The Iconfactory has announced Monolith -- this week's release of freeware icons. Monolith is a full system replacement set designed by artist Corey Marion for use with Panic & The Iconfactory's CandyBar system icon utility. Monolith is available as a convenient CandyBar iContainer to make changing your system icons a snap. Meanwhile, Iconkits.com annouced its latest kit, Bevel Base Kit, which includes 160 high-quality royality-free icons. These icons are rendered with bevels and use colors from a fresh color palette. "The icons come with and without shadows, enabling you to get the exact look and feel you desire for your project." Bevel Base Kit is available now for $200.
Hewlett-Packard today unveiled a silver-and-white design for its Pavilion desktops. Featuring a silver case and a white insert, some might see a hint of a resemblance to Apple's recent computer color schemes, reports CNET News.com. Tom Anderson, vice president of marketing, global consumer PCs, said HP wouldn't have made the changes unless customers preferred the new palette. "We got a very warm reception for this" from customers who previewed the design, he said. "We didn't do it because Apple did it. We did it because our customers told us that they liked it." Prices on the PCs will start as low as $380, after rebates, when purchased directly from HP. Retail models will start at about $500 after rebates.
Guest PC 1.2 is a Mac OS X application that allows users to easily create and manage virtual x86 computer on a Mac. Version 1.2 offers a "2 times" performance boost on G5 Macs. Serial port support was also added. Users can install Windows operating system and access applications available only for Windows compatible computers. Guest PC has a build-in Windows Setup Assistant that allows users to create a virtual computer easily and install Windows on it. Guest PC is bundled with DOS, making it ready to install Windows. Guest PC can be purchased for $70 (or as a $35 upgrade for previous owners).
Metafy has released Anthracite Web Mining Desktop Toolkit 1.1, the latest version of the visual environment for spidering and scraping. The new version features overhauled Google API support including the ability to AppleScript Google searches. Anthracite's Google API engine has been completely overhauled to use the more contemporary CoreServices SOAP methods, resulting in major improvements to the stability and speed. The new version also adds a new "drag connection" trick to make editing processes easier. Additionally, this release fixes several user-reported bugs and provides several specific performance improvements, in some cases up to 90% better. A two-week free fully-functional trial is available, and the product an be purchased online for $100.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today introduced the DLO Cool Caps 5-Pack Replacement Caps & Lanyards for the iPod shuffle. The DLO Cool Caps 5-Pack contains five colored caps, lanyards, and adjustable lanyard clips that snap on the shuffle, adding a "distinct personality to the otherwise all white iPod shuffle." The Cool Caps lanyard is adjustable and removable which allows users to change the length of the lanyard, mix and match colors from different caps or remove the lanyard altogether and use the caps alone. The DLO Cool Caps 5-Pack includes caps, lanyards and lanyard clips in green, blue, white, purple and orange. All colors are included in each $30 package.
Econ Technologies today has released ChronoSync 3, an update to its automated synchronization and backup application for Mac OS X. Version 3 is built on a completely redesigned interface and dozens of new features., adding new sync modes, brings folder tunneling, and more. The new UI integrates all the existing and new features into a streamlined design; it also adds the abiity to automatically wake your Mac from sleep for scheduled synchronizations, an optional Status Bar, a Scheduled Documents Manager window, an updated Analyze panel to compare files, and better file comparison--now based on seven different file properties. It is a free upgrade to existing customers and available for $30 or as a 30-day demo.
Apple is offering both 12-inch and 14-inch refurbished iBooks for only $800 from the Apple Store as well as a 17-inch iMac G4 for $1,100. The clearance section has replenished its stock of 12-inch iBooks, offering two models of the 12-inch iBook for $800: 1.2GHz/CD and 1GHz/Combo--both with 256MB of RAM and a 30GB drive. A version of the 1.2GHz/Combo iBook with AirPort Extreme wireless connectivity built-in is $850. Apple is also offering an older refurbished 933MHz 14-inch iBook with 256MB of RAM, 40GB drive, and a Combo drive for $800. The faster 1.33GHz models--with a larger 60GB drive--are available for $1,100 (Combo) and $1,300 (SuperDrive). Both come with built-in AirPort Extreme. The refurbished legacy 17-inch "flat-panel" iMac G4 (1.25GHz/256MB/80GB/SuperDrive). Apple also has eMacs starting at $530, Power Mac G5s starting at $1,300, Apple Cinema Displays staring at $850, and 12-inch SuperDrive PowerBooks for $1,300.
FireWire Depot today debuted the new Disk Jockey, its versatile hard disk diagnostic and copy tool. Disk Jockey can be used with a Mac or Windows computer connected via Firewire or USB 2.0. It can also be used as a standalone unit. Disk Jockey lets users mount drives to the desktop, mirror (RAID 1) or span hard disk, copy data between hard disks, verify, test, and erase hard disks. The new Disk Jockey is smaller and lighter than the previous model, and includes IDE cables for attaching 3.5" IDE/ATA drives and 2.5" drive adapters. A SATA drive adapter is available as an optional add-on. The device is priced at $320 and is available for shipping now.
America's Army 2.3 FireFight is the latest version of the popular action game for Mac. The new update brings the Mac version up to date with the Windows version, allowing cross-platform gaming. The update was expected to be available much earlier, but a licensing dispute with GameSpy meant developer Ryan Gordon had to create a workaround. America's Army 2.3 FireFight adds two new multiplayer missions (Urban Assault and Woodland Outpost) as well as an all new "tournament mode."
WaterField Designs today said it has updated its Cargo bags, almost seven years after their debut. WaterField is now offering an alternative to the aluminum aircraft buckles, allowing customers to alternatively choose its new black, anodized aluminum paragliding buckle, which it imports from Austria. The specialized buckles are $10 extra; the cases are available in four sizes, 12 colors, and leather styles, ranging from $170 to $250. WaterField also added a new medium size to its sleek briefcase. The Cozmo carry case includes a reinforced bottom and sidewalls--so it stands erect when not being carried. The relatively compact case, available now three size and six colors, can accommodate all size laptops, including the 17-inch PowerBook. Pricing starts at $140.
Picture Arena 1.0 is a new tool to manage, process, use, present, and browse digital picture collections. It features an integrated file browser that displays pictures and movies as thumbnails, thus allows for easy and quick browsing through the file system, network volumes and removable media. Old material as well as new pictures and video clips can be imported easily into Picture Arena. Users who have previously organized their pictures in directories can use the directory import assistant that can even take over existing hierarchical structures. Picture Arena also enables users to create Internet presentations of photos without any HTML programming knowledge. Colors, proportions, red eyes, skew horizons and lighting can be easily corrected. Picture Arena is approximately $25.
REAL Software announced today the winners of its REALbasic Design Awards 2005, which were awarded to developers based creativity, ease of use, design, utility, and supporting information. The winner in the Best Overall Software was ProSelect, which enables photographers to help their clients quickly narrow down their preferred photographs, compare between photographs, design multi-image layouts and collect orders. ProSelect won in the Best Cross-Platform Software category as well. Other winners included: Business Software (Studiometry), Consumer Software (iVideo), Graphic Design (PhotoEdit), Utility (Net Tool Box), Educational Software (starQuiz), Developer Tool (WSL-Amazon), and Entertainment (Rondo).
In brief: "Firefox Hacks" ($25), a new book by O'Reilly, explains how to customize Firefox's deployment, appearance, features, and functionality -- delivering techniques, tools, and strategies for making the most out of Firefox's flexibility.... Photos of ten Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and ten Alpha Phi sorority members at the University of Arizona modeling with the iPod Shuffle have been posted online for voting.... MacNN has reviewed StuffIt Deluxe 9.0 for Mac: "It does its job so well, you forget it's there".... We have also reviewed Picture Rescue For Lost Images, which is "easy to use" with good format support and performance, despite a high price and some compatibility issues.
PocketMac for Playstation Portable is a tool to automatically sync digital music, photos and contacts to a PSP from a Mac. "With PocketMac for PSP, Mac users can do more than PC users can. With the unique patent-pending ability to sync contacts to their PSP, music from iTunes and pictures from iPhoto, there's nothing a Mac-based PSP user can't do." The software costs $10 to register. Playstation Portable is Sony's new portable video game and multimedia device with PlayStation 2-style games and iPod-like features.
Nemesys has released the final version of Strider 1.0, its RSS aggregator for Mac OS X. This version improves parsing of feeds and is localized in Danish, Dutch, French and Taiwanese. Strider features a built-in Web browser, archiving of headlines, support for eBay auctions and more. It allows users to manage dozens of Web sites and "stay on the top of what is interesting for you." News, auctions, and song lists are among the most popular uses for RSS and Strider. MacNN offers an RSS headline feed that works with Strider and similar applications. Strider is $12 shareware.
FireWire Depot has Introduced its new Hardware RAID 0 Dual Drive FireWire 800 Internal Converter. The IF8C-912 allows users to connect two new or existing ATA-100 or ATA-133 hard drives and treat them as a single HDD with double transfer data speed. The IF8C-912 core design is based on the Oxford-912 chip, which combines a 32bit RISC processor, an operational block coprocessor and high performance buffer management. The FIFO has a RAM bandwidth of 1600Mbps. It stores 1394 packets passing them to appropriate destinations without processor intervention and with ORB coprocessor managing the sequence for ORB fetching reduced latency and improved data throughput, resulting in more than 88MB/sec data rate. The device costs $100.
PDFpen 2.1 ($50) updates the PDF-editing and form-filling utility with support for viewing, adding, and editing PDF notes, cropping pages, selecting and copying rectangular areas, and more. PDFpen can recorder PDF pages via drag & drop, combine PDF documents, overlay text/images, and automate PDF manipulations via AppleScript. The Pro version ($95) can compress uncompressed images when saving PDF documents. [Classic, 2.2MB] Strider 1.0 ($12) is a final version of the RSS aggregator for Mac OS X. This version improves parsing of feeds and is localized in Danish, Dutch, French and Taiwanese. Strider features built-in web browser, archiving of headlines, support for eBay auctions, dock-based management, and more. [1.2MB] The Ultimate Goldfish Aquarium 1.0 features original handcrafted and articulated goldfish and a new user interface: "Even the tank is alive, and sports animated plant life which can be set from a Zen-like tranquility with richly detailed pebble and rock garden base, to a lush aquatic forest." It includes dynamic backgrounds, realistic fish movement, "amazing" animation, and more. [3.5MB] Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor 3.0.3 ($26) is a free update to the "fun and easy-to-use" application for those learning to type and those wishing to improve their typing skills. It brings improved US/UK keyboard detection and the import of data from RTF files as well as fixes a number of minor issues. [5.4MB] Sophie v1.02 (free) is an e-book reader that is now compatible with Mac OS X that includes 10 free e-books. The latest e-book is the basis for the Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise science fiction blockbuster film that will be in theaters this summer. Tech support is free to those who purchase If Monks had Macs ($30), a cross-platform CD-ROM developed to "save our culture from contempt and corporate sponsorship." [5.7MB] MacMagic 1.1 ($50) updates the printing utility for Mac OS X that offers the ability to selectively save/print non-contiguous portions of text/content from browsers, PDF files, or virtually any other document as well as work with the contents of the clipboard. Version 1.2 can include a URL stamp on relevant info from webpages from Safari. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [3.2MB]
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WaterField cycling ride pouches
WaterField's new cycling ride pouches are custom-fit to carry both in one compact kit and are ready for the summer cycling season. The Cycling Ride Pouch includes a clear window that allows basic phone access with the phone still safely within the case, and the Cycling Club Pouch incorporates a padded phone pocket to separate up to an iPhone 6 Plus-sized phone from the tool compartment. Both handsome pouches fit neatly in a back jersey pocket, with optimized surface area for comfort. The Cycling Ride Pouch sells for $80, with the Club Pouch retailing for $50. http://bit.ly/1rRqN4e
Dish providing on-site iPhone repair services
Dish has expanded into the iPhone repair industry. Available today, the satellite television company's "Smart Phone Repair" routes a technician directly to a customer's door. DISH's network of technicians in all 50 states will repair cracked screens and replace batteries on Apple's iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. In the coming months, the company intends to expand its service to include additional devices and smartphone accessories. http://bit.ly/1SLaDiW
India rejects Apple's refurb request
Apple's request to the Indian government to be allowed to sell refurbished iPhones has been rejected, a move that will hurt the company's efforts to attract budget-oriented consumers. Opposition to the importation of refurbished iPhones is said to have been led by local smartphone makers (and, it should be noted, Samsung), who feared that lower-cost iPhones would undermine the government's own mandates on manufacturing phones in India, and trigger a flood of used electronics into the marketplace, driving prices generally downward. Currently, Apple has just two percent of the smartphone market there, and is also applying to the government for permission to open directly-controlled Apple Stores. That decision is still pending. http://bloom.bg/1rRgi0I
Amazon Prime Now available via website
Amazon's Prime Now rapid delivery service is now available to use from the web, giving users an alternative to using the normal mobile app. Available as a free option for Prime subscribers in certain areas, the web-based service continues to offer the same selection of goods as the mobile version, and is still free for deliveries within two hours, $8 for within one hour. http://amzn.to/1UvqYgi
SoundCloud Go expands to UK, Ireland
SoundCloud has expanded its subscription service to the United Kingdom and Ireland, its first expansion since launching in the United States in late March. Priced at £10 ($14) per month, SoundCloud Go lets users listen to existing tracks ad-free, as well as complete access to licensed music from major record labels, and the ability to download tracks for offline listening. http://bit.ly/1rhBv35
Maps adds transit for Rio Olympics
On Monday, Apple added public transit directions for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to its Apple Maps program in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics, which begin on August 5. The addition marks the first time a Brazilian city has gotten the upgraded public transit maps, which include station maps as well as transit schedules and tracking. The transit directions cover ferries as well as bus, subway, and light rail lines. The company has recently expanded transit directions to Montreal in Canada, and Seattle, Portand (Oregon), and other US cities.
Ive opens Met Gala fundraiser in NYC
On Monday, Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive opened the press preview of the annual Met Gala fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. Ive is serving as co-chair with Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and Apple is helping sponsor the event, which is themed "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology." He said the company is "thrilled" to participate in the Gala, and tied the company to the theme by saying that Apple's goal "has always been to try to create objects as beautiful as they are functional," adding that the company is "only starting" on its path of making products "more personal." http://bit.ly/1Y3EHKg