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PocketMac Safari Scrapbook
Information Appliance Associates (IAA) has released PocketMac Safari Scrapbook, new web utility for Apple's Safari web browser. It allows users to track web pages they have visited by automatically cataloging the websites Safari users visit in a searchable database. "This new program ensures that no matter what amount of time passes, Safari users will be able to find every web page they've visited, even if they only remember a key word or two from the specific web page they're looking for. PocketMac Safari Scrapbook continually archives the actual content behind the Safari web history nightly into a rapidly accessed database." PocketMac Safari Scrapbook is available for for Mac OS X 10.3 and costs $18.
Mozilla 1.7.6 updated
Mozilla.org has launched a new website for Camino 0.82, its open-source browser effort for Mac OS X that features a Cocoa interface and the Gecko engine. The new website, CaminoBrowser.org, offers completely "revamped with up-to-date information, useful and easy-to-read support pages, and, of course, pretty pictures." The product pages, still hosted at mozilla.org, will be the home of the project, including all support/development information. Version 0.82 adds a new "Open in Tabs" item for folders, more keyboard commands (scrolling to the top/bottom of webpages), and import of bookmark separators from Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox. Separately, Mozilla 1.7.6 brings several security fixes to the Mozilla Suite, which includes a Web browser, advanced e-mail and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and HTML editing.
QPS 3.5 at NEXPO \'05
Quark has announced the imminent release of QPS 3.5, the latest iteration of its Quark Publishing System publishing workflow software. Previewing the new release at NEXPO '05, the Newspaper Association of America's annual conference and exhibition, Quark is boasting new features, increased functionalities and expanded integration capabilities for this new version. According to the company, QPS customers with up-to-date Quark maintenance agreements will receive the upgrade at no charge. Pricing for new customers is determined on a per-seat basis, with different price points depending on whether the potential customer purchases QPS Classic or QPS Enterprise, which offers added functionality and configuration choices. QPS Enterprise's Quark Digital Media Server uses the Oracle 9i database at its core, and the company plans to roll it out on Microsoft SQL Server as well.
iPod shuffle car charger
ezGear, a marketer of iPod accessories, announced today that it is shipping ezCharge Shuffle, the first car charger for the iPod Shuffle. According to ezGear, "the iPod shuffle is for people on the go and users shouldn't have to wait until they get home to recharge their iPod Shuffles." The ezCharge Shuffle comes in gloss white and includes a high quality coiled cable and a fuse protected car plug. The suggested retail price for the ezCharge Shuffle is $25. The ezCharge Shuffle is available from ezGear and iPod resellers.
Apple disables PyMusique
Apple has closed a security hole that allowed the underground PyMusique utility access to the iTunes Music Store as well as purchase song stripped of any copy-protection. Released last week, PyMusique provided an alternative interface to the iTunes Music Store: it allowed users to register at the store, purchase music, and download songs (multiple times) without the playback restrictions associated with Apple's FairPlay DRM. Apple said it closed the security hole that opened a "backdoor" into the iTunes system, allowing PyMusique access to the software, according to ZDNet. Some iTunes customers--as many as 15 percent of users--would need to upgrade their software. "The security hole in the iTunes Music Store which was recently exploited has been closed, and as a consequence the iTunes Music Store will now sell music only to customers using iTunes version 4.7."
Directors NoteBook 2
Directors NoteBook today announced the release of Directors NoteBook 2 Pro, Directors NoteBook 2 SA, and Directors NotePad 2 . Directors NoteBook is designed specifically for TV commercial directors cameramen as a digital "project notebook", organizing all the information a director or other production department heads need access to during preproduction, production, and post-production. Directors NotePad is an application geared towards iLife and amateur film makers. The Pro and SA 2 packages add the following new features: support for files up to 2GB, a new file storage section, optimized Application files, and export shot list to iPod. Directors NotePad 2 now supports files up to 2GB, offers optimization, and also adds iPod export. Directors NoteBook 2 SA is $170, Pro is $250, and Directors NotePad is $30.
Apple security update
Apple today released Security Update 2005-003, which it says delivers a number of security enhancements, including an important update to its Safari web browser. Recommended for everyone, it includes updated components for AFP Server, Bluetooth Setup Assistant CoreFoundation, Cyrus SASL, Folder permissions, Safari, and Samba. Apple says that it updated a Folder Permissions security hole and its AFP file sharing protocol to prevent a denial of service attack and discovery of the contents of a file "Drop Box" (where others can upload, but not view/download data). Apple also fixed exploits related to Mac OS X 10.3 Server, including multiple vulnerabilities in Cyrus IMAP (email protocol) and Mailman (email list server). The update also brings improvements to Cyrus SASL and fixes an important Safari Web exploit that allowed maliciously registered International Domain Names to mask as legitimate sites.
EazyDraw 1.7.1 released
EazyDraw 1.7.1 updates the vector-drawing application with new PICT, BMP and ICO editing functions and improved ClarisDraw import. The free EazyDraw update also expands supported classic Mac graphic's formats to include MacDraw, MacDrawII, Claris Draw and now PICT file formats. The ICO support allows users to create favicon website badges and includes numerous other new features, such as a trimming knife and welding capability to create complex shapes for use in Keynote and other Mac OS X applications. A 9-month trial license is $20, while an unlimited license is $95 or $115 on CD.
SkinIt is now offering PowerBook covers, in addition to its Mac mini decorative covers. This Skin Set consists of a 1-piece vinyl Skin that covers the top lid of the Apple PowerBook. The SkinIt protects a PowerBook from day-to-day use and adds a personal touch. SkinIt Skins are made from high-quality vinyl that uses a non-permanent adhesive that will "allow you to simply peel off the Skin when its time for a change." Currently, SkinIt is offering custom designs based on images provided by the customer. SkinIt is also offering offer free designs, similar to the patterns available for the Mac mini. The base price is $25, plus $3 to upload a custom image.
iPod Camera Connector
The Apple Store is now taking pre-orders for the iPod Camera Connector. The connector, announced at Macworld Expo earlier this year, is available for $30 and has an estimated ship time of 1-3 weeks: "Simply plug the iPod Camera Connector into the iPod dock connector, plug your camera's USB cable and watch your images make their way to the iPod, ready to view in a slide show! Compatible with iPod photo (30/40/60GB). Requires iPod software v1.1."
Seasonality 1.0 ($25) is a weather monitoring tool with weather forecasts, radar images, sunrise/sunset times, and more. Users can view informative icons demonstrating what weather is coming their way over the next 7 days. Users can also look at radar images to check where it is raining or snowing, compare this month's weather conditions to last month's, and more. [Download - 6.8MB]
biOpen 1.6 ($600+) is a sequence analysis and structure visualization tool based on dynamic integration of analysis tools. The new version enables users to import, view and edit ABI chromatogram files. Synchronization with the sequence editor allows users to insert, delete or modify residues in chromatogram files. [Download - form]
IP Scanner 1.3 ($25) goes beyond plain network scanning by using Bonjour (the technology formerly known as Rendezvous) technology to collect realtime user information as well as IP data from machines on a local area network and sorts everything in tidy columns, each machine's IP number displayed next to its name. Version 1.3 allows alphabetic table sorting and filtered searching. [Download - 308KB]
SignalSuite 1.2.1 ($25) is a real time audio signal generator uses audio hardware to produce white noise, pink noise, swept sine (chirp) signals, or any of several periodic signals. Version 1.2.1 adds 16x oversampling for non-sinusoidal periodic signals, a means for cloning SignalSuite for those with volume licenses, and bug fixes. [Download - 308KB]
Disk Order 1.1, the latest version of a double-panel utility for managing files and folders on Mac OS X. Version 1.1 adds a built-in FTP client, restoring columns sizes at startup, faster copying for large files, and bug fixes. [Download - 940KB]
MySQL Connector/ODBC (free) is now available with a native Mac package, installer, and ODBC Admin utility. "This is a huge improvement from the past free command line options for setting up MySQL ODBC or OpenLink Software's $99 pay option." [Download - 13.8MB]
Apple ruling concerns
In brief: Doom 3 ($50) by id Software and Aspyr Studios for Mac has reportedly arrived in retail stores.... Elemental Audio Systems today announced a name change for its Finalis peak limiter to Finis ($140).... "After a ruling that could limit the public's access to vital [trade secret] information, insiders may now be reluctant to leak that kind of information," says Mercury News in response to a ruling in Apple's case against three rumor sites.... IAC will purchase Ask Jeeves for $1.85 billion, the companies said today.
iPod knockoff a PR stunt
An iPod shuffle knockoff shown at CeBit by LuxPro may have been nothing more than a publicity stunt, according to information collected by Jack Campbell from DVForge. "The Super Shuffle is not in production by LuxPro ... There is no intent by LuxPro to ever put the Super Shuffle into production ... LuxPro is looking for companies to hire LuxPro to build uniquely designed players, based around the same electronics inside the Super Shuffle ... the entire CeBit sideshow was planned from the start as a gambit to gain a hugely disproportionate share of the industry's attention, so as to find a few customers for the Super Shuffle's electronics." Campbell concludes that "there will be no Apple lawsuits, no Super Shuffles fighting their way onto racks at Circuit City, no angry mobs of Apple lawyers storming the LuxPro factory. This was not a prank, nor was it an act of blind stupidity. In my view, it was one of the most clever PR maneuvers I have ever seen executed by a small company."
Lawsuits no surprise
A New York Times article looks at Apple's lawsuits against several Mac rumor sites. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is "increasingly concerned about losing control of his product story in the face of the Internet's echo chamber." "Mr. Jobs's decision to go after the operators of the small Internet fan sites is not surprising ... He has always had a reputation for being iconoclastic and confrontational" and "has long turned conventional product announcements into part of the Apple mystique." Jobs is "a master at creating the mystique," said Regis McKenna, a Silicon Valley marketing executive, "His problem is how to continue to innovate out of the limelight." Former Apple executive Randy Komisar says "He's in the fashion business ... He has to have a new hit every quarter or he goes out of business. The speculation is worth tens of millions of dollars of public relations."
iPod shuffle DecoDock
Pressure Drop today announces DecoDock, a stylish dock designed for the iPod shuffle. DecoDock provides an elegant solution for users who want a simple way to connect their iPod shuffle to their computer. Designed in the classic Art Deco style, the DecoDock's lighted columns tower over a "brilliantly colored and graceful arc, enhancing the pleasing simplicity of the iPod shuffle." The iPod's plastic cap can be stored in the back of the DecoDock, a unique feature designed to help prevent it from getting lost. "We took the clean, simple lines of the iPod shuffle and enhanced them, making the DecoDock and shuffle blend seamlessly together in an artistic and exciting way." It will be available in April in a variety of colors for $29.
While the "save-a-pocket logic" of offering consumers iPod-like music capability built into a wireless phone seems obvious, there are several factors working against such a marriage, reports The Boston Globe. This month, Motorola delayed a phone that could download from iTunes. Analysts speculate that Motorola had faced pressure to drop the phone because buyers would be able to bypass the carriers' pricier music-download services. If people can buy a phone and download music from their computer song collection, ''that's not an interesting business proposition for the carrier," said analyst John Orlando. He also said ''iPod users and mobile phone users are completely different people ... It's a song they want right now ... They'll buy a song for $2 and listen to it for a few days, and then buy a new one." But analyst Adam Benjamin, said an iPod-cellphone combination "is going to take a while to happen. Convergence always takes longer than people think."
Avid to acquire Pinnacle
Avid Technology today announced will aquire Pinnacle in a cash and stock transactiond deal valued at $462 million or a 30% premium over Pinnacle's closing stock price of $4.97. Avid said that Pinnacle's professional products will enhance its end-to-end broadcast production pipeline and that the company's consumer video business will form the basis for a new consumer video division. "We see this acquisition as the next logical step in our long-term strategy. Just as our acquisition of M-Audio in 2004 brought us into the consumer audio business, by acquiring Pinnacle's consumer video business, Avid will be able to tap into the next generation of video editors while they are still learning their craft."
Mac OS X security warning
Security vendor Symantec has warned that Mac OS X is increasingly becoming a target for hackers and malware authors and that Mac users are complacent about security issues. ZDnet Australia reports that Symantec's seventh bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report reveals that security researchers have discovered at least 37 serious vulnerabilities in the Mac OS X system over the past year. "As Apple increases its market share--with new low cost products such as the Mac mini--its userbase is likely to come under increasing attack. 'Contrary to popular belief, the Macintosh operating system has not always been a safe haven from malicious code. Out of the public eye for some time, it is now clear that the Mac OS is increasingly becoming a target for the malicious activity that is more commonly associated with Microsoft and various Unix-based operating systems."
Summer Halos released
Synk Audio Studios has announced Summer Halos, a customizable stock music content package for Musicbed DV, its innovative Mac OS X application for interactively customizing production music from the Synk Music Library. Encoded for interactivity from over 1.1 GB of CD quality audio, Summer Halos extends the thematic reach of the Synk Music Library's catalog of cinematic music beds with thousands of new customizable stock music variations. In addition, all of the Synk Music Library titles are now available in two editions: The audio data in SE editions, encoded at high quality, is designed most projects, while the SX edition features a much higher quality level for premium visual projects.
CS Odessa today released LeadingProject 1.1 ($250), an update to its professional project manager tool. LeadingProject features a Multi-Project Workspace, allowing users to allocate a single resource to multiple concurrent projects. Version 1.1 features advanced reporting and also adds support for ConceptDraw XML, which enables users to further saving project file as HTML page or PDF file, graphics file, MS PowerPoint presentation, web-ready Macromedia Flash file, EPS or Text Data formats. LeadingProject also features a toolset for quick and easy editing of Gantt charts; a Setup Project Calendar; and ability to start projects of any size and length. A special $50 discount is available for a limited time.
Refurb iBooks from Apple
With the end of its fiscal quarter approaching quickly, Apple has added more refurbished items to its Apple store, including 12-inch iBooks (1.2GHz/ 256MB/ 30GB/ CD) for $800 and 1.2GHz model for $850--256MB of RAM, a 30GB drive, Combo optical, and built-in AirPort extreme. The larger 14-inch 1.33GHz model is available for $1,100 (256MB/ 60GB/ Combo/ AP Extreme). A SuperDrive-enabled version is $1,300. As noted Friday, Apple also has refurbished Cinema Displays starting at $1,400 and iMac G5s starting at $1,100 as well as sale-prices on new (but previous-generation) PowerBooks and iPods.
Expanded Apple HPC Tour
In Brief: Apple has added an afternoon session in San Francsico as well as expanded capacity for its New York session to its High Performance Computing Roadshow, noted here last week... Apple is gaining MP3 marketshare in Korea with its iPod accounting for 7 percent of revenue and 10 percent of unit sales, despite a small distribution network.... One reader has posted photos and details of his Shufflephones 2.0, a hack that installs an iPod shuffle in his headphones and also adds an all-new expansion jack.... SmartSource.com is an online coupon printing service that offers full support for Mac OS X, including the Safari browser for its website and Mac-compatible dowloadable application.
PFTrack 3.0 due in March
The Pixel Farm has announced PFTrack 3.0, an update to its advanced camera tracking solution that brings over 30 new features including advanced object tracking, geometry tracking, editable f curves, imbedded image based modelling tools and automatic z depth extraction. Version 3.0 can now track many separate moving objects within a sequence, as well as solving camera motion issues The fully editable F Curves within PFTrack make cleaning up tracking data extremely easy and accurate and new, fully integrated image based modelling capabilities allow users to quickly build up 3D environments by using the background image as a guide. It will ship later this month. A fulll license is $5,000 with upgrades priced at $1,100.
REALbasic, iStumbler, ...
REALbasic 5.5.5 (free update) improves reliability and the user experience for VB Project Converter in the developer tool for Mac OS 9/X. VB Project Converter is a utility included for free with REALbasic that helps Visual Basic developers port existing applications to REALbasic where they can be cross-compiled for Linux and Macintosh. It also includes numerous feature updates and reliability improvements. [17MB]
iStumbler R92 is a free, open-source tool for finding AirPort networks,
Bluetooth devices, mDNS services, and now GPS locations with your Mac. Release 92 reintroduces the GPS plugin which works with any NMEA Serial or Bluetooth GPS device. It also includes new preferences for setting the font size and toolbar style as well as improvements to the plugin system. [393KB]
Media Rage 1.9 ($25) is a collection of tools that can edit information stored in MP3, AAC, FLAC, and Ogg Vorbis audio files as well as assist in cataloging, organizing, sorting, and updating thousands of audio files. Version 1.9 supports VBR searching from the Finder, new grouping features, better naming functions, and more. [2.4MB]
DVDpedia 2.0 ($18) updates the movie cataloging tool with WebView, which allows users to see their collections in custom HTML templates, and access Amazon Wish/Listmania lists. The integrated search function now includes all the Amazon sites (UK, US, DE, CA, FR, JP) and allows users to perform a cascading search, while a new 'Date Due' function improves tracking of DVD borrowing. [4.8MB]
Studycard Studio 2.4 ($30) updates the multimedia flashcard application, adding a companion study application for the Palm OS platform. The software allows students and educators to create flashcards or quizzes on Mac OS, then study them on PalmOS-baed handhelds. A free "lite" versioon supports the Quiz study method with fewer features, but includes the full Studycard Studio Palm OS companion application. [3.9MB]
iSale 1.4 ($25) brings integration with Apple's .Mac, allowing users to bypass the company's fee-based picture service as well as a new intelligent "Smart Groups" feature that offers a comprehensive and organized overview of all auctions. It also features a new section for after-sales qualification of listed auctions as well as brings compatibility with eBay Switzerland and eBay Austria. [4.6MB]
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