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Intel dev tools OS X
Intel yesterday announced it will port its software development tools to Mac OS X, and will ship the first beta later this year. Mac tools for both single-core and multicore processors based on Intel's late compiler technology will ported to Mac OS X according to Kevin Smith, director of Intel Compiler Labs. The Intel tools will support C, C++ and FORTRAN, but will not provide a compiler for Objective C, a language that Apple supports for Mac OS X developers. Intel's new tools are still in the early stages of development, as Smith states "we're not at the demo stage yet." Support for AltiVec instructions, a 128-bit vector execution unit in PowerPC G4 and G5 processors still hasn't been considered, either, according to the report from eWeek.
Apple tops PC Mag survey
Apple once again received the highest score among all PC vendors in PC Magazine's 18th Annual Reader Satisfaction Survey, earning the Reader's Choice Award. Based on data from readers on over 26,000 PCs, Apple "ran up the score against the Windows opposition," receiving a higher score in every single survey result. Apple recieved an overall score of 9.2 in both the desktop and notebook categories, well ahead the No. 2 place vendor, Alienware (8.8) and IBM (8.2), respectively. The report, however, cautioned against possible bias from a passionate user base and also noted Apple's "stingy" warranty policies as well as some problems with the recently released iMac G5.
ezGear ezShuffle kit
ezGear today announced the availability of its ezShuffle Starter Kit, offering an easy way to sync, charge, and protect an iPod shuffle. The kit includes an ezCharge Shuffle car charger, ezClip Shuffle belt clip, ezLink Shuffle extension kit, and an ezSkin Tankini protective case. The ezCharge Shuffle is a car charger that comes in iPod white which includes fuse protection and shielded cables. For increased reach, the ezLink Shuffle includes a 4-1/2 foot shielded cable along with a 3M command system desk clip. Protection is provided by the ezSkin Tankini, a silicon case that protects the iPod shuffle from dirt and scratches. The ezCassette enables the iPod shuffle to play music in an automobile (through the car's cassette deck), while the ezAudio Earphone Splitter allows users to easily share music. The ezShuffle Starter Kit is currently available for $30 from ezGear's website.
Google Talk IM service
Google today announced the availability of its new communication service, Google Talk, which is compatible with iChat despite the lack of a specific Mac client. Google Talk allows instant messaging for users who have configured iChat properly, and provides Windows users who download the client with the ability to place free internet calls with the latest voice technology, using a microphone and speakers. Users with a Gmail email account can use the IM service with Apple's own iChat client or other third-party clients, such as AdiumX (free). A release date for a native Macintosh client was unavailable, but Google says that it "looks forward to offering support for more operating systems in the future."
Apple Podcast Taiwan
In an attempt to secure a larger market with music loving locals, Apple yesterday introduced its Podcasting Directory service for iPod users in Taiwan. Yeo Eng Yiong, Apple's product marketing manager for portables in the Asia-Pacific region yesterday stated that "we are working with 10 radio stations here and consumers will be able to listen to them over at iTunes within a month," and also noted that Apple may add more partners to the iTunes service at a later stage, according to Taipei Times. Earlier this year, just two days after iTunes podcasting was launched in the US, Apple announced that over one million iTunes customers subscribed to the iTunes Podcast Directory.
MacExpo free ticket
In September, organizers will begin selling tickets to the MacExpo trade show in London, which takes place from October 27-29, According to Macworld UK, tickets will be sold for half price, £6 (including VAT), until October 1--after which date the price will be £12. Free tickets will continue to be available through selected partners for the event. The exhibition website is now accepting free pre-registrations through the end of August. The report notes that those attending the Macworld Conference, which takes place alongside MacExpo, will receive free admission.
SBC Yahoo music service
Inernet service provider SBC Yahoo today launched a new online music service that promises to increase competition with Apple's iTunes and similar services. Offering over one million songs, customers may purchase individual songs for 79 cents each, or 20 cents less than non-subscribers. Rights on purchased songs entitle owners to burn the track onto a CD or transfer it to a portable digital music player, such as Apple's iPod. The service also provides the ability to play songs for others over SBC Yahoo Instant Messenger, build personalized music libraries, and listen to commercial-free internet radio. Customers using SBC Yahoo as their Internet service provider can subscribe to SBC Yahoo Music Unlimited for $7 per month, or under $60 for a year if paid in advance, according to bizjournals.com.
In Brief: Apple Japan mistakenly sold albums on its newly opened iTunes Music Store for a fraction of the intended price.... Corsaire has released a PDF guide to Securing Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, covering: ACLs, using TCP wrappers with launchd, securing ftpd, httpd and general hardening guidelines.... SwitchEasy today announced PivotDock, the "smallest" docking station for the iPod shuffle.... Infinisys today announced a half price sale for its entire product line, which includes "After Dark + Fish" and "Change My image."... SendStation Systems today announced the smartCharge, its new all-in-one car charger for the iPod shuffle. [PDF link updated]
iTunes Japan mistake
Apple Japan inadvertently sold albums on its newly opened iTunes Music Store for a fraction of the intended price. The Japanese iTunes store sold albums last week for just 50 yen each, instead of the intended 1,500-yen price. While the company has declined to comment on the matter, the sources said the low price at the iTunes Music Store was likely a mistake. The bargain was available last Thursday from the early morning to late afternoon, when it was possible to download Toshiba EMI albums at 50 yen each. Dozens of albums, including those by rock group RC Succession and singer Saori Yuki, sold at the price.
PaperCutPro 2 released
Medical Doctor Ron Smith today released PaperCutPro 2.0, the latest revision of his paperless medical record and office information management system. PaperCutPro is a FileMaker Pro server-based Mac OS X and Windows compatible solution designed to eliminate as much paper as possible in patient care. The system has been used and tested by Ron Smith himself, a practicing Pediatrician who sees 26,000 patients per year and encompasses three office locations. PaperCutPro is available as a first-time license for five users for $12,000, and concurrent yearly license renewals for five users are $2,000. Further pricing info is available at the company's website.
Aspyr Sims 2 University
Aspyr Media today announced The Sims 2 University for Mac. Your Sims are now young adults leaving home to live the ultimate college fantasy. Immerse them in college life as they become the Big Sim on Campus. Sims will relish their new-found freedom as they party with friends, join fraternities and sororities, and pull outrageous pranks. Sims will explore all the campus hot-spots as they frequent lounges, gyms, coffee houses and more. Sims 2 University features include a new young adult age group, the ability to earn degrees to open up new careers, a new "college town", and over 100 new objects and decor items. Rated "T" for teen, Sims 2 University is expected to be available in November for $25.
SwitchEasy smallest dock
SwitchEasy today announced PivotDock, the "smallest" docking station for the iPod shuffle. Featuring a positive-click 180 degree pivoting design, the PivotDock significantly reduces the spatial footprint of any docked iPod Shuffle, safely tucking it within a smaller space and minimizing the chances of accidental breakage. PivotDock also features a bright green LED status light that offers visual feedback. The PivotDock is compatible with Mac and PC, and supports USB 1.0/2.0 ports. PivotDocks can be ordered as part of a limited time "early bird online special" for $10, and will be available September 9 for $16 from SwitchEasy's website.
Virex for Tiger
McAfee this morning announced that Virex for Macintosh now supports Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). With extended support for Apple's newest Mac OS X, small to large businesses can "implement real-time prevention of viruses, worms, Trojans and other potentially unwanted programs across their Macintosh and heterogeneous environments." Virex utilizes the "award-winning McAfee scan engine" and is centrally managed by McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), enabling businesses to manage all of their McAfee system security solutions from one central interface. Pricing starts at $40 per seat.
Quicken, iClip, MailTags
Quicken for Mac 2006, Release 2 (free) is a "recommended" update to Intuit's personal finance software, offering several enhancements and stability improvements. The update fixes problems while launching and performing data conversion under Tiger, offers better repair of corrupted files, correctly displays recent menu items, improves .Mac backup, addresses issues with online banking, and automatically checks the server for updates. [Download - 3.6MB]
iClip 3.7 ($20) updates the multiple clipboard and scrapbook software. iClip enables users to quickly store, organize, and access snippets of information without having to save them as entire documents. Version 3.7 offers a simpler interface and new "Dock-like" behavior. In addition, Apple's new Mighty Mouse can now be used to control iClip. [Download - 3.7MB]
MailTags 1.0 ($20) is a new plugin designed for Apple Mail 2.0 email client, allowing users to add comments, due dates, projects and priority messages from within the mail viewer window. The metadata can be used as the basis for Spotlight searches, Smart Mailboxes, and Mail Rules. MailTags also integrates with Mail Act-On to allow tagging of message via simple keystrokes, or by rules for receiving mail. [Download - 710KB]
Bubblomania 1.2 ($15) is a fast arcade game: "Colorful bubbles are floating up the screen, and you have to pop them by moving the pin on top. Some bubbles contain goodies like lasers, bombs or an extra pin, while others give bonus points. There are magic bubbles, with psychedelic colors, which can dramatically alter the gameplay in both good and bad ways!" Version 1.2 offers improved graphics, better help, a new hint system, and new cheat codes. [Download - 20MB]
Rondo 1.2 ($25) is a free update to the MIDI player for Mac OS X. The update provides the ability to change channel colors, check for new versions, and display different meta and system messages in their own columns. Rondo is also designed to help aspiring musicians practice, featuring a vertical piano roll with live scrolling and a horizontal playing piano "so that you can follow the music even if you can not read music scores." [Download - 2.8MB]
Crossword Forge 4 released
Sol Robots today released Crossword Forge 4, a major upgrade to the classroom crossword and word search puzzle generator. Featuring a new, single-window interface, unlimited undo, and many other new features, Crossword Forge 4 helps users create Crossword and Word Search puzzles in minutes. The multiple undo feature allows user to easily experiment without losing valuable information; it also now supports having more than one puzzle open at a time. In addition, Crossword Forge now supports more image formats, including JPEG, GIF, BMP and most QuickTime-compatible formats as well. Version 4 also adds Traditional and Simplified Chinese to its list of more than a dozen built-in language sets. It is available for $50; electronic upgrades are free ($10 for CD). It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Thursby ADmitMac v3
Thursby Software today released ADmitMac v3, an update to its software application that allows Mac users to participate in and take advantage of all the directory services provided by Microsoft’s Active Directory, NT, and Apple’s Workgroup Manager. Designed for a multi-user, multi-computer environment, ADmitMac supports the highest levels of security using Kerberos to provide secure directory access; it also works with domains configured using Microsoft’s Highly Secure (HISEC) security templates. Version 3 supports networked home folders, distributed file systems, better security, and Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. ADmitMac includes a plug-in for Apple’s Workgroup Manager for implementing desktop management (MCX) settings for Active Directory domain users. In addition, AD Commander allows administrators to manage Active Directory users and groups. It is available for $120 or $170 (with one-year of support).
SanDisk Cruzer Freedom
SanDisk this week introduced Cruzer Freedom, a uniquely-designed USB flash drive that lets students carry secure and legal Internet downloads of textbooks, novels, study aids, learning tools and other copyrighted content. Powered by a proprietary SanDisk technology called FlashCP (Flash Content Processor), the new flash drive is a "digital backpack" that can store educational materials as well as any personal content. The drive comes with two caps: one with a lanyard for wearing around the neck and the other with a key ring for securing to backpacks and key chains. Due in September, it will be offered at an introductory capacity of 256MB for $40 with a limited-time promotional discount at Staples stores across the US.
smartCharge for Shuffle
SendStation Systems today announced the smartCharge, its new all-in-one car charger for the iPod shuffle. "smartCharge not only has awesome good looks, it’s also the most compact car charger available." The single-piece, cable-free design weighs 30 grams (1.1 oz.), slips easily into virtually any pocket, and can thus be taken anywhere. A built-in 3.5 mm (1/8") industry-standard audio jack allows you to hook up any cassette adapter or use line-in sockets found on many car stereos without re- and disconnecting the iPod. It also enables users to tilt the shuffle when docked, providng convenient access to the Shuffle’s control buttons. An integrated LED displays power status and the easily replaceable fuse protects the attached iPod shuffle. Attaching a USB-iPod docking cable also allows users to charge fourth generation iPods and iPod minis. The charger will be available "soon". (Pricing not yet available.)
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