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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Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu