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Apple is second among the Motley Fool's list of seven "gas-proof" stocks. While many organizations --from petroleum companies to Wal-Mart-- have been affected by, or blamed for, the soaring cost of crude oil, there are are also "plenty of stocks sitting pretty, miles away from the nearest pump." For example, the iPod is "the gadget of choice for active pedestrians and public-transportation commuters," according to the report. And when it comes to iTunes, "folks have purchased more than 350 million songs that are digitally and instantly delivered. You don't have to drive out to the record store. And pressed CDs don't have to be driven about through various layers of physical distribution."
Libraries exclude ipods
Libraries across the US are offering downloadable audiobooks in Windows Media audio format with copyright protection, leaving iPod owners to fend for themselves. The chosen format won't play on Apple's iPod because Apple's Fairplay DRM software is incompatible with Windows. Steve Potash, chief executive of OverDrive said about 1,000 libraries have signed up for OverDrive's audiobook service since its debut late last year, according to the Associated Press. iPod users can still listen to audiobooks purchased through Apple's iTunes Music Store and audible.com, however the library services currently only cater to computers and devices that support Windows Media audio files. OverDrive files can be burned to CDs and converted to iPod friendly formats, but this produces an extra step required by iPod owners, and not all of the audiobook providers support this.
OsiriX 2 released
OsiriX 2.0 is the latest release of the open-source image processing software dedicated to DICOM images produced by medical equipment and confocal microscopy. OsiriX boasts "ultrafast" performance, an intuitive user interface, and an exclusive technique for 5-D navigation. Designed by radiologists and distributed with open-source licensing, OsiriX currently has more than 6,000 users worldwide. OsiriX is able to receive images transferred by DICOM communication protocol from any PACS or medical imaging modality, and is fully compliant with the DICOM standard for image communication and image file formats. Version 2.0 brings major enhancements using many new features of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, such as CoreData, Bonjour, smart albums, and more.
chartConstructor 2.1 ($45) creates charts to aid with project management. Build Gantt and PERT charts to be printed, exported as image or CSV files for inclusion in other documents, or on the web. Version 2.1 is a free update for all registered users, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
[Download - 1.2MB]
birdPod Maker 1.12 ($70) uses iTunes to organize an extensive collection of bird songs for use on the iPod, optimizing the bird song collection for bird identification in the field and for simplified learning of bird songs. The update adds various features, including the ability to select the information that is displayed on the iPod when a bird song is played, instead of the album name and artist.
Fontz 4.3 ($12) is a font utility that allows browsing of installed and uninstalled fonts, the viewing of fonts at various sizes/styles/colors, and grouping of fonts in categories using a WYSIWYG group editor. The superfluous preference item has been removed in version 4.3, and a new preference item is included to set default display window text size. [Download - 2.7MB]
SecuritySpy 1.2 ($50-$500) is a multi-camera video surveillance application for the Mac. With features such as motion detection, real-time compression and network video streaming, SecuritySpy has "everything required for demanding video surveillance applications." Version 1.2 adds several new cameras, improves handling of network devices, and integration with QuickTime Streaming Server. [Download - 1.5MB]
E-Mail Commander ($30) allows users to create custom newsletters and send them out in one mailing. E-Mail Commander sends out each message individually, one at a time, to each user in your recipient list. [Download - 2.3MB]
Backuper 1.2.2 ($30) is an updated version of the new backup software for Mac OS X. This version improves the multi-volume backups support, adds better support for DVDs and network volumes and fixes some minor bugs. [Download - 292KB]
SIRIUS Satellite Radio today announced the first wearable satellite radio, the SIRIUS S50, which allows users to capture and store up to 50 hours of SIRIUS content, or a mix of SIRIUS programming and MP3/WMA files. The SIRIUS S50 measures 1.9 by 3.9 inches and 0.7 inches thick, and includes a color display, black exterior and voice-assisted channel navigation. The SIRIUS S50 will be available for a suggested retail price of $360 this fall. It includes wearable accessories (6-hour rechargeable battery, ear buds, belt clip, armband, USB cable and AC adapter) and a car dock, which includes an adhesive mount, power adapter, a remote control, low profile antenna, DC input and line output.
York Xserve cluster
York University is using a large Apple cluster to help analyze and store data at its new neuroimaging center, according to ComputerWeekly. The York Science Park facility, which spent £175,000, aims to "put the university at the forefront of pioneering studies into the human brain." The 64-processor cluster analyzes data from a MEG scanner and includes Xserve 1U servers, 55 Xserve cluster nodes and three Xserve RAID 3U storage platforms. Initially, it promises to help scientists understand how vision, memory, language, and motor controls work together. It will later be expanded to include research into epilepsy, autism, strokes and dementia. The university is already considering doubling the number of cluster nodes and expanding the storage capacity of the system, according to the report.
In Brief: We have posted new review of Thought Out's Ped2 and Speck's iGuy for iPod accesories as well as Wacom's Graphire Bluetooth.... Stock holders of Adobe and Macromedia on Wednesday approved Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia in an all-stock deal expected to close later this year.... The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is protesting a proposal by the US Copyright Office that may temporarily require online forms to be submitted using only Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser or Netscape, locking out many Mac users.... MacJams has posted the fourth weekly collection of free Apple format audio loops for users of GarageBand, Soundtrack, Logic, or any other Mac audio program: a total of 100MB of loops in four collections is now available for free.... ezGear yesterday announced the availability of its ezShuffle Starter Kit, offering an easy way to sync, charge, and protect an iPod shuffle.... Motorola is readying plans for a possible NYC location launch of the upcoming iTunes phone on September 7.
ChronoSync 3.1 updated
Econ Technologies has updated ChronoSync 3.1, its automated synchronization and backup application. The major update adds complete file archiving capabilities to synchronizations. Users can now "go back in time" to restore and view older files. "When archiving is activated, ChronoSync will not replace or delete older files but move them to an archive so they can be accessed if needed. Archived files are managed from a list where you can quickly find the file's name, type, version number, archive date, and file date." In addition, synchronized files on Mac OS X Tiger can now maintain extended attribute metadata and access control lists. Version 3.1 also adds 'Compare' and 'Delete' commands to the Trial Synchronization window. It is available now for $30.
DigiTools 2.0 updated
MegaWorks today announced the release of DigiTools 2.0, the first major update of the free multipurpose Mac OS X application. DigiTools brings together useful and elegant tools including a word processor, movie player, notepad, image viewer, dictionary and font browser. Version 2.0 improves support for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger", as well as adding 20 new features including access to the font panel, RTF support, and image scaling and rotation in the image viewer tool. Other improvements include the addition of spell checking, and an improved word counter capable of counting words, lines, characters, paragraphs and sentences of any text document. It also offers full documentation accessible through the Help menu. The freeware application runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
iMac G5 SuperDrive upgrade
Other World Computing (OWC) today reduced prices on its Mercury iMac G5 SuperDrive, its user-installable solution that gives any iMac G5 new capabilities and increased DVD and CD read/write performance. Now available for $150 ($30 reduction), the Mercury iMac G5 SuperDrive is compatible with all iMac G5 models and includes NTI Dragonburn, EMC/Dantz Retrospect and 10 pieces of 8X DVD-R media. In addition to being compatible with popular software including Apple's iLife apps and Roxio Toast, the Mercury is officially supported by Dantz Retrospect with the EMC/Dantz Retrospect Backup Certification. A rebate of up to $75 for the old drive the OWC Mercury SuperDrive replaces is also offered.
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