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mail.it 3.0 ($60) is an email plug-in for FileMaker 7/8, providing the ability to send, receive and manage email from within FileMaker without any external email application. New features include storage of attachments in container fields, Unicode support for incoming and outgoing messages, SSL connections to POP3 and SMTP mail servers, and more.
[Download - [unknown]]
myNotes 1.0 ($13) creates, manages and retrieves notes and clippings of all kinds, as well as prints with the help of customizable printable themes. Features include full Unicode support, live word counting, auto-naming of notes, a customizable work area, searching and filtering, auto-saving and backup support, automatic link-discovery, and more. [Download - 687KB]
Magpie Pro 2.2.0 ($250) is a professional lip-sync and animation timing tool, useful for creating accurate 2D, 3D and stop motion facial animations. The update adds support for 24-bit audio files, a new export option to generate image sequences with alpha channel, automatic checking for updates, and many bugfixes. [Download - 3.3MB]
TFTP Server 3.0.1 (free) provides the ability to start/stop the TFTP service in Mac OS X and change its working path, where the files are sent to and received from by any TFTP client. Features to seamlessly send and receive files from any TFTP enabled device to a Macintosh acting as a TFTP server are included. The latest version supports Mac OS X 10.4 as well. [Download - 196KB]
Caboodle 1.0b2 (free) is a tool to help store and organize "random" bits of information such as product serial numbers, recipes, directions to various locations, etc. Version 1.0b2 provides a significantly improved window appearance, new text manipulation features, auto-saving of unsaved changes to the current entry when quitting, and more. Caboodle requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 1.5MB]
celtx 0.9.0.1 (free) is a software package designed for use in the Film, TV, Theatre and New Media industries. celtx combines full-feature script writing with media rich pre-production support. Features include writing/importing/editing/publishing scripts using standard industry formatting, management of pre-production tasks, production breakdowns, collaboration with team members over the internet, and more. [Download - 14.1MB]
ArcSoft has announced the availability of VideoImpression 2 for Mac OS X Tiger. The application allows users to create customized home movies using video clips, still images, music, and a variety of special effects. Already a popular application among Windows users, VideoImpression 2 offers Mac users "all the fun and creative aspects of video editing without the steep learning curve." With a step-by-step creation process, the program lets users assemble video clips and still images on a convenient "Storyboard." Audio files (music, narration, etc.) can be added on two separate, overlapping audio tracks, and special transition effects can be added between each video or photo. Projects can then be saved and exported as single video files. VideoImpression 2 Mac is currently available for $50.
Oasis Media Cast Easy
Oasis Media Group today introduced Cast Easy 1.0, designed to make Podcasting mainstream by helping the creation, publishing, and organization of new and previously published Podcasts. Cast Easy contains features to help everyone easily manage all aspects of the Podcasting spectrum, allowing users to create Podcasts without knowledge of XML code. Other features a setup assistant and episode enhancement using Apple's Chapter Tool: "The best feature I like in Cast Easy is the ability to create an Enhanced Podcast using Apple's Chapter Tool. This opens a lot of doors for a lot of people that want to create really cool Podcasts, but can't because they have to know XML and the command line. We've done all the hard work," according to the company. Cast Easy is available for $30.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer vowed to "kill" Google in an expletive-laced, chair-throwing tirade when a senior engineer told him he was leaving the company to go work for Google.... Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced the DLO mini fm FM Radio and Headphone Amplifier for iPod mini.... Creative Technology has unveiled the TravelDock 900, a new portable speaker system designed for flash-based digital music players such as Apple's iPod shuffle.... Apple U.K. is searching for creative Mac users to work in its retail stores.... AudioOutfitters will donate 5 percent of sales from its online store to the Hurricane Katrina Relief fund at the American Red Cross.
OWC releases XPostFacto
Other World Computing has released version 4.0 of XPostFacto, a utility which helps to install and boot Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, and Darwin on certain unsupported systems. Version 4.0 supports Mac OS X tiger, runs on Mac OS 9.x as well as OS X 10.2 through 10.4, and will install Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.4. The new version supports "new world" machines such as the original iMac, original iBook, and the Lombard Powerbook that Apple dropped support for in version 10.4. Version 4.0 avoids the mis-application of the 8 GB limit on "Old World" machines by the Mac OS X Installer as well. XPostFacto is an open-source application and is available for free.
KonaPDF utility script
Kona Software has released an AppleScript designed specifically for saving time when creating PDF documents from QuarkXPress documents, KonaPDF. The script takes a folder of QuarkXPress documents and automatically produces a set of Postscript .PS files, placing them in a watched folder ready for Acrobat Distiller to turn into PDFs. KonaPDF also reads the layout dimensions of each document and sets the PDF page size to these, sensibly naming the Postscript files in the process. There are both single-page PDFs and two-page spread options. KonaPDF (£6) requires Mac OS X 10.3.9, QuarkXPress 6.5, Adobe Acrobat Distiller 6, the Mac OS system language set to British, and the default printer set to a Postscript printer.
DLO mini fm FM Radio
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced the DLO mini fm FM Radio and Headphone Amplifier for iPod mini. The DLO mini fm is a self-powered radio and volume amplifier that fits seamlessly onto the top of the iPod mini and lets users tune into their favorite stations for news, sports and weather. It also allows users to switch between radio and iPod mini mode with just the push of a button. In addition to adding FM radio capability to the iPod mini, the mini fm amplifies the iPod mini by boosting the volume capacity by over 25 percent. This improves the sound experience in noisy environments like an airplane, or while using a headphone splitter for two listeners.
Silica 1.0 released
Silica 1.0 is a light-weight caller-id application with customization options. Silica provides a "heads-up display" of who is calling--similar to the Mac OS X brightness adjustment feedback, showing the telephone number and (if applicable) the name of the incoming caller. Silica tries to look up the phone number in the Mac OS X address book, and will display that name with the caller's picture if it is present. It also offers logging functions and other customization options. Silica requires Mac OS X 10.3 or higher and a Caller-ID capable modem (some modems and protocols may not be compatible).
AAPL up 5 percent
Shares of Apple rose more than 5 percent Tuesday as investors anticipate the launch of an all-new iPod product at tomorrow's special event in San Francisco. MarketWatch reports that Apple shares rose $2.47 to $48.69 in afternoon trading, after earlier touching a new 52-week high of $48.81 on heavy volume. "Analysts believe that Apple will either begin making its own iPod-equipped mobile phone or roll out such a device in partnership with Motorola Inc . In addition, Apple is expected to begin shipping a cheaper version of the market-leading product."
Creative Shuffle speakers
Creative Technology unveiled the TravelDock 900, a new portable speaker system designed for flash-based digital music players such as Apple's iPod shuffle. The TravelDock 900 features "NeoTitanium micro drivers", a docking stereo plug, 32 hours of amplified music on four AAA batteries, and a compact, sturdy clamshell design. A DC power jack provides the ability to re-charge battery power, and power is automatically turned off when the lid is closed. The TravelDock 900 will ship for $130 with a travel pouch, two different stereo-to-stereo cables (.5m and three-pole to four-pole at .1m), and four AAA batteries. (Ship date not available.)
Apple and Sony, OtterBox
In brief: Sony is in talks with Apple about offering its nearly 25,000 songs by Sony artists to iPod users.... Otter Products today began shipping its latest waterproof, interactive case designed for Apple's iPod shuffle.... ezGear announced that it will manufacture ezSkin cases for the most current models of iPod and iPod minis made of high quality silicon.... Alias is celebrating six new Maya Masters, artists from various industries are being recognized for their talent and contribution to the 3D community.... Adobe announced that its successful Partners in Publishing Conference & Expo will be held on Tuesday, September 27 at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis Hotel.
iSale 2.1 ($40) is a free update to the eBay sales-tool available in English, German and French. Version 2.1 supports eBay Motors, item specific assignment and streamlines the after-sales procedure. The iSale widget has also been improved, allowing the entry of Auction numbers into Spotlight to locate specific auctions.
[Download - 14.9MB]
Daydreamer 2.0 ($10) is a new Cocoa version of the webcam capture utility that can track multiple (simultaneous) URLs at custom time intervals. Daydreamer can make time-lapse movies of the URL picture, adding a new frame to a movie each time the picture is refreshed. The AppleScript-aware application includes scripts for creating slide shows of picture folders, creating QuickTime movies from slideshows, or receiving an alert email when a picture changes. [1.7MB]
Captain FTP 4.3 ($25) is an FTP client compatible with Mac OS X 10.4; it now includes a new Widget that uploads files to remote servers with via drag-and-drop. The Widget directly accesses the Captain FTP Address Book enabling quick connection to all remote servers; it also includes a new native contextual help system. [Download - 6.2MB]
Studiometry 3.0.6 ($100) is a free update to the organizational tool for studios and freelancers, allowing potential customers to browse businesses and consultants by category, state, and country. StudiometryLink, a business listing utility, is provided alongside the Studiometry update. The update adds a new time sheet menu for easily creating running timers, and payment tracker functionality. [Download - 9.8MB]
Sysquake 3.1 ($2020) is a scientific application with instantaneous interactive graphics allowing a better understanding of problems. Features include support for web services, design of digital filters, and improvements to the Matlab-compatible language which contains more than 550 native functions, operators and commands. Applicable uses range from robotics to demography and finance. [Download - 2.2MB]
loopTHEloop 1.2.1 ($8) is a "falling block" puzzle game for Mac OS X requiring the removal of falling pieces of pipe before they fill the screen. Pipes are removed by forming rings, and when a certain number of pieces are formed into a loop all of the pipe pieces are cleared. [Download - 2.6MB]
Otter iPod cases
Otter Products today began shipping its latest waterproof, interactive case designed for Apple's iPod shuffle. The OtterBox Shuffle case, which was first announced in August, is ideal for outdoor activities because it's waterproof, dirt-proof, sand-proof, and drop-proof. A flexible rubber button on the front permits the use of all Shuffle functions, and a clear back panel allows visibility of shuffle playback position and battery check light. The OtterBox for iPod shuffle includes a removable neck lanyard for hands-free carrying and is available for $30.
New Double Layer burners
Sony has introduced its tenth generation DVD burners with support for the industry's fastest 8X DVD+R Double Layer (DL) recording speed. The internal DRU-810A and external DRX-810UL models can burn up to 8.5GB of video, data, music or images on compatible media in about fifteen minutes. The 810 series of DVD burners also features 4X DVD-R DL, 16X DVD+/-R, 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW, 48X CD-R and 32X CD-RW recording. The internal DRU-810A drive comes with an ATAPI interface. The external DRX-810UL drive features an award-winning, space-efficient vertical design and offers connectivity with both FireWire and USB 2.0. The internal DRU-810A will be available next month for about $100, while the external DRX-810UL is expected to ship in October for around $150.
PJ on Apple iPhone
Research-investment firm Piper Jaffray has weighed in on the possibility of an Apple-branded phone, in light of the forthcoming iTunes-compatible "Rokr" phone from Motorola. "We question Apple's motive to partner with Motorola when they themselves are a hardware manufacturer." The firm believes that if the long-term threat to iPods is a phone/MP3 combo device, then "Apple should make its own iPod phone (iPhone), turning the threat into an opportunity." At this time, the firm is "not aware that Apple has plans to come out with an Apple-branded cell phone." However, if Apple is already planning such a device, it would likely take at least a year to bring to market, Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster says.
Research-investment firm Piper Jaffray has weighed in on the possibility of an Apple-branded phone, in light of the forthcoming iTunes-compatible "Rokr" phone from Motorola. "We question Apple's motive to partner with Motorola when they themselves are a hardware manufacturer." The firm believes that if the long-term threat to iPods is a phone/MP3 combo device, then "Apple should make its own iPod phone (iPhone), turning the threat into an opportunity." At this time, the firm is "not aware that Apple has plans to come out with an Apple-branded cell phone." However, if Apple is already planning such a device, it would likely take at least a year to bring to market, Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster says. Continued On iPodNN. . .
Factory Tools 1.0
Noise Industries today introduced Factory Tools 1.0, the first software suite for creating, applying and sharing realtime effects on the Avid AVX architecture. Shipping with 85 built-in effects based on Core Image and Quartz Composer, new special effects plug-ins can be created with no programming knowledge or downloaded from the Noise Industries Effect Market, a growing community of special effects artists. Reactor, a high-performance renderer, provides powerful compositing features to all effects: blend modes, apply to title, high-resolution external graphic files and built-in geometry controls. Factory Tools 1.0 Basic ($500) requires Mac OS X 10.4.2 or later and a Quartz Extreme-compatible video card.
Mac OS X performance
Following an earlier review that concluded that Mac OS X limited server performance, a second, follow-up article at Anandtech examines conclusion by comparing both Linux and Mac OS X on the same PowerPC G5 platform The article compared MySQL, Apache, and low level benchmarking on both Mac OS X and Linux to find that Mac OS X's threading model was the "achilles heel" of the OS, but notes that the newer GCC 4.0 compiler improves FP signficantly: "You might not have noticed it, but there is in fact a lot of good news in this article for owners of current Apple systems. Gcc 4.0 promises a lot better (FP) performance in open source software.
DNA educational software
OnScreen Science today introduced OnScreen DNA Lite, an interactive computer model of the DNA double helix designed to give students a thorough understanding of the three-dimensional structure of DNA. The software provides on-screen activity guides to lead students through an exploration of the essential structural details of DNA, while enabling them to rotate the model on the screen and to identify component molecules and chemical bonds with a click of the mouse promotes the learning of technical names in their proper structural context. OnScreen DNA Lite also includes on-screen tests with results that can be saved to provide valuable feedback to teacher and student, as well as to aid in student evaluation. Available for Mac OS X 10.3 or later, a single license is $50, while 10-license bundles are available for $175.
Livid Tactic m2
Livid Instruments today introduced today its latest hardware product, the Tactic m2, an updated and "streamlined" version of its innovative video instrument that features a completely new Tactic Pro 1.5 software package. The Tactic m2 hardware, which is an extension of the software's interface, features ten sliders, six knobs, seven effects triggers, and a thirty-six movie clip bank for realtime video mixing. The new Tactic Pro 1.5 software allows up to four layers of effects per channel with new effects, modules, and tools. Tactic Pro also includes Livid Elements, a new form of plug-ins released earlier this month with their popular Union VJ software. Elements allows third party developers to further extend the functionality of Tactic Pro and can be used to make custom effects, interface controls, and media sources to integrate into the software. The hybrid hardware-software package is available for $900.
USB Speaker Phone
IOGEAR's new USB Speaker Phone enables users to "further reduce cord clutter around their workstations" by offering a solution for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) two-way conversations, conference calls, or business meetings. The device -- which works with Skype, Vonage, WebEx, and more -- features advanced noise and echo cancellation as well as Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology for increased clarity. The product also includes a 2.5mm headset jack, allowing users to keep their conversations private. It is designed for users on the go, weighing in at just 1.5 ounces and measuring 2.2" x 0.8" x 3.2". The USB Speaker Phone is priced at $60 and is available immediately.
SATA to CardBus card
FireWire Depot has begun offering the SATA-CB01-MAC, a 2-port Serial ATA to CardBus PC Card. It offers 1.5Gbps transfer speeds and features a Silicon Image Sil3512 Serial ATA Host Controller. The host bus runs at 33MH and is PCI 2.2 compliant. The Serial ATA component is 1.0-spec compliant, and features 48-bit sector addressing. PIO and DMA modes are supported for transferring, with a DMA burst rate at 1.5Gbps. According to the manufacturer, it will begin shipping in mid to late September. It will sell for approximately $60.
Plextor 16x DVD burner
Plextor today began shipping its external 16x DVD burner: the PX-740UF DVD+/-R/RW drive is a stylish black external drive with both USB 2.0 and FireWire connections. Users also can burn up to four hours of high-quality MPEG-2/DVD video on a single 8.5GB disk using 8X DVD+R on Double-Layer (DL) DVD media and 4X DVD-R on Dual Layer (DL) DVD media. The 10-in-1 DVD/CD burner supports 8X DVD+R DL, 4X DVD-R DL, and 16X DVD+/-R Writing; 8X DVD+RW and 6X DVD-RW Rewriting; and 16X max DVD-Reading; as well as high-speed 48X CD-R Writing, 32X CD-RW Rewriting, and 48X max CD-Reading. It features a 2MB buffer, features Buffer Underrun Proof Technology, and supports DVD+RW background format, which eliminates the need to format a DVD+RW disc manually. It will ship later this month for $180.
New ezSkin cases
ezGear today announced that it would manufacture ezSkin cases for the most current models of iPod and iPod minis. Made of high quality silicon, ezSkins have openings on the top for complete compatibility with FM transmitters, voice recorders and dozens of other iPod accessories as well as offer an opening on the bottom to offer access to the iPod dock connector. Each ezSkin comes with a neck strap, an integrated (removable) belt clip, and a clear ezShade screen protector, a clear plastic screen with rubber bumpers on each corner that fits over the screen of the iPod. ezSkins are available in in four semi-transparent colors: Sky Blue, Princess Pink, Lime Green, and Frost White as well as Onyx Black (opaque). The new ezSkins will be available at the end of September for $25.
Apple design legacy
A BusinessWeek article looks at Apple's legacy of groundbreaking designs and top designers. Apple's many design triumphs (and flops) have been backed by grand visions. "Idealism is a major part of Apple," says Andy Hertzfeld, an original Macintosh team member. "The company operates for artistic values rather than for commercial purposes." According to the report, many products start as a design vision. After the design is worked out, says Jory Bell, a designer who worked on several iterations of the PowerBook, "then you sign it off with Steve [Jobs]. Only after that is there negotiation over whether the laws of physics will actually allow [that vision] to happen."
Logitech mice for laptops
Logitech today unveiled the Logitech V400 Laser Cordless Mouse (pictured at right), a high-performance, rugged notebook PC mouse that leverages the innovative dual laser tracking engine and 2.4GHz digital cordless technology for a range of up to 30 feet. The company also introduced the company's first cordless mouse that doesn't need its own receiver: The Logitech V270 Cordless Optical Notebook Mouse for Bluetooth, which uses Bluetooth wireless technology with notebooks that have an integrated Bluetooth receiver.
Slideshow Magic 4.0
Koingo Software has released Slideshow Magic 4.0, an update to its cross-platform utility that offers a number of advanced functions. The new version sports up to 25 new features, including the ability for transitions, sound effects, audio tracks, customizable titles and more. The utility, designed for business presentations and other multimedia shows, adds more video compression codecs, more transitions, improved scaling options, title backgrounds, frame previews, more slide timing options, defaults for frames/movies, support for looping audio tracks, etc. The shareware is available for $16 or as a 15-day trial. A business license is $100.
New icon set, FM 8 hosting
In Brief: The FastIcon Studio recently released UnderWater Stock Icons ($250), a new collection of "Aqua" icons with over 100 icons for toolbars and navigational elements.... Point In Space Internet Solutions today announced immediate availability of FileMaker Pro 8 database hosting on FileMaker Server 7 Advanced.... REALVIZ, a leader in image processing software development, has announced a series of workshops on panoramic photography and virtual tour creation for Fall 2005.... A report claims that Microsoft has delayed the release of its upcoming Office 2004 update--expected to bring compatibility with iSync--until the first half of next year, after promising at Macworld Expo SF 2005.... One MacNN reader is offering a room and board (as well as office space for displaced small business) to any Hurricane Katrina survivor as well as (separate) job offer for anyone who is a designer or proficient with the web. [updated]
Logitech mouse debuts
Logitech today announced the Logitech LX7 Cordless Optical Mouse. The company says the mouse improves the cordless experience with power-saving features that support battery life of up to eight months and a reduces clutter via its wireless "plug and play" mini-receiver. The Logitech LX7 Cordless Optical Mouse features Logitech's new smart power management system, which includes an indicator light that glows green when the mouse is turned on and the battery life is good. The light blinks red when 1-2 weeks of battery life remain. The second component of the smart power management system is an on/off button on the base of the mouse, which can help further extend battery life. The new mouse is expected to be available soon for $40 (and will ship in Europe later this month).
Apple, Sony in talks
Sony said Monday it was was in talks with Apple about offering its nearly 25,000 songs by Sony artists to iPod users, according to a report posted by Sify.com. Apple launched the iTunes Music Store for Japan in early August with nearly 1 million songs from 15 Japanese record labels, but without a few major labels, including Sony. Apple, which sold 1 million songs in just four days, has already had an impact on other services and is enjoying increasing marketshare within the region because of its popular iPod. "The two companies are locked in a fierce battle in the market for digital music players, with Apple enjoying the upper hand over the struggling Japanese electronics icon. Now the two companies could set aside their rivalries to allow iPod users here to access Sony's roster of Japanese artists. 'We are negotiating with Apple over the download business and hope to expand our customer base to iPod users,' said Yasuhi Ide, a spokesman for Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.
Apple at Popkomm 2005
Apple VP Eddie Cue will deliver a keynote speech at Popkomm 2005, an European music conference and festival where "prominent representatives from the music and entertainment industry talk about the latest themes in international forums, workshops and panel discussion." The event takes place in Berlin fro September 14-16 on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. "Cue is the Apple executive tasked with developing and marketing iTunes Music Store. According to the exhibitors, Cue will: 'Speak about the many ways to earn money with digital recordings,'" according to Macworld UK. The report says that other keynote speakers include Yahoo!'s David Goldberg, Nokia Multimedia's Ilkka Raiskinen and MP3 file format inventor Professor Doctor Karlheinz Brandenburg (Fraunhofer- Institut).
MS benefits from Apple
Microsoft may be benefitting from Apple's recent resurgence and the iPod revolution: "As Apple enjoys rebounding popularity among computer users rejecting the dominance of Microsoft-one of the biggest beneficiaries is -- oddly enough -- likely to be Microsoft," according to The LA Times. The report says that outside of Apple itself, Microsoft sells more software for Apple's flagship Macintosh computers than any other company. "With sales of Macintosh machines rising sharply, archrival Microsoft stands to bolster its long-standing business selling Office and other programs for Mac. 'We're ecumenical people,' said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. 'We have to run everything. Our first graphics interface was on the Macintosh. We've always done well on Macs.'"
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