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Forums roundup: Members speculate about the next Power Mac G5 revision from Apple.... Mac OS X enthusiasts discuss the latest Mac OS X themes and interface modifications.... Apple fans speculate about the significance of IBM's announcement of low-power and dual-core G5 processors.... Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger users talk about some of the shortcomings of the Dashboard feature.... One member tries to decide between buying a current Power Book G4, or waiting for an Intel-based model.
iSync 2.1 for Tiger
Apple today posted iSync 2.1, an update to its synchronization utility for Mac OS X. Designed for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger users, iSync 2.1 for Mac OS X Tiger synchronizes compatible applications in Tiger including Address Book and iCal calendar and your iSync compatible mobile phone or Palm OS device. Version 2.1 adds compatibility with more devices such as the latest Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic and Sony Ericsson phones.
Macworld Boston specials
In Brief: Bare Bones today announced its Macworld Expo "Online Show Special" with a 20% discount available on all end-user orders.... Zengobi today announced a special $100 Macworld Boston price ($30 off) on Curio, its environment for brainstorming and idea management.... SolidSpace today introduced Mac Mini dedicated servers, providing flexible, secure managed hosting and co-location services, starting at $25 per month..... Balooba's Mirror Dashboard widget displays a mirror image of the user's face using a video source such as an iSight.... Nemetschek North America announced today that Wentworth Institute of Technology has added 580 copies of VectorWorks to its laptop program for the fall of 2005... The Fast Icon Studio has released "Comic Tiger", an icon collection with freeware icons designed in cartoon style and inspired by Apple's Tiger OS.
New HP offerings
HP today unveiled its first products built on the new scalable printing technology, which is designed specifically to deliver high-performance printing for high-volume users. New products include a lineup based on the new inkjet printhead technology. "The sophisticated assembly of the new printhead enables a faster development cycle at an estimated 50 percent lower cost, giving HP an efficiency of scale for its substantial research and development investment." These products include the HP Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer, HP Officejet Pro K550 Color Printer series, and the HP Photosmart 475/420 GoGo Photo Printer.
iTunes wins over Napster
iTunes is the most popular music service among students at one university, despite a partnership with the subscription-style Napster music service. College students gave Napster high marks, but more than 7 out of every 10 still buy music from Apple's iTunes Music Store, according to a reporty by the Ecommerce Times. Drawing from a recently released survey from the University of Rochester, the results show that students favor the iTunes-type song purchase model. The survey found that students were quick to sign up for the free service and were impressed with the service; however, they never purchased songs to make them a permanent part of their colleciton, citing limited compatibility with MP3 players, including the iPod. The survey also found that more than half of the students who used Napster still turned to other music sites, including 71 percent to iTunes as well as MusicMatch (16%), Rhapsody (4%), and Music Now (2%).
DOOM v1.3 patch coming
Aspyr Media today announced it will release free update for the English version of DOOM 3 for Macintosh later this week. The patch updates DOOM 3 for Mac to version 1.3. The company says the update will bring a preview of OpenAL audio support for 5.1 sound, better handling of keypad keys, PunkBuster anti-cheat support to multiplayer, better support for mods, fixes for crashes with some mods and on vid_restart, and other PC bug fixes. The patch will be released later this week. The title is available for $45.
Med-Center for MD practice
Database Constructs has released Med-Center 4.0, an update to the practice management software for the medical profession. Version 4 adds support for Mac OS X Tiger and a new double-entry accounting module that is fully integrated with patient charging and accounts receivable. Revenue may now be tracked for the providing physician or department (using your own defined Chart of Accounts), and can be viewed using the General Ledger report for any given date range. Version 4 also features an updated database engine that improves speed, has fault tolerant crash/recovery technology, offers automatic client updates (for client/server version), automatically registers as a Mac OS X service, and much more.
TinkerTool 3.5, a utility that provides access to hidden preference settings in Mac OS X, was updated today. New functions include: setting the file format for screenshots under Tiger, the deactivation of Dashboard for particular user accounts, and switching off native support for PDF display in the Tiger version of Safari have been added as new options. Additionally, the developer mode of Dashboard can be activated which allows users to test and use widgets on the normal Desktop. The program never makes any modifications to the operating system, and doesn't need an administrator password, "so maximum safety for the system installation is always guaranteed."
iMaginator 2.0 ships
Stone Design today released iMaginator 2.0, a free upgrade to its powerful image processing application. iMaginator provides an intuitive and easy-to-use interface for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger’s Core Image technology, giving both home users and graphics professionals instant access to over 108 effects, transitions, and filters. iMaginator allows users to layer images, paint and text, and apply, modify, and re-order multiple effects to "achieve subtle enhancements or astounding artistic results from any photo or image."
mini drive for Mac mini
LaCie this week will introduce its new mini drive with up to 250GB capacity and either FireWire or USB interfaces. LaCie mini drive can be used to back up the Mac mini hard drive, add storage capacity, or easily transfer files to another computer with the same interface. The drive's unique four-corner crown fits exactly underneath Mac mini to create a stable, symbiotic harmony. The FireWire versions are available immediately from the Apple Store in 80GB, 160GB, and 250GB models; the FireWire models and a 300GB USB 2.0 model will be available via other channels in September.
19-inch LaCie 319 Monitor
LaCie this week will expand its 300 Series of high-end LCDs with the 19-inch LaCie 319 Monitor. Designed for graphics professionals, the LaCie 319 LCD Monitor features specs similar to the 21-inch LaCie 321 LCD launched last fall and is bundled with the LaCie blue eye pro calibration software, which offers simple one-click calibration. LaCie's 319 Monitor S-IPS panel presents pure, vibrant colors across the entire range via its contrast ratio of 600:1 and luminance of 270 cd/m2. The TFT-based monitor offers 1280 x 1024 resolution and includes a color-enhancing hood.
Ars on new G5s
In brief: ThinkMac Icon Store is a resource for Mac software developers and web designers seeking high quality icons for their applications or websites.... Ars Technica has posted an article on IBM's announcement of new PowerPC 970 CPUs just one month after Apple announced its switch to Intel.... CenterPoint Energy is testing a system to bring high-speed Internet access to consumers through the medium it knows best — the electric wall socket.... Red Rock Software is offering a DeltaGraph Automator Action called “DGPlot” that gives users the ability to make chart images for your reports, experiments and analysis.... OpenOSX is proud to announce special offers in celebration of its fourth birthday on July 18th, by offering a free OpenOSX Office download with every order, and by offering a free download of choice to all previous OpenOSX customers during the next two weeks.... Logitech today introduced three new headphones: the Logitech Wireless, Identity, Curve Headphones.
Cobb iBook program
A judge today will be asked to halt Cobb County's new iBook computer program, because opponents think it is a waste of taxpayer money, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The truth is, I'm embarrassed I have to do something like this," said Butch Thompson, the former county commissioner who brought the lawsuit. He accuses school officials of planning to misspend taxpayers' money by using proceeds from a 1 percent sales tax to start the laptop program. "The 'little man' [needs] to know that government people are supposed to do what they say they'll do," he said. Cobb voters approved the tax in 2003. As they did, school officials said they would replace students' "obsolete workstations." They didn't say with what. The suit contends voters could not have known the system would provide computers for all students in grades six through twelve, putting Cobb on track to lead one of the nation's largest such efforts.
PhoneValet Podcast Bundle
Parliant today debuted its new PhoneValet Podcast Bundle--in addition to its Phone Valet Anywhere announced earlier today. Both products extend the company's PhoneValet Message Center 3.0 telecommunications hub. The new PhoneValet Podcast bundle includes the VST edition of SoundSoap 2 and BIAS Peak Express, the PhoneValet 3.0 hardware and software, and more. The three tools allow users to capture, edit and enhance telephone recordings: PhoneValet can record telephone interviews, while SoundSoap 2 can be used to "clean up" phone calls to remove hiss, clicks, crackles, etc., using either the one-step "preserve voice" button, the intelligent noise removal function, or custom tone controls. Peak Express is streamlined edition of the stereo audio editor that can be used to optimize the sound file via sample rate conversion and invert, fade in/out, gain, and other functions. The bundle offers $400 of software for $250; upgrades from PhoneValet 3.0 are $75.
New PIXMA inkjet printers
Canon today introduced two new printers in its PIXMA line of printers. The new PIXMA iP4200 photo-printer (pictured at right) delivers advanced features, while the iP1600 brings a new more robust, entry-level product to the printer line. The consumer-oriented printers utilize Canon's ChromaLife100 system, which can produce prints on select genuine Canon photo papers that resist fading for up to 100 years when stored in an archival quality photo album. Canon said that the iP4200 printer, which replaces the iP3000 and iP4000 models, is one of the first consumer-level photo printers to offer one-picoliter ink droplets at up to 9600 x 2400 dpi color resolution.
iPod subway ads
The Inquirer has posted photos of a subway train in Japan "dressed up" for an iPod campaign. "We don't know if our own London mayor, Ken Livingstone, is plotting such an idea. A few tube trains were dressed up with the Olympic 2012 campaign before we won it, that's for sure. Anyway, this Japanese subway is not the Tokyo underground, and we'll leave you to guess exactly where it is."
Logitech today introduced three new headphones designed for the portable music player market: the Logitech Wireless, Identity, Curve Headphones. The Logitech Wireless Headphones offer 30 feet of range via Bluetooth 1.2 technology. They work with any music player, and connect by plugging a small adapter into the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. They are available this month for $130. "The Wireless Headphones for MP3 remove the hassle of tangled cords and unleash people from their music players. The Curve and Identity products provide features for active users and those who want to make a fashion statement with their headphones. All of these headphones provide superior audio quality, comfort and fit."
Parliant Corp. today announced PhoneValet Anywhere, a software product extension to the PhoneValet Message Center 3.0 telecommunications hub for small businesses, homes and home offices. PhoneValet Anywhere allows users to access PMC messages and reports, call log and phone book information from a Mac, PC, Linux, or Solaris-based computer through an Internet connection anywhere in the world. Both Mac and PC users also view caller ID popups that announce caller names and numbers as calls come in, while Mac users can additionally hear voice announcements for those incoming calls.
QuickerTek PB Antenna
QuickerTek today announced a new wireless antenna for Apple's G3 PowerBook "Pismo", Titanium PowerBooks, and some 15- and 17-inch aluminum PowerBooks (those running 1.3GHz or slower). "This omni-directional antenna is ideal for those users who regularly need the ability to work in various wireless network configurations and cannot predict the positioning of the AirPort Base Station or access point. Omni-directional antennas are designed to offer the best possible all-around utility for highly mobile PowerBook users in AirPort and AirPort Extreme networks." Unlike other omni-directional antenna designs, this one offers more power - almost twice as much - providing access to a larger number of wireless networks from a single point."
MacTruck, Neoprene cases
RadTech today announced its next-generation MacTruck work-in notebook case. The new MacTruck design features enhanced usability while making it lighter, stronger and more secure, according to the company. Constructed from 2.5 mm thick 5052-H32 Aluminum alloy, the MacTruck is an industrial-grade protective enclosure that "quickly transforms to an ergonomic workstation at the click of a latch without having to remove the notebook." The open position allows full access to all ports, optical drives and controls, while providing the optimal incline for ergonomic keyboarding. A shoulder strap and D-ring kit option is also available for the MacTruck.
iPod campaign in Japan
In Brief: Apple has launched a special subway train "dressed up" for an iPod campaign.... One report says that Apple's iTunes phone might arrive at V Festival of music in the UK.... A new business venture may create new wireless reseller with Apple-like retail stores.... Graphisoft has announced a new modeling add-on to ArchiCAD: MAXON's MaxonForm adds organic modeling to this industry BIM (building information modeling) leader, enabling a seamless integration of organic and non-organic modeling tools within the ArchiCAD environment.
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