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The Participatory Culture Foundation today announced the release of DTV, its new open-source internet TV software that is designed to make watching videos from RSS feeds easy. Currently Mac-only, the developer said that both Linux and Windows versions are in development. DTV leverages the podcasting model, but is specifically oriented around video content. Subscription to channels with the built-in channel guide makes finding content simple, and integration with BitTorrent enables convenient download access of super-high resolution video without bandwidth hassles. To get "Mac people flexing their skills on the project," a prize of $1000 will be awarded to the person who submits the best interface which is then used by DTV. Additionally a $300 prize will go to the designer of the best logo. DTV, now in public beta, is free and requires Mac OS X 10.3 and QuickTime 7. (Broadcast Machine R14, also open-source, is software that can easily publish video files to website, offering the option of using torrent technology to reduce or eliminate bandwidth costs.
UK-based ITV covered Tour de France, a three-week cycling event, using Macs and other Apple technology, according an article posted by Apple. As Lance Armstrong made history with an unprecedented seventh consecutive Tour win, a London-based "dream team utilized a "dream workflow" that included Apple Xsan with four 5.6TB Xserve RAID systems, giving the team over 20TB of storage at DVCPro 50 resolution. The team used Final Cut Pro and PictureReady! to quickly produce results while footage was still being recorded. "PictureReady! sort of 'deceives' Final Cut Pro into thinking it is working with a closed QuickTime file. It allowed us to cut out the traditional digitizing process and access material before digitizing was complete. We ran three copies of the application on three Power Mac G5s, all of which could be in record at once."
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is scheduled to present the opening keynote address at this year's Apple Expo (September 20th to 24th), according to an AppleInsider story from last week. Confirmed by an analyast quoted in another web report today by TMO, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu expects Jobs will use the Paris expo to make significant announcements "beyond just new iPods." Wu said these could include music subscriptions, video and the iTunes mobile phone. In a research note released to clients this week, PiperJaffray said the Paris show would likely deliver an iPod mini with color screen or larger capacity iPod shuffle music player.
myBattery 1.0 (free) reads data about notebook-batteries (iBooks/Powerbooks), and gives live feedback about the battery. myBattery will display a warning if the wrong charger is used, and displays the current charge of the battery as well as current maximum capacity related to the original capacity. [Download - 73KB] Astro IIDC 2.2 ($50) is Astronomy, Microscopy and High Speed Scientific image acquisition software. Version 2.2 adds support for external frame trigger for Machine Vision applications, flicker removal for 50Hz and 60 Hz light sources for Microscopy and Medical usage, direct support for ActiveWire USB IsoOptical Board for controlling servo motors, improvements in image alignment capabilities, faster throughput and a few bug fixes. [Download - 2.9MB] RBUnit 2.0 ($50) is a unit testing framework available for REALbasic. Version 2.0 features a completely redesigned testing API, designed for ease of use. Online help with a tutorial to get started and full source code for the framework is included with the Professional Edition. Additional features include built-in assertions with default and custom messages, test timings that enable performance analysis of REALbasic code, and more. [Download - 416KB] RBrowser 4.1.0 ($35) offers easy-to-use FTP/SFTP remote file management, file transfers and folder synchronization. New in version 4.1.0 is stability bugfixes, working site aliases, site preference conversion bugfix and archive/compress functionality. Basic SFTP functions are offered for free. [Download - 1.7MB] PC-Mac Password Vault 4.3 ($20) is the latest version of a simple and practical password manager for MacOS, Linux and Windows. This version offers new methods to transfer username and password information to a web browser (or other application) including drag-and-drop and timed-paste, as well as a number of minor enhancements and bug fixes. [Download - 4.1MB]
Apple has failed to patent its iPod software interface, following three-year-long patent application process, which could allow its competitor to build similar-style GUIs for their own MP3 players. AppleInsider reports that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a final rejection for Apple's patent application, which lists Apple vice president Jeff Robbin and Apple chief executive Steve Jobs as two of its primary inventors. "Standing in Apple's way appears to be a prior filing by inventor John Platt, who submitted a patent application for a similar software design for a portable device in May of 2002 -- just five months before Robbin submitted his claims on behalf of Apple."
iPodWorld recently introduced PodPod Companion speakers, portable fold-away speakers that deliver 800mW of clear, sharp sound. The "self-powered" device does not require batteries and plugs directly into the iPod headphone jack. PodPod is compatible with all iPods (photo, mini and shuffle), has built-in cable management and can stand on any surface. A travel case is included, PodPod ships for Ł20.
Bertrand Serlet, the Frenchman who played a critical role in creating Mac OS X, is cashing in as Apple's stock continues to rise. Exercising his stock options last year, last July alone Serlet made $3.2 million in net gains from insider stock transactions, according to Thomas Financial. Serlet totaled $7.6 million in the past year from sales of Apple shares obtained through stock options. Apple's stock more than doubled in the past year from $15 per share at the beginning of late August to the $38-$43 range when Serlet began exercising his options in mid-July, according to The Mercury News. Utilizing his compensation plan, Serlet was able to purchase stock options for $9.25 per share and sell them at market prices for quadruple his cost. Serlet told CNET in September that he is a proponent of open-source software and maintains that Apple's software security benefits from a great number of eyes examining its source code.
BeLight Software today released Image Tricks, a free image editor for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The application lets Tiger users apply the special effects that were previously only available in advanced image editors. Image Tricks is based on Apple Core Image filters and includes about 35 Image Units, including blur, distortion, stylize filters, and tile effects. Other features include iPhoto integration, color adjustment filters, effects filters (crystallize, bloom, gloom, etc.), and cropping tools. "The app works like a charm for blistering-fast image editing in realtime." Image Tricks is also available as a plugin for the updated versions of BeLight Software programs.
Aspyr today announced that the Mac version of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, which allows players to re-live the most memorable scenes from the prequel Star Wars film trilogies as unique LEGO characters, has been declared 'gold master'. The title is scheduled to begin shipping Monday, August 22nd: "For the first time ever, one of the world’s most successful film series meets one of the world’s favorite toys in an epic new video game. LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game features a game world and characters built from virtual LEGO bricks that allows gamers to play through the whole story of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." It will ship for $30 and requries Mac OS X 10.3.8 and a 1.2GHz G4/G5.
In his latest opinion piece, columnist John C. Dvorak speculates about a scenario where Apple allows owners of regular PCs to install and run Mac OS X for Intel. "A few weeks ago there was some site claiming that Apple was actually going to get a custom x86 chip designed specifically for the Mac OS, to make it impossible for the OS to gravitate toward white boxes [...] There is no question that this would be a boneheaded move, and as I see more and more chitchat about the possibilities, I'm now convinced that this is all a publicity stunt and the Apple community is being used—once again—by the company's marketing department." Dvorak says "this is kind of how Napster went from a few thousand users to a few million users overnight during the crackdown."
In Brief: CNN has begun an experiment that uses iChat AV to conduct face-to-face interviews.... Mac Musician site MacJams.com has released a Buyer's Guide for new mac musicians looking to add a MIDI keyboard to their audio setup.... Native Instruments announced that Kontakt Experience ($120), its instrument collection specifically designed for Kontakt 2, is now available in stores worldwide.... macProVideo has announced Mastering Final Cut Pro 5, a downloadable video tutorial program.... Digital-Tutors, today announced the availability of the "Particles and Forces in XSI" training kit.... Peachpit has released Keynote 2 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide ($22) and .Mac: Visual QuickStart Guide ($20).
Technology guru Walt Mossberg says that Apple's Mighty Mouse takes a backseat to Microsoft's new Wireless Optical Mouse 5000. Despite other glowing reviews, Mossberg says that the Mighty Mouse faces clashing design ideals that make it harder to use than competing products: "But in a stubborn homage to the old dogma, Apple designed the Mighty Mouse so it looks like, and can work like, a one-button mouse.... Microsoft's new model is cordless, like most modern, premium mice. Apple's Mighty Mouse is tethered to the computer with a cord, like most low-end models." The review criticizes Apple's implementation of the dual-click system using a single-button mouse: "I found that the design makes right-clicking slower and clumsier than on a typical Microsoft or Logitech mouse with real buttons.... I found that right-clicking with the Mighty Mouse was unpredictable. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. We needed to press the right side repeatedly to get a single right click, slowing us down and annoying us, well, mightily."
PowerLogix today announced immediate availability of the 2.0GHz Single Processor PowerForce G4 7447A processor upgrade card for desktop Macs. The 2.0 GHz PowerForce G4 7447A utilizes the latest, fastest available FreeScale PowerPC 7447A and includes 512K of on-board L2 cache. The card features an on-board thermal sensor and realtime thermal monitoring as well as Dynamic Frequency Switching (DFS) for significantly reduced power demand. The upgrade is compatibile with the Power Mac G4 AGP Graphics (Sawtooth), Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, Quicksilver and Quicksilver 2002 models and supports both Mac OS 9.x and Mac OS X 10.3.5 and higher. It is immediately available for $400 from Other World Computing. In addition, OWC offers a 1.8GHz single-processor PowerLogix PowerForce G4 upgrade for $340 and dual-processor version running up to 1.8GHz starting at $420.
iPodNN roundup: Apple Canada will soon begin processing refunds for Canadian customers who paid tariffs for buying digital audio players.... First International Digital (FID) has introduced its irock 5.1 theater sound USB headphones..... Analysts say that Creative Technology's future remains uncertain as the company is prepared to report a loss for the June quarter.... Both new Nokia handsets and Sony Ericsson's new Walkman phone are designed to compete with Apple's iPod.... Apple has moved a step closer to launching its long-awaited iTunes online music store in New Zealand by assuming control over the itunes.co.nz domain name.... Logitech today introduced two new speaker systems designed specifically for portable music players, including the mm50 portable speakers for iPod (pictured at right).
Logitech today announced expanded its mobile music product offering with the introduction of two new speaker systems designed specifically for portable music players. The Logitech mm50 portable speakers for iPod (pictured at right) and the Logitech mm28 portable speakers for other MP3 players. The mm50 for iPod offers customized iPod features, high-quality sound, and a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The speakers simultaneously recharge the iPod battery as well as the speaker battery when powered by the included AC adapter. The speaker battery lasts up to 10 hours per charge, according to the company. It is expected to ship next month for $150.
Microsoft has announced Messenger for Mac 5.0 in response to the "enterprise need for enhanced Mac instant messaging." The new version of improves the "consumer IM experience" as well as enabling corporate IM with support for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005. Messenger for Mac 5.0 introduces tabbed viewing, "a new approach for Mac customers who use instant messaging for work and for play." Users may simultaneously access corporate and personal Messenger accounts and set a unique user status on each. Support for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 enables enterprise customers to IM in a security-enhanced manner via the corporate tab with colleagues inside and out the network.
Lemkesoft has released GraphicConverter 5.7, an update to the popular graphics utility for Mac OS 9/X. It adds new quick cropping functions, , direct icns export, a temporary visible grid, bsb/psf import, export as favicon, improved trim functionality, and several other improvements and bug fixes. The utility imports more than 190 graphic file formats, exports to more than 75 file formats, offers batch conversion options, can perform slideshows, offers both basic and advanced image manipulation, supports JPEG200, and more. The shareware is available for $30.
Bob LeVitus has written a short review of Apple's new Mighty Mouse for the Houston Chronicle in which he praises the device for its scroll ball and "seamless" design. "What I like best about Mighty Mouse is its scroll ball, which is sort of like a traditional scroll wheel, but better.[...] It's fast, precise, easy to get used to and by far the best scrolling mechanism I've tried. It's superb for working with large documents in programs such as Adobe Photoshop and iPhoto." LeVitus says he does, however, agree with some popular criticisms of the mouse. "The fourth button, the one you squeeze, feels awkward to me." Moreover, "I'd prefer that it were wireless instead of connecting via a USB cable."
Sonnet Technologies today released upgraded Tempo-X eSATA line of high-performance Serial ATA (SATA) host controllers. The company has added support for 3 Gigabit SATA II drives and Windows XP. The Tempo-X eSATA 4+4 ($200) features 4 internal plus 4 external ports, while the Tempo-X eSATA 8 ($300) features 8 external ports; both offer flexibility in connecting additional data storage capacity in both Mac and Windows environments. These host controllers’ ports are independently capable of transferring data at up to 300MB/s, and can achieve much higher transfer rates when connected drives are grouped in a striped RAID array. Tempo-X eSATA cards also utilize the PCI-X interface to take advantage of its enhanced performance capability, while retaining backward compatibility with standard PCI slots. They are compatible with Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermĂ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir