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On behalf of online journalists, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed an appeal, hoping that Courts will "correct their ruling" and afford online journalists the same protections as traditional journalists. In an appeal filed today in the California state court system, the EFF has asked the Court to consider the ramifcations of ruling that would begin to erode the rights of online journalists and may have a "chilling effect" on all media. Earlier this month, a California Court would not grant the PowerPage a protective order to prevent Apple from subpoenaing confidential information about PowerPage sources from its internet service provider (ISP) because the information was "stolen property."
Apple acquires SchemaSoft
Apple has acquired SchemaSoft, a small Canadian company that helps software makers translate rival file formats. "Apple has acquired assets from SchemaSoft, a developer of software components for facilitating digital information workflow," the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said in a statement to CNET News.com. Apple said it plans to use SchemaSoft's technology in future products, but did not offer specific details. SchemaSoft's tools can extract data found in a variety of formats including those used by Microsoft Office documents, along with Quark and Adobe Systems' Portable Document Format, the software maker states on its Web site. The tools can also output into those formats as well as into HTML and XML. Apple is already a customer of SchemaSoft, according to the Canadian company's Web site. Other well-known customers include Microsoft, Adobe and Corel.
NeoTron today released KeyGuides for FileMaker Pro 7, Microsoft Word, Safari, Mail, iCal and Address Book. KeyGuides are laminated key maps containing default keyboard shortcuts for an application or suite. KeyGuides are designed for new users to a software package who need a quick resource for shortcut information. KeyGuides are suggested for learning environments to help students learn to use software more effectively. KeyGuides are also useful to home or business users who may have trouble memorizing keyboard commands. Other KeyGuides for Mac are available for current versions of Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, Boris Effects RED 3GL. KeyGuides range in price from from about $10 to $25.
Apple reseller woes
Apple's sleek company-owned stores are "crushing its loyal, independent dealers," according to Chicago Business. In less than a decade, Apple "has gone from near death to the hottest brand in America as its iPod digital music players reignited interest in its acclaimed computer lineup." For Apple resellers like Evanston's Nabih Mangoubi, these "should be the best of times ... but the same good fortune is not smiling on the shrinking number of independent Apple dealers in the Chicago area and nationwide." Having sold and serviced Apple products for years, players like Mr. Mangoubi now find themselves being sliced out of the picture by Apple itself. "Within a few years, all of the independent resellers will probably disappear as Apple extends its storefront," says Joe Weingarten, a former Apple dealer in Dayton, Ohio, who last month filed suit against Apple.
Safari IDN spoofing
Apple has published a troubleshooting guide for Mac mini users experiencing reduced display brightness. Some owners of Mac minis report that their connected VGA display exhibits reduced brightness without an apparent reason. Apple suggests contacting Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) if the steps provided do not remedy the problem. Apple also published a support article explaining how Safari deals with International Domain Names. Security Update 2005-003, releasted yesterday, updates Safari's support for International Domain Names (IDN) to prevent lookalike characters from being used to spoof the URL displayed in the address field, SSL certificate, or status bar.
CPU upgrade for iMac G3
FastMac today released a G4 processor upgrade for the Apple's Slot-Loading iMac G3 computer. The FastMac upgrade replaces the original G3 CPU with a G4 CPU operating at 550MHz and doubles the backside cache from 512K to 1MB, resulting in a 3 to 4 times boost in speed & performance, according to the company. The FastMac upgrade takes full advantage of the G4 AltiVec Velocity Engine, allowing the iMac to now run programs it could not run before, including GarageBand, iChat AV with iSight, and others. The upgrade is 100% compatible with Mac OS 9/X. The $200 upgrade carries a 1-year warranty. It is compatible with the iMac G3 (350MHz, 400MHz, and 450MHz models), and most models of the 500MHz iMac G3.
Streets of L.A. ships
In brief: Aspyr Media today announced True Crime: Streets of L.A. ($50) by Activision and conversion was completed by Trihedron has arrived in retail stores.... Apple has published an article explaining general OpenGL optimization techniques and specifically how to optimize OpenGL code to maximize vertex data throughput.... QuickerTek has announced a $25 rebate when Dr. Bott antenna customers trade it in for a new QuickerTek 27dBm Tranceiver.... The focus of the next Portland Mac Filmmakers' User Group meeting on Thursday, March 31 will be video archival, delivery, and backup theories and techniques.
14-inch iBook batteries
Other World Computing (OWC) and Newer Technology today began shipping their NuPower high-capacity replacement batteries for Apple's 14-inch G3/G4 iBooks. The new 59 Watt Hour battery model is available for $120, and provides up to 12 percent more capacity than the original Apple stock battery. At $140, the 71 Watt Hour model provides up to 29 percent more capacity, according to the companies. As with all NuPower batteries, the 14-inch iBook-compatible models are built in the United States using premium Li-Ion cells manufactured in Japan and/or Canada.
TotalView for Mac OS X
Etnus today officially announced its TotalView debugger for Mac OS X. The first beta is expected on May 1st with a final release anticipated for June, 2005. Adding Mac OS X to its supported Linux and UNIX platforms, the company says it is "committed to its evolving partnership with Apple. Etnus takes this step in recognition of Apple's penetration of the technical computing and HPC marketplaces with powerful single, multiprocessor, and clustered systems using the UNIX-based Mac OS X operating system." Etnus TotalView is designed for software development environments in HPC and technical computing because "it is uniquely scalable, robust, reliable and suited to codes that are complex having large numbers of processes or threads, and sometimes huge amounts of data." Several days ago we noted an (expanded) five-city HPC Tour by Apple and Etnus.
With the mouse entering its fifth decade, it could "perhaps be on the verge of retirement -- at least if a combination of Apple Computer engineering and the work of enterprising hackers bears fruit," Wired News speculates. The article looks at using tilt- and position-sensitive technology to control programs. The article cites programs by Amit Singh, the researcher whose work has sparked a wave of small yet useful tilt-sensitive programs. He discovered the motion sensor when working on a book about the internals of Mac OS X, and "was immediately struck by its potential." The article says small products, especially where space on the device for controls is limited, could benefit from the technology. "Imagine, for example, an iPod that drops the scroll wheel in favor of using tilt controls to navigate."
Hog Bay Notebook 3.5 ($28) is the latest version of the software to organize thoughts in a simple interface. Version 3.5 combines the notebook and outliner metaphors into a single application. [Download - 2.2MB]
CutX 2.0 ($19) is an extension for Safari that allows the user to block X-rated media, websites or ads. Version 2.0 offers better performance, ad blocking, improved keywords management, and better interface feedback. [Download - 1.0MB]
MaxPod 1.0.1 ($17) is a cross-platform application for the iPod that lets users download news and weather into audio files, organize notes, get directions, and more. Version 1.0.1 adds version checking, support for voices options from Cepstral, and automatic deletion of old content. [Download - 1.0MB]
Encryptor Plug-in 2.0.1 ($80) is a tool for for securing FileMaker data, exporting or emailing data without risk, and importing safely back into FileMaker. Version 2.0.1 adds 128 bit Rijndael AES Encryption, creation of MD5 or SHA-11 message digests, and Unicode character support. [Download - 1.2MB]
URLParser provides quick access to bookmarks from multiple browsers. To search, enter a keyword and click search. You will get a list of results. Clicking on one of these will take you to that site using your default browser. [Download - 876KB]
DiscBlaze 4.4 ($30) is a free update to the CD/DVD burning software for Mac OS X. The new version brings a re-designed File Info view, user interface enhancements, custom icons for disc images, and more. [Download - 2.2MB]
TARI has released GoodPage 1.0, a graphical HTML/CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) authoring tool. The program offers code, structure, and browser (via Apple's WebKit) views of your document; can present the different views simultaneously; and allows WYSIWYG selection and navigation between views. GoodPage provides site management via FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, or any mounted folder (such as a .Mac iDisk). It can display the differences between the remote site and your local copy and update the remote site with either all or only select files. On the code side, GoodPage supports all HTML and XHTML versions, and it has integrated HTML and CSS validation. GoodPage is $150.
New Reflections theme
Keynote Theme Park has released Reflections, a new theme for Apple's presentation application. "Inspired by the upcoming iChat AV window (Tiger) this Keynote 2 theme lets your content actually reflect off a highly polished surface! Just copy, paste, flip and place to allow your material to shine on a dark or light background. Each version of 'Reflections' includes 22 Photo Cutout Masters (plus 8 text) for a total of 60 masters. Also included are a series of custom labels and focus panels to compliment both Black and White versions. Interactive navigation buttons for use with Keynote 2's hyperlink tool are also included." The $19 theme includes a 60-slide+ presentation along with Extras and examples and instructions on making Reflections.
ProPresenter 2.5 released
Renewed Vision has released ProPresenter 2.5, its Mac-only 2-screen lyric, music, and video presentation software package. Used by churches, ministries, and live production, the all-in-one lyric and video presentation package can display up to 20 slides at a time on a control monitor while projecting individual slides to the audience with a click of the mouse. Other features include WYSIWYG formatting, motion background support for video loops, synchronization of slides with audio tracks, word highlighting (karaoke style), sound Playback with cross dissolves, independent "QuickCues" for nursery calls, and more. A demo of the $400 application is available online.
iPod drive upgrade service
TechRestore today announced a new iPod hard drive upgrade program for increasing storage capacity of any full-sized iPod. The TechRestore 24-Hour iPod Upgrade service offers door-to-door overnight service in the continental U.S. (as well as to international customers via its Self-Restore service). After scheduling the repair, the company sends a RestoreBox via overnight mail, which customers can use to return to the iPod back to TechRestore facilities. Within 24-hours of receipt, the company performs the drive upgrade and then returns it to the customers via overnight courier. The flat-rate iPod hard drive upgrade service is $120 (1st/3rd generation models), $130 (2nd gen), or $180 (4th generation); it includes all overnight shipping charges, parts and installation. A similar battery upgrade service is available for $80.
M-Audio Trigger Finger
M-Audio has announced Trigger Finger, a USB-based device for easily triggering and programming drum sounds. The unit can also be used to trigger Clips and Scenes in Ableton Live, video clips in VJ software and sounds in popular DJ programs. "Trigger Finger puts the power to program and perform expressive percussion and drum parts at users' fingertips. At its heart are 16 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads designed to trigger computer- or hardware-based drum sounds with full expression." Trigger Finger also delivers 8 knobs and 4 faders that are freely assignable to any MIDI parameters, such as volume, pan, pitch, and effects. It will ship later this month for $250.
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