with version 2, and also adds a 'None' option to disable selected hotkey combinations. [Download - 1.1MB]
CourseWizard 5.2 (no pricing) is the latest version of the online registration system. Version 5.2 lets administrators enroll and/or drop participants to or from courses, authenticate a participant at the time of enrollment, manage waiting lists for courses, and more. [Download - online demo]
DVD Database X 1.5.2 ($20) is a full-featured database program designed to help keep track of any size DVD collection. Version 1.5.2 adds user-defined merging when Amazon and IMDB return different info for the same DVD, and support for HTML templates. [Download - 2.4MB]
MimMac 1.3.1 ($10) is a utility that enables users to perform backups, full system clones, and data migration. This release fixes bugs that: caused MimMac to include items that the user had chosen to exclude, allowed access to root level files, and caused cosmetic issues. [Download - 540KB]
Virex Virus Definitions 2/3/05 (free) provides the latest data to the Virex antivirus suite for Mac in order to defend against the latest viruses, trojans, worms, and other malicious software. [Download - see options]
iPod shuffle clips
PodBuddy, a division of DVForge, today announced The Clips mounting accessory set for the iPod shuffle. The Clips is a set of three alternative carrying gadgets for the iPod shuffle music player. The set includes a belt clip, a gripper clip, and, a push pin clip. The new clips snap securely onto the USB plug end of the shuffle. All three clips are packaged together, and are made of durable white ABS plastic, stainless steel and galvanized steel to match the appearance of the iPod shuffle. The set will be available in March for $30.
Doom 3 demo at Apple Store
Aspyr Media will be showcasing id Software's Doom 3 at the Austin, TX Apple Store. The demo will take place at the monthly Aspyr game night at the Austin store, Friday, February 18th at 7:00 p.m. The Apple Store at Barton Creek Mall hosts this free community event each month to demonstrate the quality of Mac gaming with the latest Macintosh games and the newest Macintosh equipment. Scheduled to ship in March, Domo 3 is available for pre-order for $50.
Mac mini in 69 Nova SS
Car customization service Classic Restorations has installed a Mac mini in an original 1969 Nova SS. The car features a 450 HP engine, the classic M22 transmission, and a Mac mini in the dash. To control the computer, this client has chosen both a 7-inch touchscreen, and an assignable aluminum USB knob on the center console for easy volume control and power functions. The car's owner is a musician who specified that they wanted to plug USB-powered keybords directly into the dashboard to record ideas into the Mac.
Lawyer dismissal of case
The lawyer representing Nick Ciarelli of Think Secret said he will seek to dismiss the case on First Amendment free-speech grounds within two weeks. Attorney Terry Gross, a lawyer prominent in free-speech and Internet issues, said he decided to represent 19-year-old Ciarelli on a pro bono basis after the Harvard student said he didn't have the funds to defend himself against Apple. "Supreme Court law is pretty clear," said Gross in an interview. "Journalists can't be prohibited from publishing material if it's lawfully obtained. Apple is just trying to intimidate this college kid."
BW on Apple stock at 77
BusinessWeek columnist Robert Barker considers the future of Apple's stock following massive growth in recent months. The article suggests it "may be too late to take a bite" of AAPL. "Lately hitting a new high above 77, stock in Apple is not just high-priced -- 37 times this year's estimated profit -- but high-fashion. Which got me wondering: Besides a reflected glow as part-owner of today's most glamorous gadgeteer, what does 77 a share get an Apple buyer? ... It's worth recalling what happened to eBay, another great company whose shares went in weeks from 118 to 80 on hints of slower growth."
Blaze 2.5 ($10) is a text editor that allows users to convert document to HTML from text, send files as an email, convert line endings between platforms, toggle curly/straight quotes, and more. Version 2.5 is a complete re-write and overhaul. [Download - 1.3MB]
GPSPhotoLinker 1.1 (free) allows users to directly embed latitude and longitude from a GPS receiver into the metadata of digital photos. Version 1.1 now supports a batch mode for automatically processing multiple photos and the ability to manually link waypoints and track points to photos. [Download - 611KB]
iSnip 1.2.0 (free) is the latest version of the popular text clipping organization utility. The latest version introduces "Clipboard History," which keeps track of changes to the system clipboard. [Download - 240KB]
NewsFan 1.7.0 ($25) is an RSS/Blog reader for Mac OS X. Major changes in version 1.7.0 include: smart descriptions, importing Firefox's LiveBookmark, smart subscribe by key words, and more. [Download - 1.8MB]
SmallImage 2.0 (free) is a simple and efficient tool to batch process JPEG files, resize them, recompress them, remove embedded profiles and make them ready for the Web. Version 2 was completely rewritten from scratch" all options are now available on the main window, making them much easier to access. [Download - 564KB]
Home Tidying 1.0 (free) Up is an application that allows users to clean up their Home folder by finding duplicates, old files, and the largest files. Users can specify the possible folders and/or files to be excluded from analysing, the minimum age in days and the minimum size listed. [Download - 684KB]
Mac mini as a server
In Brief: Apple says that February 7 is the last date customers can order personalized iPod or mini units to get them in time for Valentine's Day.... The Apple Store quickly sold of out of the refurbished flat-panel iMac G4s, but still has sale-priced 12-inch PowerBooks available, refurb iMac G5s, and more.... Apple has posted two videos designed to demonstrate why Mac OS X is the "best platform for scientific research".... Infinisys today announced it is holding a special spring sale, offering 50% off all its products for a limited one week period.... O'Reilly has released "Internet Annoyances" ($25), a guide that shows users how to fix the "most annoying things" about going online.... Load tests performed by Tenon and Macminicolo.net show that the Mac mini is a suitable Web server platform for 80% of the Web sites on the market.
OS X AppleScript Handbook
SpiderWorks today announced the e-book release of "Danny Goodman's AppleScript Handbook (Mac OS X Edition)." The guide has been completely rewritten for Mac OS X by scripting guru Danny Goodman. The Third Edition includes all new Mac OS X-specific examples "with the hope of inspiring a new generation of beginning and intermediate AppleScript users with contemporary commentary and examples that actually [work] in today's environment." The book is available for download for $15.
Cocoa Bootcamp 2005
Big Nerd Ranch has announced its first Cocoa Bootcamp of 2005, slated for March 21-25th. The five day intensive class, revised in the summer of 2004 to include more comprehensive sections on bindings, is one of the most popular Big Nerd Ranch offerings. Cocoa Bootcamp is ideal for any skill level of Cocoa programmer. The flexible nature of the Bootcamp allows the flow of the class to be dictated by the participants. The $3500 price includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the airport.
Gefen 2x2, 6x2 Switchers
Gefen today announced the addition of two high definition audio/video switchers and an upgraded splitter to its line-up of home theater solutions. The new 2x2 Switcher ($350) and 6x2 Swticher ($900) provides greater integration options for high definition systems, and a 1:2 HDMI Splitter ($300) conforms to the latest HDMI standard 1.1 specifications. Gefen's 2x2 HDMI Switcher is a small unit equipped with two HDMI inputs, two HDMI outputs and one RS-232. The 6x2 HDMI Switcher connects up to six sources to one or two two displays. The 1:2 HDMI Splitter splits high definition audio/video and distributes it to two outputs.
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