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The "real power" of the Windows platform has always been tied to the support from the developer community, explains Rob Enderle of TechNewsWorld. And this year, developers are "more excited than I have seen in years" about Windows Visa, Microsoft's next-generation operating system. Enderle says for Apple to hold its ground, it must take Vista seriously. "Windows Vista is the biggest release for Microsoft since Windows 95. With that release, Apple was tested -- and they failed miserably. I was at Dataquest at the time and not only did I warn Apple to take 95 more seriously, I also accurately forecast the massive decline that would happen to them if they didn't do just that." Apple will be positioning its Intel-compatible Mac OS X against Vista and "they have about 12 months to prepare for the threat," the article states. "Just like the last time, they will largely leverage hardware this time, and, as before, they will be up against companies with resources that eclipse their own."
Echoing the concerns of other analysts, Symantec -- which sells security solutions -- said Mac users are "operating under a false sense of security." According to a TechWorld report, the company also said Firefox users will have to recognize that the open-source browser is currently a "greater security risk" than Internet Explorer. Symantec's latest Internet Security Threat Report, published today, found evidence that attackers are beginning to organize for attacks on the Mac operating system. Researchers also found that over the past six months, nearly twice as many vulnerabilities surfaced in Mozilla browsers as in Explorer. "It is now clear that the Mac OS is increasingly becoming a target for the malicious activity, contrary to popular belief that the Mac OS is immune to traditional security concerns," the report said.
SeaMonkey 1.0 (free) is an advanced e-mail client, newsgroup cilent, IRC (internet relay chat) client, and HTML editing application. The 1.0 alpha release shares much of the core code with the current Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 browser, but "represents the look and feel that long-time Mozilla and Netscape users have learned to love." [Download - 13.2MB] Chameleon 3.0 ($70) is an efficient tool for automatic adjustment of inserted objects to a target image color range and smoothing of the object's border. Chameleon is very easy to handle because it does not require precise selection of objects. The plug-in is compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Jasc Paint Shop Pro, Ulead PhotoImpact, and others. [Download - 3.9MB] SpectraFoo 4.0 ($400) performs signal metering and analysis with standards-based level metering, high-speed, high-resolution spectral analysis, the unique Phase Torch, correlation metering, triggerable waveform display, power balancing and a variety of power, envelope and spectral histories and phase analysis on any number of input or output channels. Peastat 0.1 (free) is a simple, free, "live" web stats analyzer that works differs from other web stat tools, in that it looks at the last chunk of a log file to create real-time summaries of recent user activity. Features include simplicity with no database back-end, Atom 1.0 support, cached DNS lookups, and more. [Download - 11.1KB] Drain0 1.0.1 ($30) is a filter for Eudora Internet Mail Server (EIMS and EIMS X) to manage cleaning of any email containing stray linefeeds, stray carriage returns, and NULL bytes. Unwanted characters can be individually allowed through, or the offending bytes within the email can be substituted with different byte values. [Download - 334KB] Podcast RSS Buddy 3.0 ($20) produces iTunes compliant RSS feeds without knowledge of RSS code. New features include editing previously entered episode information, previewing now the episode will look in iTunes, and more. [Download - 1.7MB]
Syncro Soft today announced version 6.2 of Oxygen XML Editor, its schema editor and XSLT debugger that offers a dockable framework which freely configures the editor layout on demand. New features include dockable/floating/hideable views inside the oXygen window, improvement of Relax NG content completion, automatic presentation of available stylesheet parameters when configuring them for an XSLT transformation, and improvements to the XSLT debugger. Oxygen XML Editor offers an XML outliner that is automatically synchronized with document changes, XInclude support, XML validation, support for formatting/indentation, and support for many text encodings including Unicode. Oxygen XML Editor 6.2 is available for $180 if purchased before October 1st ($225 thereafter).
CRYPTOCard is demonstrating CRYPTO-Server 6.3 for Mac OS X, its fully-integrated two-factor authentication solution for Mac OS X Panther and Tiger systems. The software is designed to positively identify all users attempting LAN, VPN (Apple or Cisco), or web-based (Apache) access. CRYPTO-Server 6.3 is specifically designed to fully integrate with Tiger's support for smart card environments, and couples something that is already present (a multi-function smart card, USB token, etc) with something known (a PIN) to provide secure LAN, web, and remote ATM-style "one-PIN-and-you're-in" authenticated access that mirrors the look and feel of the Mac OS X logon. CRYPTO-Server 6.3 is available for $350.
ThinkFree today released the Macintosh Edition of ThinkFree Office 3, its cross-platform, high-performance office suite. The company says that the suite offers the "best compatibility with Microsoft Office of any productivity application for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux users." Leveraging a unique Java architecture, it allows for rapid deployment on and interoperability between Macintosh, Windows, or Linux operating systems. The suite includes word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation graphics modules as well as full-featured drawing module for all three applications. Other features include HTML/PDF export, XML support (including WordML and SpreadsheetML), multilingual support, and complimentary ThinkFree Office Online services. It is available now for €40 or $50 and runs on Mac OS X 10.4 (and requires a G4-/G5-based Mac).
iPodNN.com roundup: iSkin has announced plans to release several duo-layered protector cases for iPod nano in October [one pictured at right].... Belkin announced that its existing line of iPod accessories includes devices are both compatible with iPod nanos and match its colors.... Belkin also launched its TuneBase for the iPod shuffle, featuring a flexible neck that easily positions the Shuffle while powering and charging the device.... Harman Multimedia at Apple Expo announced the introduction of JBL On Tour Black, a portable audio system designed to meet the demands of students, professionals and consumers on the go.... Harman Multimedia introduced JBL On Stage II, a desktop speaker station specifically designed for both the iPod and iPod mini.
Belkin today announced that its existing line of iPod accessories includes devices that are both compatible with the iPod nano and are available in both black and white colors, such as the TuneCast II and Auto Kit for iPod. The TuneCast II ($40, shown at right) for example, an FM transmitter that plays music from MP3 players such as Apple's iPod through FM radio waves, plugs into the Nano's headphone jack. Other compatible products include the Cassette adapter ($20), Auto power cord for iPod with Dock connector ($20), and a variety of mini-stereo audio cables. Other new and to-be-announced accessories for Nano will be available starting in October.
Apple's iPod was the top pick by CNET's editors in its Top 10 Product list, which included products from the past 10 years. The iPod placed above TiVo and Google. Criteria was based on the most wide-ranging acceptance of products: aside from being the top pick of the list, the iPod is one of only a handful of products to get a 9 rating from CNET. "Even if you devoutly believe other music players have better features now, you have to acknowledge that iPod is still the king." Apple's iMac also placed No. 8 on the list, making Apple the only company to place two of its products in the list.
Harman Kardon at Apple Expo unveiled the European version of Harman Kardon Drive + Play, an integrated iPod docking system specifically designed for automotive use. Unlike competing products on the market, Drive + Play provides "complete iPod control," including full browsing and playlist handling capability, while minimizing distractions for drivers. Drive + Play charges the iPod when docked, displays customized user menus such as playlists and user preferences, and shuts itself off when not in use. The European version of Drive + Play will ship in November 2005.
Harman Multimedia at Apple Expo announced the introduction of JBL On Tour Black, a portable audio system designed to meet the demands of students, professionals and consumers on the go. The portable audio system utilizes a stereo pair of Odyssey transducers and features six watts of total power. Slightly larger than an eyeglasses case and roughly the size of the new Sony PSP, JBL On Tour Black is the "ultimate addition to any MP3 player, personal CD player, laptop or desktop computer, portable games console or portable video player." The high gloss black of the JBL On Tour Black is "the perfect match" for the black iPod Nano and the U2 iPod. The JBL On Tour Black will be available from retailers in November.
Rage Software today announced Google Sitemap Automator 1.0, its software package to automate the process of generating Google Sitemaps that help search engines which utilize Google Sitemaps. Webmasters communicate directly with Google via Google Sitemaps and keep the search engine informed about which pages to index, how often these pages are modified and how important each page is relative to every other page on a website. Google Sitemap Automator automates the process of creating Google Sitemaps by utilizing powerful filters and preset conditions, negating the need to go through thousands of pages manually. The full version ($30) adds automatic submission to Google and generates an unlimited number of Google Sitemaps (system requirements were unavailable).
Belkin today launched its TuneBase for the iPod shuffle. The TuneBase features an innovative, flexible neck that easily positions your iPod shuffle. While mounted, the TuneBase powers and charges simultaneously the iPod shuffle. The TuneBase also features a 3.5mm line-out for use with the specially designed Belkin Cassette Adapter (included) or TuneCast II FM Transmitter (not included) for high-quality audio through any car stereo. It also features a custom-designed swivel-cradle, offers a grey/white duotone color scheme, offers "plug-and-play" convenience, and mounts the Shuffle through the USB connector. It is expected to ship in North America in November 2005 for $40. Belkin includes a lifetime warranty with the product.
Harman Multimedia at Apple Expo announced JBL Creature II Red and Aluminum -- an expansion of the current Creature II speaker range. The speakers feature a "cutting-edge sci-fi design and superior sound performance." First introduced in 2002, the Creature II series is described as "organic, unique and quirky." The complete Creature II range now comes in a choice of white, black, grey, metallic-red or aluminium finish. The JBL Creature II Red and Creature Aluminum will begin shipping in limited quantities in October.
Harman Multimedia on Monday introduced JBL On Stage II, a desktop speaker station specifically designed for both the iPod and iPod mini. The company previewed the device at Apple Expo, which opens to the public tomorrow. The JBL On Stage II provides "rich sound" and "redefines the standard for iPod docking products." It delivers 12 watts of total power for "astonishing bass and clear, accurate sound." JBL On Stage II also provides power to charge the iPod even when the computer is off. The docking station also features a remote control that works from up to 50 feet away. Additional cables are included for connecting with other digital music player devices, CD players and laptop and desktop computers The JBL On Stage will be available in February 2006.
LaCie today unveiled its credit-card sized USB key called the LaCie Carte Orange. The ultra compact USB storage device offers an unprecedented 4GB (4000MB) or 8GB (8000MB) storage capacity. "With its sturdy metal design and plastic bumper, LaCie Carte Orange is amazingly light and thin—far thinner than most traditional 1GB or 2GB USB keys." Measuring at 6mm height and weighing less than 60g, the LaCie Carte Orange is powered by an integrated USB 2.0 connector, which can be plugged into any USB-equipped computer. The flexible connector allows users to plug LaCie Carte Orange into the port wherever it may be located on the computer, and retracts for safe transportation. It is available for $100 (4GB) and $150 (8GB). LaCie Carte Orange ships with LaCie Silverlining and SilverKeeper drive management and backup utilities.
Harman Kardon today introduced The Bridge, a unique iPod accessory that connects a compatible iPod to a range of special Harman Kardon The Bridge-ready AVR 40 Series audio/video receivers, The Bride, which does not require a power adapter, provides a direct audio and control link between the iPod and the receiver. "Elegantly designed to match Harman Kardon products, The Bridge enables a host of advanced iPod capabilities, such as displaying on-screen menus, on front panel display of AVR 40 Series, on TV or video display, providing operation of the iPod via the receiver's remote control and charging of the iPod." Harman Kardon's The Bridge will be available in October 2005 for €100.
Miglia Technology today announced TVMini, its digital TV recorder that provides pause/record/rewind functionality for free-to-air Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) on Macintosh computers. TVMini features Elgato's EyeTV digital TV recording software to watch and record TV in digital quality. Identical in size to the iPod shuffle, TVMini includes a remote control for scheduling and channel selection. TVMini (£99) comes with a two-year warranty and requires a Macintosh with USB 2.0 compatibility running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. The device ships with a portable TV antenna, an adapter for a coaxial antenna cable, a USB 2.0 extension cable, and a CD with software and a user guide.
Sprint Nextel today announced it will provide its cellphone customers with access to several radio stations and podcasts via the Rhapsody radio service. Unlike the iTunes-based Motorola ROKR available from Cingular, Sprint users will stream radio stations and podcasts over the wireless network, rather than downloading music to the phone. Roger Entner, Ovum consultant, stated "the important difference is that, unlike the ROKR, you do not need to sync your telephone to a PC to get your music. It's there on your phone and it's convenient." The Rhapsody radio service will be offered for $7 per month on top of the Sprint Vision Multimedia Service mobile internet package, and will feature on-demand music videos, according to a report from Reuters.
Roku today launched the SoundBridge Radio, a complete wireless (Wi-Fi) music system. With a traditional tabletop radio form factor, SoundBridge Radio combines stereo speakers with a subwoofer, AM/FM radio, alarm, and internet radio and digital music streaming into a single stylish, compact device. It lets consumers access traditional AM/FM radio along with their digital music library using simple and familiar radio controls: a few simple buttons for presets, scan, and source select make digital music easily accessible. Other features include a SD/MMC card slot and a volume-ramping alarm that wakes users to digital music, Internet radio, AM/FM, playlists, podcasts, or choice of several alarm tones.
Fujitsu today unveiled its "first-ever" scanner compatible with the Macintosh platform. The ScanSnap scanning solution supports Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger," delivering an affordable and easy-to-use color scanner that allows business professionals to quickly convert paper documents to Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. It also includes the Fujitsu ScanSnap 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF), the only low priced ADF duplex scanner available to Mac customers, accoring to Fujitsu. As "the first and only" high-speed, double-sided color scanner under $500, the compact, upright, "one-button" scanner allows users to scan at speeds up to 15 ppm for single-sided documents and 30 images per minute for double-sided documents. It is now available for $500.
Apple's iPod product marketing chief, Greg Joswiak, is to appear in a panel discussion with other leading industry figures in the next month, according to Macworld UK. The panel will be part of the Digital Life exhibition, which begins October 14. Panelists will: "Demonstrate a number of hot new products and talk about the highlights of this year's holiday tech shopping season," the show organizers said. The panel also includes: HP executive vice president, Todd Bradley, Motorola's senior director of product operations James Burke; Adobe senior vice president of its digital imaging and video business unit, Bryan Lamkin and Netgear chairman and CEO Patrick Lo. Keynote presentations from Microsoft and Intel will also be featured at the conference.
Realmac Software's AudioExpress 1.0 is a new system utility for Mac OS X that enables users to record sound from their Mac's built-in microphone or from an external source such as the Apple iSight. "AudioExpress works seamlessly with iTunes and iPod, so users can take their recordings with them. AudioExpress is extremely versatile. It’s many uses include recording voice memos, interviews, vinyl records and transcribing audio." The application features full AppleScript support with support for the following actions: Record, Pause, Stop, Snip and Sync. Users can record/play audio, sync recordings with iTunes, perform timed recordings, and categorize recordings as well as add notes. AudioExpress will be available September 29th for $20.
Realmac Software today introduced RapidWeaver 3.2, the next version of its web design application that can create professional looking web sites in minutes--without any knowledge of complex HTML code. Version 3.2 offers a built-in media inspector allowing users to re-size, flip and rotate photos as well as a new theme variation system. Other features include, .Mac & FTP publishing, iPhoto integration, XHTML/CSS-based sites, unlimited submenus, over 30 bundled themes, live PHP rendering, blogging with RSS feeds, PHP contact forms, Flash-based slideshows and more. RapidWeaver 3.2 is due in early October for $35.
Aquafadas will preview its the next version of its flagship product during Apple Expo Paris 2005: iDive 1.5, due in in October, will feature "Mosaic," its new presentation tool for creating "stunning" picture animations and motion graphics automatically. "With Mosaic we offer a unique way to generate spectacular and intelligent animations with the highest rated pictures, the titles, and all the annotation information from your footage." Leveraging Mac OS 10.4 Tiger technology, iDive "delivers stunning content out of a shoebox of images to both amateurs and professionals." iDive offers a robust on-screen digital video shoebox to store clips and still images. iDive 1.4 is available for $70 (with a special $15 discount using 'AE2005' for a limited time).
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko