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Olympus today launched seven new digital cameras, including three cameras as part of its new FE series for entry-level photographers, the all-weather Stylus 600, and three cameras as part of its SP-series digital cameras offering both manual and automatic controls. The SP-series of digital cameras, includes the 7.0-megapixel SP-310 and the 8.0-megapixel SP-350, is designed for photographers of all skill levels, offering the option of either manual settings for creative control or 30 selectable shooting modes for convenience and ease-of-use, along with optional add-on accessory lenses, an optional underwater housing, 3x optical and 5x digital zoom, in-camera editing, USB 2.0 connectivity, and a large, easy-to-view 2.5-inch premium size LCD.
Griffin's new TuneBox is a portable speak system for the iPod shuffle that takes up less than four square inches. The device provides a dock for the Shuffle between the two speakers. TuneBox's micro drivers and amplified speakers generate "powerful, dynamic sound, with unexpected clarity and great highs and lows." TuneBox keeps the shuffle's clickwheel controls up front within easy reach. Though it's designed to visually complement the iPod shuffle, TuneBox delivers sound from any audio device that uses the standard 3.5mm stereo jack. The device costs $40.
Apple today released updated versions of its Safari Web browser for both Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) and Panther (10.3). Safari 2.0.1 for Mac OS X Tiger improves website compatibility, application stability and support for 3rd party web applications. It requires Mac OS X 10.4.2 and is available as a free 4.5MB download from Apple. Safari 1.3.1 for Mac OS X Panther makes the same improvements as its Tiger counterpart. It requires Mac OS X 10.3.9, the final release of Panther, and is 3.8MB.
FileMaker today announced the availability of its new Business Productivity Kit, designed to let small businesses become instantly productive. Provisions for tracking customer and vendor contacts, sales, product information, invoicing, shipping and other key business data are included in one integrated database solution. The Kit also provides a "How to Build This Solution Yourself Learning Guide", complete with sample graphics to assist with database customization. According to the company, the Kit eliminates duplication of tables and fields normally associated with having multiple files, and are visually enhanced and differentiated from the built-in FileMaker Pro 8 Starter Solutions. The FileMaker Business Productivity Kit is compatible with Mac OS X and is available for free along with the 30-day demo of FileMaker Pro 8 (also announced today).
FileMaker today announced FileMaker Pro 8, a new version of its popular desktop database that features "new ways to work faster, share and manage information of all types, and be more productive." Version 8 deliers a new PDF Maker--based on the Adobe PDF Library licensed via Datalogics--which allows users to convert attractive graphic-rich reports of their data into PDFs. It also features a new Excel Maker, which can save data as a Microsoft Excel file. The company also debuted FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced (previously FileMaker Developer), which is also available today and delivers new features designed to allow advanced users and developers to add greater customization to their databases. The company also announced other products in its FileMaker 8 product line: FileMaker Server 8; FileMaker Server 8 Advanced and FileMaker Mobile 8, which are planned to ship this Fall.
WorldSync today announced that it will begin shipping SyncDeK 6.0 on September 6, following the conclusion of the FileMaker DevCon Conference. WorldSync also announced SyncDeK 6 is compatible with the FileMaker 8 product line. Version 6 offers centralized synchronization in SyncDeK-enabled solutions with a new SyncDeK Server as well as easier installation and configuration, new JDBC support, direct synchronization for FileMaker Server Advanced, enhanced Version Update Manager (VUM), and more. "SyncDeK gives FileMaker consultants and developers the tools they need for intelligent bi-directional data replication in modern solutions for today's mobile working communities," explained CEO Jason Erickson.
IOGEAR today unveiled its two- and four-port MiniView Symphony KVMP Switches, which are designed to use three or more computers from a single keyboard, mouse and monitor at USB 2.0 transfer speeds (480 Mbps). The switch also features a built-in Ethernet 10/100 switch,which can network and share internet connections, while audio ports allow a single set of speakers and a microphone to be shared among all of the connected workstations. An independent switching feature ensures alternating between various systems won't interrupt audio or peripherals plugged into the USB 2.0 ports. The MiniView Symphony two-port KVMP Switch includes two six-foot cables and is available for $250, while the four-port model [pictured at right] includes four six-foot cables is priced at $350.
Apple will reportedly hold a special event on September 7th, where the company is expected to introduce new music-related products. Previous online reports pointed to a September 7th release for Motorola's iTunes-based phone. It is unclear if the Apple-hosted event will be used to launch the iTunes phone, new Apple-branded products, or a combination thereof. "1000 songs in your pocket changed everything. Here we go again," the invites, issued today, read.
Primera Technology today announced its DUP-07 CD/DVD Tower Duplicator, which is able to burn seven CDs or DVDs simultaneously from one master drive. The Plextor CD/DVD recordable drives support CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R and DVD-R Dual-Layer media; a computer connection is not required for operation. An 80GB hard drive is included for the storage of files, and the entire unit is enclosed in an all-aluminum case for maximum heat dissipation. The DUP-07 is available for $1700. Bundles containing the DUP-07 with a printer such as the Signature Z1 CD/DVD printer (for $1800), the Bravo II AutoPrinter (for $3000, pictured right), or the BravoPro AutoPrinter (for $3500) are also available.
Objective Decision today released OD4Contact 2.6, its popular PIM and contact relation management software for Mac OS X. Featuring a dozen new or enhanced features, version 2.6 brings a redesigned dialing system that provides compatibility with Ovolab Phlink and Skype. Other new features include a dialing panel for greater integration with the "communication center" module and a new RTF, HTML, and mass-mailing templates module. Customization of emailing templates with predefined keys is now possible, and the communication center now displays the sum of selected communications durations. OD4Contact requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available for $55. Updating is free for 2.x users.
SmartSound Software today announced it will lower prices on its SonicFire Pro standard and bundle editions. SonicFire Pro Standard Edition, which comprises SonicFire Pro 3 software plus two royalty-free SmartSound Music CDs, has been reduced from $300 to $250. A $50 instant rebate is also available for customers purchasing SonicFire Pro Standard Edition. SonicFire Pro bundle edition, which offers SonicFire Pro 3 software and five royalty-free SmartSound Music CDs, has been reduced to $400 from $500. A 90-minute training CD is also available for $30, and is provided free of charge with the purchase of SonicFire Pro Bundle or SmartSound Music 15 pack. SonicFire Pro requires a Power Mac G3 and Mac OS 9.2.2 or Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
In brief: Rivet International today released its Rivet GRAB for Apple's iPod shuffle, which it says gives users a variety of ways to accessorize their Shuffle player.... Valencio will donate 10 percent of new DVD Database X registration fees to the American Red Cross for the next 30 days.... The "Mad as Hell – Switching to Mac" series, written by computer security expert Winn Schwartau, will come to an end Tuesday, September 13 when the 17th installment is published on the Security Awareness Blog.... A new guide explains "how to serve your iTunes library to your Sony PSP using WiFi Internet."... The Beijing Macintosh User Group has a report up about Apple China's presence at a media-related expo in Beijing, China.
Alias today began shipping MotionBuilder 7, a major update to its character animation software. This latest release gives increased control over characters through new rigging enhancements, such as character extensions and control rig visual feedback. Numerous new workflow features – including the save and load character animation functionality that lets animators rapidly transfer, repurpose and reuse animation clips with any character – enable increased productivity. Alias MotionBuilder 7 has an improved ability to interact with other 3D applications. New constraints, for example, allow users to easily transfer animated character setups between MotionBuilder and Maya. Pricing starts at $4200.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs seized the 26th spot on FastCompany Magazine's list of greatest business leaders of the 20th century. Based on a survey of 7,000 executives by Harvard Business School, Jobs placed just below James L. Kraft of Kraft Foods. Listed above Jobs are company leaders Bill Gates of Microsoft (No. 3), William Hewlett of Hewlett Packard (No. 9) immediately followed by Andrew Grove of Intel (No. 10), Thomas Watson junior of IBM (No. 14), and Thomas Watson senior of IBM (No. 20). Michael Dell was No. 31, while Gordon Moore of Intel placed 41st.
CS Odessa today announced the forthcoming release of ConceptDraw WebWave, cross-platform software for creating professional diagrams and drawings on the stage of website or application prototyping and design, page mocking-up and site-mapping. It includes Colors Scheme Generator, Website File Structure Scanner and a number of task-specific Wizards which guide users through basic stages of creating website development documentation. The program also features powerful drawing tools, flexible interface, ability to connect to any ODBC compliant database and visualize its data in diagrams, import/export to a large number of raster, vector, multimedia and text formats including HTML, FLASH, PDF and MS Visio XML. It will be available at the end of September for $300.
Cyberduck 2.5 (free) is an open-source FTP and SFTP (SSH secure file transfer) browser licensed under the GPL, with an easy to use interface that integrates with external editors. Support for many Mac OS X technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain and AppleScript are included. The update provides graphical user interface refinements and numerous bugfixes.[Download - 6.9MB] PictureSync 1.4r4 ($14) simplifies batch uploading photographs and video clips to online services, directly from image-management applications or files while preserving valuable annotations and metadata. Version 1.4r4 features drag-and-drop support, integrated movie importing/conversion, and numerous bugfixes. [Download - 975KB] GraphClick 2.6.1 ($8) is graph digitizer software allowing the automatic retrieval of original x-y data from the image of a scanned graph, or from a QuickTime movie. GraphClick supports most file formats such as PDF, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, and Photoshop documents. Features include automatic detection of curves (solid, dotted or dashed), symbols or bar charts, and more. [Download - 2.4MB] PhotoPresenter 2.2 ($8) presents pictures and movies with a preferred slideshow style, and provides a choice between several themes. Features include fast thumbnail browsing, Spotlight technology for fast searches, panoramic picture scrolling, and more. PhotoPresenter uses Quartz Composer to provide state of the art slideshow that can be enhanced by custom composition. [Download - 1.8MB] Home Weather Center 1.5 ($35) updates the weather graphing, monitoring and analysis application for Mac OS X that provides numerous bugfixes, adds record emails, and historical statistics . As data is gathered and stored, Weather Center allows the viewing of weather statistics such as the lowest temperature, or the highest wind speed over any time period stored in its database. Updating is free for Kairos owners. [Download - 7.4MB] Math Practice 2.0 (free) provides the ability to practice arithmetic and simple Algebra skills, offering three difficulty levels for each skill. Correct and incorrect answers are tallied and a percentage of overall performance is displayed. Version 2.0 incorporates simple Algebra problems to the math skills practice. [Download - 1.3MB]
Logitech today unveiled its first speakers designed specifically for laptop owners. The Logitech V20 laptop speakers are compact and lightweight for easy transportation along with your laptop. The Logitech V20 laptop speakers are USB powered and require no additional cables. The speakers include a collapsible stand on each satellite for maximum portability. The V20 speakers also come with a protective travel case, making it easy to organize cables while shielding the speakers from bumps and scratches. In spite of their small size, the V20 speakers deliver "outstanding bass" due to the combination of 2-inch high-excursion drivers and 3-inch pressure drivers. For convenience, Logitech has integrated multimedia controls (play, pause, stop, skip forward and back, volume, and mute) into the top of the speakers. The speakers will be available in September for $80.
Rivet International today released its Rivet GRAB for Apple's iPod shuffle, which it says gives users a variety of ways to accessorize their Shuffle player. It offers Shuffle owners with a "colorful way to turn their players into a fashionable tool," according to the company. Rivet's Shuffle holder includes the company's popular GRAB, a durable and lightweight holder made from polycarbonate plastic. Specifically designed to complement the style, size and simplicity of the Shuffle, the GRAB for iPod shuffle also includes a lanyard. Consumers can also choose to wear the Shuffle with a removable clip that allows attachment to a belt, shirt, pocket or bag. The durable and discreet lanyard Micro Clip and the compact snap-on belt clip keep Shuffle control keys accessible at all times without adding bulk to the player. It is available for $20 (with a lifetime warranty).
QuickerTek has announced has released new directional Corner Antennas to improved wireless networking in Power Mac desktop computers. With 12dbi and 14dbi RF power, users can experience 3-5 times the wireless range over the standard (bundled) Power Mac desktop. "Users can simply plug the new Corner Antenna into the AirPort card or port and continue to use AirPort networks, just as before. No software, alterations or other technical changes are necessary to receive this impressive wireless boost. The 'corner' aspect of this product is the way in which it mounts to the wall - in the corner. A corner mount directs the wireless signal toward the AirPort Base Station or access point, providing the flexibility needed in some network layouts." The 12dbi model is $80, while the 14bi model is $100; they are available for both G4- and G5-based Power Macs.
AquaFold today released Aqua Data Studio 4.5, the latest version of the Java-based application that offers database administration features for all major relational databases in a single interface. The tool offers developers and administrators the needed tools to migrate schema designs and data between database vendors. The company says that Aqua Data Studio's new features allow users to extract data and database designs, visualize them and migrate them to other database vendors. The new release includes a script generator with the ability to reverse engineer a database schema design and generate the appropriate SQL commands to reconstruct the schema. Version 4.5 also includes an a procedure editor to easily edit, compile and run stored procedures, a new and enhanced query tool with more customization features, and more. Personal and educational licenses are free, while commercial licenses are $150.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k