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Mac OS X Tiger retail box
Apple today revealed its new Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" retail packaging in a letter to customers. In Wednesday's edition of an Apple newsletter, Apple unveiled the retail packaging for its next-generation "Tiger" operating system. Differing from the previous tiger-like striped graphics it touted at WWDC 2004, the retail box is pitch black with a shiny platinum "X" that extends the full length of the packaging--complete with shadow effects that offer the illusion that it is extending off the box. The newsletter, again, reiterates that Apple expects to ship Mac OS X Tiger "during the first half of 2005."
Mac site subpoenas stayed
Apple today agreed to stay subpoenas against two Mac sites that required the sites to divulge information about their sources. The subpoenas were granted to by a California Court in December, but have not been been served. Apple is seeking information about unnamed individuals who have allegedly leaked trade secrets in its "John Doe" civil complaint. eWEEK reports that Apple has agreed to hold off on serving subpoenas until after the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California has held a hearing in early March on the EFF's request for a protective order for its clients. If the protective order is granted, Apple would be prevented from filing subpoenas against both PowerPage and AppleInsider to get information about the identity of their sources, as well as demanding any unpublished documents related to the resulting stories, according to the report.
Common Criteria Tools 1.0
Apple today released Common Criteria Tools 1.0, which it says is an "internationally approved set of security standards which provides a clear and reliable evaluation of the security capabilities of Information Technology products. By providing an independent assessment of a product's ability to meet security standards, Common Criteria gives customers more confidence in the security of Information Technology products and leads to more informed decisions." Apple says that security-conscious customers, such as the U.S. Federal Government, are requiring Common Criteria certification as a determining factor in purchasing decisions.
Gates talks iPod on ABC
Microsoft's Bill Gates says that he is not an iPod user and doubts claims by a previous Wired News news article saying that 80 percent of Microsoft employees own an iPod. "Well, I doubt that's the case. Certainly, the iPod's a great success.... No, I'm not an iPod user. I use the Creative Zen which is a fantastic product. That's another space where, even what we have today, whether it's iPod or the other things are only the start of what we're gonna have in a few years. People are gonna want choices. These things are going to be smaller or better, cheaper. So, music has changed. The age of the CD is really coming to an end.
Apple in Japan, SoCal
Apple has selected two new retail store locations--one in Japan and one in Southern California. Apple will open its next Japanese retail store in "the energetic Shibuya district of Tokyo, populated by the teen set, strobe lights, pachinko parlors, bright neon lights, and sometimes outrageous fashion," according to ifoAppleStore. The same report says that Apple is still considering two other high profile locations in Japan for future stores, including the Akihabara district, which is home to hundreds of electronics retailers and the Shinjuku district, home of Yodabashi Camera, previously the country's largest Apple reseller. The company is also planning a store near Hollywood and Beverly Hills in the Beverly Center Mall, which features 160 specialty boutiques and restaurants.
KeyStrokes 3.5 ($250) is an update to the on-screen keyboard with advanced PolyPredix multilingual word prediction. The new version provides word prediction for the hardware keyboard, increases word prediction efficiency by 10 to 40 percent, and adds German, Italian, Dutch and Norwegian translations. [Download - 9.7MB]
Noiseware plug-in build 3101 ($50-$70) is the latest version of the noise reduction software for images. The update increases Noiseware’'s processing speed by two times in 16-bit mode. [Download - 160KB]
Watcher 2 (€15) is a computer usage monitoring tool that allows a computer owner to set up how long users can use the computer on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The new version supports Mac OS X 10.3 and provides computer usage statistics. [Download - 910KB]
Mergemill 3.9 ($100) is the latest version of the website development and database tool that includes several templates for beginners. This upgrade delivers several important new and improved features. [Download - 13.4MB]
Calendar Snap ($15) is a pop-up calendar for any FileMaker Pro file. Version 2.0 adds full multi-user support, and defaults to the current date when no prior date is selected. [Download - 36KB]
Napster protection cracked
In brief: Photoshop World Conference & Expo will open to the public for one day only on Wed., March 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.... Users have found a way to bypass copy protection on Napster's portable music subscription service just days after its high-profile launch, potentially letting them make CDs with "rented" songs for free.... Alias announced today that worldwide shipping of Maya 6.5 is now underway.... The Portland Mac Filmmakers' User Group will hold a roundtable discussion on the topic of High-Definition Digital Video (HDV) at their February meeting on Wednesday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Panic releases Transmit 3
Panic today released Transmit 3, an update to its popular Mac OS X FTP client. Version 3 adds several of major new features, engine improvements, and other "nice little touches." It adds a new column view, convenient "tabs" for multiple connections, a Finder-like sidebar (with per-server folders), a redesigned Favorites area, search functions, a preview drawer with support for more image types and thumbnail zooming, dock status, spring-loaded folders and tabs, server-to-server transfers, linked folder navigation, improved synchronization, and full iDisk / WebDAV support. Transmit 3 is available for $30 or as an $18 upgrade for v2 owners.
OtterBox for iPod Mini
Otter has announced the expansion of its iPod case line with the OtterBox for iPod Mini, engineered exclusively for Apple's iPod Mini. This fully waterproof, interactive case allows digital music enthusiasts to access controls through a durable, yet compact design. "In 2004, Otter Products, released iPod 3rd and 4th Generation cases and now with the introduction of the OtterBox for iPod Mini, customers can take their iPod Mini to the beach, gym, hiking, canoeing or other activities without fear of ruining their valuable device." Customers can also use the OtterBox with iPod Mini’s optional armband. The OtterBox for iPod Mini retails for $50.
OpenOSX today launched OpenOSX ReadyStream 1.0.0, an easy-to-use solution for configuring, installing and utilizing numerous proven multimedia open source tools and libraries. OpenOSX ReadyStream includes two combined previous OpenOSX products: "OpenOSX Gimp" and "OpenOSX FilmGimp" (now called "CinePaint"), along with the addition of a suite of ready-to-use multimedia applications, including audio/video editing and streaming software, encoding utilities, and a host of audio tools with dozens of filters and plug-ins.
E1060 not iTunes phone
A Motorola spokesperson confirmed today that the Motorola E1060 (announced Monday) is not the much-anticipated iTunes-enabled phone. "E1060 was used to demonstate iTunes client; however, it is not our iTunes product." A Reuters article on Monday said "the E1060 model which is aimed at music afficianados and which will feature iTunes Music Player," however this is not the case. "In an Apple-like fashion, Motorola is keeping the first iTunes enabled phone under very close wraps," reports MobileTracker, "while Motorola wanted to show off the software, it appears the company wanted to keep the device secret."
Big Nerd Ranch has announced April 18-22 as the next date for the popular PostgreSQL Bootcamp. PostgreSQL, a highly adaptable and scalable database solution is proving to be one of the most sought-after applications for database management. PostgreSQL provides a low-cost and portable alternative to Oracle and SQL Server. The five-day bootcamp offers the following topics: building and installing PostgreSQL, configuring, starting and stopping the server, creating a cluster with initdb, security with OpenSSL, backups, and more. Class price of $3500 includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the Atlanta airport.
PhotoVu 17-inch model
PhotoVu today launched its new PV1740, a 17" wall-mount LCD "picture frame" that allow users to display photo content. The $900 device is intended for home or corporate use, with a specific use in mind: to display thousands of digital photos or other digital content. It can operate via a wireless connection to a computer, or as a standalone device using a removable 40GB hard drive. PhotoVu digital picture frames require no additional image manipulation or software installation. A 19" model is also available. PhotoVu will be displaying its products at the Photo Marketing Association International Annual Convention (Booth 1762), February 20th-23rd.
New Nikon Coolpix cameras
Nikon also unveiled three easy-to-use new Coolpix digital cameras for everyday digital photographers, including the the 4-megapixel Coolpix 4600, the 5.1-megapixel Coolpix 5600, and the 7.1-megapixel Coolpix 7600. They feature Nikon's In-Camera Red-Eye Fix technology, its D-Lighting functions to compensate for insufficient flash or excessive back lighting, Blur Warning features, a redesigned graphic user interface that lets the user navigate functions by either menu item list or icon, and sixteen different scene modes (including a new underwater mode in the 4600 and 5600. In addition, the Coolpix5600 and 7600 have the ability to capture video with sound and can also be easily connected to a TV, using the included video cable. All three cameras will be available in March for $200, $280, and $380, respectively.
In brief: Campus MovieFest, a student movie-making event with over 10,000 participants in Atlanta (all using Apple laptops with iLife, digital camcorders), has ended, with awards coming Thursday, March 3... The first Macintosh Astronomy Workshop will be held in Chicago on Thursday, September 8th.... Writer, editor and user group advocate, Daniel East will be presenting with two Apple user groups (Bux-Mont MUG and NJMAUG) during the first week of March 2005.
Nikon Coolpix 7900/5900
Nikon today introduced the Coolpix 7900 (pictured at right) and Coolpix 5900 digital cameras. Both feature a large 2.0-inch TFT LCD monitors, a 3x Zoom-Nikkor ED lens with a focal range equivalent to that of a 38-114mm lens in 35mm format, and offer 7.1 and 5.1 effective megapixels resolution, respectively. Nikons new cameras offer continuous shooting at approximately 1.7fps and 2fps, respectively and also feature high-precision Multi AF with a choice of 99 manually selectable areas, 5 choices for Auto select AF and its new Face-priority AF function, which can be easily selected when using the Portrait Scene Mode. The Coolpix 5900 will be available in March for $350, while Coolpix 7900 will be available in April for $450.
1GB xD-Picture Card
Olympus today released a 1GB xD-Picture Card and a new Portable USB Reader/Writer for xD media. The new high-capacity flash memory media, which hold up to 800 images at 5 megapixel resolution, supports Olympus exclusive features such as Panorama photography. Olympus xD-Picture Cards are the only media to support Panorama function on Olympus digital cameras, whereby up to 10 images can be stitched together. It will ship in April (no pricing info available). The company also launched its MAUSB-300, an inexpensive device transforms any xD-Picture Card into a portable, USB 2.0-enabled storage device for transferring data to/from any PC. The device, due in March for $20, features an attractive, durable and sleek white plastic body with a removable clear plastic top cover.
Acrylic Mac mini stand
The Plasticsmith has released the newest model in their line of Mac mini accessories. The mini Skirt: blue-glo raises the Mac mini 3/4" on a blue LED illuminated acrylic base, which plugs into any USB port with a convenient on-off switch. "The soft glow of the stand highlights the Mac mini, giving it the attention it deserves." It is made from light-reflecting flame-polished acrylic and sells for $30. A non-glow version is $20. The company also sells the mini Tower, another flame-polished acrylic enclosure that securely holds the mini on its side and the mini Grandstand, which gives the mini a protective covering while supporting an LCD or CRT monitor, is available in clear acrylic or finished steel.
Fast DVD Copy, e2Sync
Fast DVD Copy 3.5 ($100) allows users to back up their DVD and audio CD collections, Playstation 2 games, DVD-ROMs and CD-ROMs. It adds support for dual layer burning, ARccOS protected DVDs, RCE protection handling, a function to copy the movie itself (without bonuses or menus), improved compatibility with DVD players, and more. [Download - 4.6MB]
e2Sync PE 1.2 ($40) allows iSync to sync with Entourage. Version 1.2 adds category support for Entourage contacts and a new sync engine that has fixed an issue with duplicate entries. It syncs Entourage Contacts, Tasks and Calendar items to over thirty cell phone models, as well as multiple Macs, your iPod, PDA, iCal, AddressBook and .Mac. [Download - form]
4W WebMerge 2.4 ($100) is an upgrade to the tool for Mac OS and Windows that generates static Web pages from database or spreadsheet data. The new version provides multiple IF conditions with AND and OR operators, wiki-like syntax options for rapid content publishing, even faster performance, and other new features. [Download - 4.4MB]
GuitarPrompter 1.0 ($10) performs live scrolling through guitar tablature while playing the song's sound file at the same time. GuitarPrompter also has a Web Search feature, which allows users to download tablature files. [Download - 643KB]
Transaction 1.0 is an easy multi-purpose interactive data analysis and reporting tool intended to help control online sales. It does not require any technical knowledge, offers unlimited product, customer, transaction and expense entries, can generate custom reports, and offers ten types of charts. [Download - 2.9MB]
iPodBackup 1.4 (free) will backup your home folder as a folder or as a disk image on your iPod. Version 1.4 of the open-source tool allows drag-and-drop editing of exceptions, offers a Swedish localization, and offers a functioning cancel button. [Download - 403KB]
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